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Hello from your new Chaplain

Who is your new Chaplain?

I am Christopher Seitz, married to Elizabeth New-Seitz. I am originally from North Carolina, and Elizabeth is a native Texan. We have both spent large amounts of time in Europe and feel we know our way around. Elizabeth runs a business which brings her often to France, and indeed she brought the Dallas Women’s Garden Club to Courances just last year. We both have academic backgrounds but have worked in other ventures as well. I am a keen golfer, and have done a lot of sailing when I lived in New England. Elizabeth ran in both the Boston and New York Marathons, though those days are now behind her.

I have served parishes in the US, Canada, Scotland, Germany and France for thirty-five years. I come from a big clergy family. My grandfather, father, uncle and two brothers have been parish ministers. Most recently I was Canon in the Diocese of Dallas and was in charge of Adult Education at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas TX. I also assist at St Matthews, Riverdale, Toronto when I am teaching there.

The center of my professional life has been as an academic training clergy and leaders for ministry in the Christian Church. I have a PhD from Yale University and I was Professor of Old Testament there for eleven years. In 1998 I accepted a Chair at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and taught there for a decade. I am presently Senior Research Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Wycliffe College in the University of Toronto. I have written widely on Isaiah, Jeremiah, the Psalms, the Minor Prophets, Ecclesiastes, Colossians, the Letter Collection of Paul, the Gospels and Acts. I have a small devotional book of Good Friday meditations. I have been active in the Anglican Communion and run an Institute dedicated to its international character and mission, especially in the Global South. I will continue to supervise my doctoral students in Toronto and teach occasional seminars there given the part-time nature of the post here.

I have been active in academic and church life in Germany and the United Kingdom, but I also have colleagues and relationships in France I hope to be able to develop. France is a natural home given Elizabeth’s work (see her great web site www.frenchaffaires.com).

The church has always been my home and I have known well and worked in many and varied parishes in the US and abroad. It is the time of my life when Elizabeth and I would like return to Europe. My wife has a PhD in French and has taught at Vanderbilt and the University of North Texas, and has also worked internationally for Texas Instruments and Dell. She is running a French travel and culture enterprise and we have found ourselves shuttling between Dallas, Toronto and France for the last six years. Fontainebleau will hopefully help us get more settled into a single community. At the center of that here will be St Luke’s parish.

Where will I live?

Unlike previous incumbents, the present position is set for fifteen hours a week. And, rather than St Luke’s providing a residence for the chaplain, we are leasing a property in the area. We are living at the Presbytere in Courances, next to the village church of St Etienne. I am having an office installed so to be able to receive parishioners and visitors. The coffee and tea will be at the ready. Elizabeth and I are also looking forward to entertaining you socially here at our home, at 7 Rue du petit Paris.

On that topic, do keep in mind that I am quite ready, and will hope to visit each and every one of you, either in Courances or at your own homes.  I suspect there are also people you will know who might be marvelous additions to the St Luke’s family. Let me know of them for a call.

The Chaplaincy

I am here to lead the spiritual life of St Luke’s Anglican Parish. I am here to be with you at life’s critical moments – sickness, in hospital, birth of children, baptism, crises, rejoicings. I am here to teach and preach and be a part of our fellowship in Christ in church and in the community. Although this is a part-time post I will endeavor to be present and available. I am aware of the busy lives many of you lead mid-week and of the toll that can take. So Sunday worship is a time to re-center, hear God’s word, and be refreshed and encouraged for the vocations he has given us to undertake. 

My prayer is that St Luke’s will grow. That others will be drawn to Christ through our presence and service and witness to him. I have been praying for St Luke’s people and leadership every day for four months now and my continued prayer is for our common health and life in Christ, and our drawing others into his and own fellowship.