My Big, Beautiful Announcement

With a great deal of gratitude, I have wonderful news to share.

Last Tuesday, the Presbytery of Detroit voted to approve a big proposal. They are making me a Community Chaplain to Nones and Dones, a position and role which has never existed before.

Outside the bounds of any particular church building,
Outside the bounds of any one town,
Outside the bounds of what we’ve thought ministry positions can look like,

the Presbytery of Detroit said YES to something new.

Within the geographical region of the Presbytery of Detroit, I am commissioned to be a chaplain, pastor, community organizer, and friend to people who are religiously unaffiliated (the ‘Nones’) and people who have left Church behind, often for very good reasons (the ‘Dones’). Their perspectives and forms of spirituality matter, and I am learning a great deal from them. Together in community and shared conversations, we will continue to go deeper as we explore faith, spirituality, meaning, and justice together.

This proposal is large in its scope and breaks a lot of typical ministry norms, but it also commissions me toward a particular context. For that, I am just as grateful.

This proposal brings this vision to students at the University of Michigan. In partnership with Canterbury House, I will build friendships with student Nones and Dones. Canterbury House is the Episcopalian ministry for the University of Michigan, and as a partner, I will also help with their own ministry and student community. I look forward to working alongside them.

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who made this possible. And as you read this, I also thank you for adding your support, enthusiasm, prayers, and good energy too. I am grateful that you follow Smuggling Grace, and as always, I’m thankful for your support.

We’ll have some more work to do as we build this vision. When it comes to community, we’ll continue to meet new people. When it comes to the position, we’ll be working to consider funding. As of yet, there is no funding for this role, but I asked the Presbytery of Detroit to approve this proposal in advance, recognizing that official support often opens doors toward opportunities. Folks from the Presbytery will continue to brainstorm this with me. And if you have any ideas, let me know!

Finally, I’ll say that I have been floating and glowing ever since I learned this proposal was likely to be approved. Now that it is, you just can’t imagine how grateful I am! I keep listening to “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Feel free to listen and imagine me this happy because I am!

I think Grandpa Joe sums it up:

“I never dreamed that I would climb
over the moon in ecstasy,
but nevertheless, it’s there that I’m shortly about to be.”

It’s there!
that I’m shortly about to be!


Renee Roederer

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