The Rev. Whitney Altopp
Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
I grew up a Methodist preacher’s kid in Kentucky. My vocational calling, until my senior year in high school, was classical ballet. My junior year at a youth performing arts school gave me a reality check on my aspirations. As I reconsidered my future, I contemplated pursuing Law toward being a judge. And then my father casually passed me some brochures on ordained ministry.
I wasn’t interested in that, but youth ministry excited me. In part, I wanted to do youth ministry so that kick ball could be a justifiable use of work time. (Seriously!)
Every vocational change in my ministry has begun with others saying “Have you thought about…?” My discernment for Bishop Diocesan of ECCT began with that same question. My petition process also began with that question.
I am thrilled to come to this slate via petition. The petition process required that I dialogue with others and make connections- two of my very favorite things to do! Dialoguing with others and making connections roots me with people on the ground- the most solid place from which ministry flourishes. In my work responsibilities, I always have time for this! Dialogue and connections reveal new discoveries. Some of you, via this petition process, have already helped me see things within our diocese that I hadn’t seen before. God’s wisdom is in God’s people- this is God’s generous way!
My husband and I just celebrated 30 years of marriage. We’ve accompanied each other through all of life’s developments, which meant living in 5 different states. Our four children range in age from almost 16-24. When I arrived at seminary with a 9 mo. old child, I claimed what I have been claiming ever since- This is life! It’s meant to be lived and it’s meant to be livable.