One of the three who responded was my classmate from St. John's School of Theology (Collegeville, Minnesota), Rev. Cody Unterseher.
When I wrote my post about leadership yesterday, I had forgotten about the recommendations tucked away on this site. I found the following from a person who was even more dedicated to the study of liturgy than I was, and who even knew about my church in Cleveland as soon as I mentioned it to him while at table in the St. John's refectory in August 2005.
Cody and I were both laypeople when we were at St. John's, and somehow we ended up in a stance of wary opposition to one another for most of those two years. Although I sang at his ordination to the diaconate in late March of 2007, we didn't really become friends until we had each been accepted into (separate) doctoral programs in liturgical studies. He was an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church by then, and his focus in all things was reconciliation in Christ.
He wrote this about me when solicited for the testimonials on this site:
I had the privilege of working side-by-side with Kate during our overlapping years at Saint John's School of Theology•Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota (2005-2007). During that time, each of us served a one-year tenure as Chair of the School's Student Liturgy Committee. In her time as Chair, Kate showed herself to be a competent, confident and collegial leader. Her ability to coordinate the Committee's efforts were exceeded only by her gift for enabling and equipping others to do the work with which they were engaged, in a non-anxious, non-domineering and non-threatened way. Everything needful was well done, without haste, without micromanagement, in a respectful atmosphere of mutual listening and creative consensus-building. The ability to lead in such a way is a real gift as well as a skill, and Kate has cultivated it as a faithful steward. In terms of practical ability, Michelle Kate is a most competent liturgist. She combines a commanding knowledge of liturgical history and liturgical theology, together with a refined sense of liturgical law and its application, and brings these to bear on her work in preparing for liturgical celebration. At the same time, and more importantly, Michelle Kate has a refined pastoral sense. She is able to listen to a community, supporting its members as they give voice to their vision and aspirations, and helping them to identify and prioritize needs and goals for practical achievement. In preparing for liturgical celebration, Kate has a strong sense of liturgical gestalt, and is able to harmonize musical selection, crafted and received texts, and worship space environment in a way that is at once humble and elegant.
As I said, it was a privilege to work with Kate; I would not hesitate to work with her again in the future, nor to recommend her wholeheartedly to others.
His kindness in remembering our two years together overwhelmed me. That was late in 2011. When he died suddenly from complications related to a brain aneurysm in April 2012, my world collapsed around me. I wept for months. I still weep for him.
I'm not into guardian angels, but I often have Cody (whom I fondly refer to as Codex) close to heart when I consider my future as a the( )logian and minister. In fact, I just found out that he was ordained to the priesthood on the Feast of the Archangels (also known as the Feast of St. Michael, or Michaelmas). He is indeed my own Holy Messenger (άγγελος), accompanying me from his place at the Holy Banquet. He and I were more alike than I ever imagined when we were in school together. That fact alone leads me to believe that I could indeed become a remarkable servant leader--just like the one he became.