Bishop Cathleen Chittenden Bascom today announced that two former Kansans will be joining the diocesan staff on Sept. 1.
The Reverend Lisa Senuta will be the Canon for Spiritual Life and Clergy Care, and Chad Senuta will be Director of Young Adult and Communication Ministries.
Lisa currently is the rector of the Episcopal Church of St. James the Less in Northfield, Ill. Chad is the associate for youth and campus ministries for the Diocese of Chicago.
Bishop Bascom said she was filled with deep joy and gratitude in making the announcement that the Senutas will be joining the diocesan staff. “I have been acquainted with Chad and Lisa since the early 1990s, when I was Episcopal chaplain at K-State – years that were very formative for all three of us. However, it has only been in recent years that I became aware of how their particular spiritual gifts and ministries have so flourished.”
In her new role, Lisa Senuta will work to strengthen the spiritual life and practices of members of the Diocese of Kansas. She also will oversee a network of spiritual directors working from Bethany House and Garden, as well as leading spiritual retreats to take place at Upton Hall Conference Center in Topeka and in each of the diocese’s four regional convocations, She also will work with leaders of the 11 diocesan minsters to help them deepen their Way of Love practices.
Bishop Bascom said Lisa is well-suited for this new role. “Lisa’s consistent pastoral work is now accompanied by focused work in the contemplative life and prayer practices. She is truly a national leader in our church in this arena.”
In noting her new call, the Reverend Lisa Senuta said, “Honestly, the conspiracy of the Holy Spirit has me on the edge of my seat for the next part of our journey. As I look forward to serving Bishop Cathleen, I am humbled by her confidence and trust in giving me such an significant ministry call. I am already praying for the capacity to serve well.”
Chad’s new work will incorporate many responsibilities of the director of communications, including publication of the diocese’s news magazine The Harvest, and he also assumes oversight of young adult ministry, working closely with Karen Schlabach, who will become Youth, Campus and Digital Missioner. He also will guide two important new initiatives – the formation of a new community of young adults in urban Wichita and the establishment of a new community of young adults at Bethany House and Garden in Topeka.
In welcoming Chad to his new position, the bishop said, “Chad’s leadership in the Diocese of Kansas took on new challenges and was expanded in his role in the Diocese of Chicago. He has a calm spiritual passion and a mature clarity of purpose that will be a great asset to our staff and will guide our newer missional endeavors with young adults.”
Reflecting on the time he and his wife shared with Bishop Bascom while they all were at Kansas State University in the 1990s, Chad Senuta said, “It was there that we discovered the Episcopal expression of Christianity when close friends invited us to the Canterbury ministry. My experience there remains a pivotal point in my faith journey and a primary reason that I am a Christian, an Episcopalian and a leader in the church today.”
After she graduated from K-State in 1995, Lisa attended seminary at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. She was ordained a deacon and priest in 2001 by Bishop William Smalley and then served for two years as curate at St. Thomas’, Overland Park. She then spent eight years as assistant rector at St. Michael and All Angels in Mission. She became rector of her current parish in the Diocese of Chicago in 2012. She holds certificates in spiritual direction and in leading contemplative retreats from the Shalem Institute. While she was serving in the Diocese of Kansas she was a deputy to General Convention, a member of the Commission on Ministry and chair of the Campus Ministry Committee.
Chad also graduated from KSU in 1995. Starting in 2001 he served as diocesan Youth Missioner, leading all aspects of the youth program and working with college students through summer youth ministry internships. In 2004 he completed a two-year certification in youth ministry at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.
The Senutas have two daughters – Bethany, who is a graduating high school senior, and Mabel, who is in seventh grade.