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Diocese of Maryland Elects Tattooed Peacemaking Potter

By Kirk Petersen

She has a tattoo from the world’s oldest tattoo parlor. She enjoys spinning pottery. And when she was about 5 years old, her Roman Catholic parents joined an Episcopal Church because they wanted to find a faith community where women could have a ministry in the church.

Good call. On March 25, the Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Maryland. Assuming she receives the necessary consents from bishops and standing committees, she will be consecrated September 16 at Washington National Cathedral. She’ll serve with the Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, who has led the diocese since 2008, until his retirement in April 2024. She will then become the 15th Bishop of Maryland.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Schofield-Broadbent

Conflict resolution has been a focus of her career since before she was ordained. She received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Peace and Conflict Studies from Juniata College — a Pennsylvania college affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. The Brethren are one of three historic peace churches, along with Quakers and Mennonites. She’ll draw on that background as she continues the racial reconciliation work that has been a key part of Sutton’s episcopacy.

“They’re not only working on racial justice as a diocese, the parishes are working on that too — coming to grips with their own stories, even the difficult part, and I find that so brave and important,” she told TLC.

Another focus of Schofield-Broadbent’s career is baked into her current title. She has served as canon to the ordinary for transition and church development for the Diocese of Central New York since 2017. She’s been a trainer with the College for Congregational Development, which will make her at least the fourth bishop to emerge from that program since its inception in the Seattle-based Diocese of Olympia in 2009. Founder Melissa Skelton went on to become Bishop of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada, and having retired from that role, she’s now back in Olympia as provisional bishop. Other former CCD trainers who have been fitted for pointy hats include Bishop of Spokane Gretchen Rehberg and Bishop of Iowa Betsey Monnot.

Schofield-Broadbent has spent her entire priesthood in Central New York, serving five congregations since graduating from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2003. She has sisters living in Maryland and is excited to move closer to them.

TLC noticed a tattoo on her right forearm while watching one of the meet-and-greet videos from prior to the election, and asked about it gingerly. But she was eager to tell the story.

A variation of a 300-year-old design | Zoom screen capture

“I got this tattoo in February of 2020 in the Old City of Jerusalem, at a tattoo parlor called Razzook Tattoo, which is the oldest continuously running tattoo parlor in the world. It began tattooing pilgrims in the 1300s. And the guys that did my tattoo are from a long line of tattoo artists, I think 27th or 28th generation in their family,” she said.

“It’s a tangible reminder of a deeply spiritual and valuable experience for me and I love that I get to wear art,” she said. Since then, she’s added a Celtic knot tattoo on her back, and, higher on her arm, a scene of mountains and glaciers, which is a memento from a family trip to Iceland last year.

She credits her husband Keith for sparking her passion for making pottery. “After our daughter was born, my husband gave me a gift certificate for a session of pottery classes. That was such a beautiful gift, in many ways. It was saying to the mom of a brand newborn and a two-and-a-half-year old, here: Every Monday night, go and have some time for yourself. And it was also saying here, you know, I believe in you to try something new,” she said. “I’ve been doing pottery ever since.” Daughter Kate is 17 now, while son Will is almost 20.

Schofield-Broadbent was elected on the third ballot from a slate of four. The other candidates were the Rev. Alissa Newton, canon for congregational development in the Diocese of Olympia and vicar of St. Columba’s, Kent, Washington; the Rev. Gregg Morris, rector of St. Andrew’s, Downers Grove, Illinois, in the Diocese of Chicago; and the Rev. J. Randolph Alexander Jr., rector of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria, Virginia, in the Diocese of Virginia.

 

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