The Rev. Susan K. Walker, Deacon, grew up in Nashville, Tenn., attending the Episcopal Church. She studied English and prepared to teach by earning a Master’s degree at George Peabody College. Since 1976, she has lived Alexandria, Va., where she raised two children, and since, 2008, has lived with husband Carl Scheffey. Her work in the church began as a volunteer before taking a staff position as Volunteer Coordinator and Director of Evangelism at Christ Church, Alexandria. She worked for several years in geriatric mental health services and was trained in chaplaincy at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Both environments gave Susan direct experience with the poor. She reentered parish ministry, but in an urban setting, Epiphany, downtown Washington, where the Sunday breakfast program offered more relational work with the city’s marginalized and underserved.
Susan graduated from the Washington Theological Union with a Master of Theological Studies and a certificate in Spiritual Direction Studies. She offers spiritual direction at Virginia Theological Seminary. A 30-day Ignatian retreat was a life changing experience which ultimately led to ordination as a vocational deacon in 2012. In 2013, she completed a certificate program on the Process of Aging at the Washington School of Psychiatry.
During the week, Susan works as Resident Services Director and Leasing Agent at St. Mary’s Court, an apartment community for low-income seniors. On Sundays she serves as deacon at St. Stephen’s 8am liturgy, where husband Carl and dog, Harriett are in attendance. Although Harriet may benefit from the sermons, it’s mostly all the back scratching she receives that keeps her coming back. After the 8am liturgy, Susan can be found downstairs with guests at Loaves and Fishes, passing out the day’s gospel passage and chatting with anyone who looks interested. Being at St. Stephen’s is learning what it means to be a deacon, that is, learning to be a bridge between the church and the world. Loaves and Fishes is a great place for that. Susan welcomes others to join her.