Adapted from the Office of Public Affairs
Two canons will serve the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry when he becomes the Episcopal Church’s 27th presiding bishop on Nov. 1. The Rev. Canon Michael Buerkel Hunn will oversee ministry within the Episcopal Church and the Rev. Canon Charles K. Robertson will oversee ministry beyond the Episcopal Church.
The Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls announced the two appointments late Monday afternoon. Bishop Sauls, chief operating officer, will be Bishop Curry’s chief of staff and will oversee the leadership team.
“The role of the presiding bishop, as set forth in our constitution, canons, and history, is enormously broad in its scope, both within and beyond the Episcopal Church,” Bishop Sauls said. “These roles include those of presiding bishop, primate, and chief pastor, and encompass such functions as ecumenical and interfaith officer, primary teacher, and chief evangelist. Bishop Curry’s plans involve two canons supporting him in these responsibilities, which are part of an even broader portfolio that also includes his role as chair of the Executive Council and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.”
Canon Michael Hunn
Hunn has served since 2006 as the Canon to the Ordinary for Program and Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of North Carolina.
In his new role, Canon Hunn will be responsible for supporting the ministry of the presiding bishop among Episcopalians. He will support the presiding bishop’s work as president of the House of Bishops, chief pastor to the church’s 108 dioceses and areas of special jurisdiction, and chief theological educator and evangelist.
“This is an exciting time to be an Episcopal follower of Jesus,” Hunn said. “Don’t we have something beautiful to say to our aching world? I am eager to assist Bishop Curry and excited about the conversations and adventure we all will share together in the years to come. I hope to be useful to our beloved church.”
“Canon Hunn and I have worked together for nine years in the Diocese of North Carolina,” Bishop Curry said. “He really is a person of prayer, penetrating insight, deep wisdom, and experience in helping us to live fully into that calling in our time as part of the Jesus movement.”
Hunn is the author of a short story, “Al’s Garage and Soul Repair Shop,” that won the 2009 Middlebury Magazine Fiction Contest, and he is seeking a publisher for a novel, Getting Over Jordan. He maintains a YouTube channel.
Canon Hunn holds degrees from Middlebury College (BA, history and religion) and Cambridge University (MA, theology) and a Certificate of Advanced Theological Study from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1996, Hunn served Kent School in Connecticut as chaplain, head baseball coach, and chairman of the theology department. He served as senior associate rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, Illinois, and as Episcopal chaplain to Davidson College and associate rector of St. Alban’s Church in Davidson, North Carolina.
Canon Hunn will be based in Raleigh, where he lives with his wife, the Rev. Meg Buerkel Hunn, assistant rector at Christ Church on Capitol Square; their two teenage sons, Dexter and Murphy; and a daughter, Dosie.
Canon Charles Robertson
The Rev. Canon Charles K. Robertson, has served as Canon to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori since 2007.
In his new role, Canon Robertson will be responsible for supporting the ministry of the presiding bishop among those who are not members of the Episcopal Church. He will support the presiding bishop’s role as primate of the Episcopal Church (one of 38 member Provinces of the Anglican Communion) and as chief ecumenical and interfaith officer for the church.
“I am deeply grateful to be asked by the Presiding Bishop-elect to serve the church in this role,” Canon Robertson said. “It is a privilege to be engaged in the work of building bridges and strengthening partnerships for the sake of the gospel and the growth of the church. And I look forward to the opportunity to work together with Canon Michael Hunn.”
“Canon Robertson and I have worked together in a variety of efforts for all the years he has served as canon to our Presiding Bishop,” Bishop Curry said. “I know him to be a deeply faithful person, a trusted colleague in the gospel ministry, with wide experience in building and nurturing relationships with our brothers and sisters in the wider Anglican Communion as well as the ecumenical and interfaith communities. We are truly blessed to have Canon Robertson and Canon Hunn working as a team to assist and facilitate the ministry of the presiding bishop as we seek to engage this mission moment together as the Episcopal Church.”
Canon Robertson holds a BA in communication from Virginia Tech and an MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary. While earning his doctorate in theology from Durham University, he assisted at Durham Cathedral from 1996 to 1999.
He has served as rector of parishes in Central Florida and Atlanta and as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Arizona.
Canon Robertson is a fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation, a distinguished visiting professor at General Theological Seminary, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also worked extensively with the Department of Education, the White House, and Hollywood studios and guilds as executive director of Film Clips, Inc.
Canon Robertson has served on several national boards, including the Governing Board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and has written and contributed to 11 books. He is general editor of the Studies in Episcopal & Anglican Theology series.
A native of Texas, Canon Robertson has been married for 24 years to Debbie. They have two sons, David, and Jonathan, and a daughter, Abigail. He will continue to work from the Episcopal Church Center in New York.
Catherine Massey Succeeds Canon Hunn
The Diocese of North Carolina reports that Bishop Curry and the Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple, bishop pro tem, have asked Catherine Massey to become the Diocese of North Carolina’s Canon for Transition and Pastoral Care. Massey, who has been deputy transition officer since April 2013, will continue much of the work she has done before in partnership with Hunn.
“It is a great blessing to our diocese that Catherine is so well prepared to move into this role,” Bishop Hodges-Copple said. “She will continue to provide the excellent care, support, and leadership that our churches and clergy rely upon. She knows our people well, and she is well known for her big heart, wise discernment, and great organizational skills. We know that her dedication and passion will continue during this transition.”
In her new role, she will serve congregations and clergy in transition, be the bishop pro tem’s link to the Discipline Board, the Pastoral Response Team, the Safe Church training program and the Commission on Ministry for the Priesthood. She will support interim ministry in the diocese and continue as a facilitator of Fresh Start. Bishop Hodges-Copple anticipates adding other clergy to assist Massey in working with clergy and congregations in transition and pastoral care for clergy and their families.
“It is a privilege to continue the work I began in partnership with Canon Hunn,” Massey said. “I have learned much along the way and am honored to keep our work moving forward seamlessly.”
Massey graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and has more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, and association management. Before serving the Diocese of North Carolina, Massey served as parish life coordinator for St. John’s, Wake Forest.
A cradle Episcopalian, Massey is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and has lived in North Carolina with her family for 16 years. Massey, her husband, Robert, and their three daughters live in Wake Forest and are members of Christ Church, Raleigh.