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Bishop E. Mark Stevenson Announces Appointment of the Diocese’s First Canon for Discipleship

Sep 26, 2023 | News Releases

The Rt. Rev’d E. Mark Stevenson, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, announced today the appointment of the Rev. Chanta Bhan as the Diocese’s first Canon for Discipleship.

“Chanta is a joyful disciple who listens deeply to others’ experiences in their faith journeys,” said Bishop Stevenson. “Her approach to formation is firmly grounded in both the biblical narrative and how Jesus’ teachings are lived out in the present day. She is an experienced community organizer, and a quick study of the world around her. I am grateful she will bring her talents and passion to support both the laity and the ordained of this Diocese.”

Bishop Stevenson added, “I am also grateful for the Search Committee and our consultant Heidi Kim for shepherding this process and helping the Diocese to bring the ideal person to this important work.”

Working in close collaboration with the Bishops, Canon Bhan will articulate and proclaim a vision for discipleship of clergy and lay ministers in the Diocese. She will work in partnership with congregations to support their work with children and family ministries, Shrine Mont Camps, Parish Youth Ministry, campus ministries, and adult formation programs. She will help empower robust vocational discernment for laity, expand networks of formation professionals, and strengthen opportunities for pastoral care for formation leaders.

In collaboration with the Canon for Racial Justice and Healing, Dr. J. Lee Hill, Jr., Canon Bhan will incorporate racial healing and justice into all elements of formation. “It was an essential part of Jesus’ ministry in the Gospels to people on the margins,” said Canon Bhan.

Prior to ordination, Canon Bhan worked as a lay chaplain in hospice, hospital, and campus ministry and she received awards for preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and community organizing. Canon Bhan was ordained in 2021. Most recently, she served as: Associate Rector at St. Matthew’s in Austin, Texas; Interim Middle/Upper School Chaplain at All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth; and Associate for Mission and Outreach at Saint Michael and All Angels in Dallas.

Canon Bhan holds a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Virginia Theological Seminary. She received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theological Studies in World Religions from Harvard Divinity School.

“I’m delighted to return to Virginia for the opportunity to work with Bishop Stevenson and Bishop Harris to support the people of the Diocese in discipleship and formation. I’m looking forward to working with and learning from the diocesan staff as we all strive to place Jesus at the center of our lives,” said Canon Bhan.

Canon Bhan will report directly to Assistant Bishop Gayle E. Harris. She begins her ministry in the Diocese on October 1.