Rita Steadman is a priest of the Diocese of Maine where she has served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bangor, for over 12 years. She is wife to Eric Steadman and together they are raising two teenagers, Sophia and Cuthbert. Before coming to Maine, she was an assistant at Christ Church, Georgetown, in the Diocese of Washington for 10 years where she served both as priest and (for seven years) as deacon. She is passionate about the diaconate and its importance to the life of the Church. She was originally ordained to the diaconate from the Diocese of New York and was the first woman sponsored by St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square. She is a graduate of the General Theological Seminary (’97) and recently has served there as president of the alumni council. Before seminary, she was sponsored by the Joint Working Committee of the Episcopal and Russian Orthodox Churches to live and work in Russian Orthodox parishes in Russia immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union. She supported the development of parish outreach (previously illegal), including starting Moscow’s first volunteer-supported soup kitchen. She is a graduate of Brown University (’91) where she studied History and Russian Language and Literature.