Our Diocese was thrilled to officially welcome Canon Megan Castellan to our staff on Monday, October 16. With less than a week before Convention 155, Canon Megan had to hit the ground running, but she was kind enough to answer a few questions to help us get to know her better.
I have an extremely Noah-like existence. My husband and I live with two dogs, two cats, and this summer we welcomed two small, energetic boys to our home.
What’s the story of you and the Episcopal Church?
My parents compromised when they married between the Roman Catholic Church and the evangelical Presbyterian church by becoming Episcopalians. I was baptized at 6 weeks old. My parents continued on their own journeys, but I really took to being an Episcopalian. Though I tried to leave at least once, my efforts were never successful—the pull of this joyful, thoughtful, and welcoming tradition was in my bones and here I have stayed.
Could you share the story of your call to ordained ministry?
I was one of those kids who just kept coming after they were confirmed, and this resulted in many adults telling me I must, of course, be a priest. At the time, I angrily resisted this—I was going to be an actress (on Broadway, of course.) I would hear no differently. But the idea of being ordained never quite left my brain; I would get so frustrated by the shortcomings of my priest’s preaching that I would draft my own sermons each week as a high schooler, for my own edification. (Everyone does this, right?). And finally, when I was fifteen, on Palm Sunday, I had this intense experience of jealousy as our rector was celebrating the Eucharist. I wanted so badly to be able to do this thing she got to do: hand people a piece of bread and say “This is God. This right here, this is God, wanting to be close to you, right here in the palm of your hand.” I decided that this nagging thing of being ordained probably wouldn’t go away, and though I was convinced it was possibly the worst idea God had had in some time, I had best go along with it. It then took several years at college, a supportive campus ministry, and lots of exploring for me to realize that God’s call, and my gifts and joys were actually more aligned than I had assumed. It has been an unending adventure ever since.
What is your favorite Sunday to preach on? Least favorite?
I love to preach the hard texts, the ones that make no sense and the ones that have been used historically to hurt people. I love rooting around in there and finding where the Spirit is hiding, waiting for us, so She can leap out and surprise us with God’s presence. Honestly, I don’t have a least favorite to preach – I just really like preaching.
What are some of your favorites?
Dark chocolate, marzipan, Italian food, any sort of pie, the beach.
What attracted you to Diocesan work?
I like thinking about the larger structures of the church: how we might build them better so that the church can live into its job of being the good news of God’s love in the world. I think that the way we work together in the church, the way we order our common life, can be a powerful witness to the Gospel.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role? What are your hopes for your diocesan ministry?
I like talking with people about important things, and how they relate to our faith! I love working with people to connect their faith to the issues that we are facing as a diocese and as a country, and putting it into action. It is one of the most exciting things imaginable when you realize that the faith you profess on Sunday is actually relevant, and has meaning for what your life looks like the rest of the week.