New missioner for networking and formation to join diocesan staff

Bishop Alan M. Gates has announced the hiring of Martha Shaughnessey Gardner to serve as missioner of networking and formation, a new position on the diocesan staff, beginning in early August.

Martha Gardner Courtesy Photo Martha Gardner

Gardner comes to the diocesan staff from the Church Pension Group in New York, where she has worked for nearly eight years and currently serves in the education and wellness department as coordinator for program support and training, working with dioceses to plan and organize financial and health wellness conferences for clergy and lay employees.  She is a chartered retirement planning counselor and finance faculty at several of these conferences.  Prior to her current position, she was a regional account specialist working with 25 dioceses, and helped implement the lay employee pension system churchwide.

Before joining the Church Pension Group, Gardner was, in 2010, the coordinator for the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice as well as a capital campaign consultant at the Episcopal Church Foundation.  She served, from 2008 to 2009, as the director of programs and special assistant to the Anglican Observer at the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations.  For more than a decade prior to that, she worked for the Episcopal Church's Peace and Justice Ministries, facilitating connections between individuals, congregations and dioceses in the areas of environmental ministries, prison ministries and antiviolence work.

"Martha Gardner brings remarkably extensive experience creating and supporting partnerships and networks to further God’s mission in the world.  She has fulfilled this role at national, regional and congregational levels.  This, together with her range of experience organizing educational, advocacy and training events, makes me excited about the energy with which she will further the networking and formation aspects of our diocesan mission strategy," Gates said.

Gardner holds a B.A. degree in government from Georgetown University and an M.A. degree in international relations from the University of Chicago, and was the recipient of the Mayor’s Scholarship for urban studies at the New School of Social Research.  She has served on numerous Episcopal Church and church-related bodies and boards, including the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Church World Service and the National Council of Churches.

"I am truly honored to be coming to the Diocese of Massachusetts as your missioner for networking and formation.  I am very excited about the mission strategy which the diocese has adopted and look forward to partnering with you in its implementation," Gardner said.