The Rev. Melissa L. Kean, T'19, Memorial Lecture was given by the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton. As a Shackan member of the First Nation, Taber-Hamilton represents the Episcopal Church on the board of the Anglican Indigenous Network and is the Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett, WA. Her lecture entitled “The Barbie & Pocahontas Dialogues: Healing the Cultural Divide Between Indigenous Episcopalians and the Church,” was delivered  on Wed., March 1 at 6:30 p.m. CST in Convocation Hall on the campus of the University of the South.

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About the Lecture

Historically, Western Christianity has provided ideological justification for destruction of Indigenous peoples. In many ways, the Episcopal Church continues to perpetuate theological beliefs and institutional structures that obstruct the path to reconciliation and cause ongoing harm to the church’s relationship with Indigenous communities. This lecture will explore the nature of Western Christian and Indigenous worldviews and discuss theologies and practices that can empower all of us to bring healing to the whole church and to our world.

The Rev. Melissa L. Kean, T'19, Memorial Lecture was created in 2021 to honor School of Theology graduate Melissa Kean. The annual lecture series has been funded by generous donors wishing to continue Kean’s work to elevate and support women priests. The women lecturers for this series are selected by the School’s Florence Li Tim-Oi student committee.


About the Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton

Rachel is an Indigenous ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. She served on the Episcopal Church delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and also served on the Presiding Bishop's delegation to United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Rachel has 30 years of experience in cross-cultural communication, specialized ministry, social justice advocacy, and environmental advocacy. She is the founder of Circles of Color, a grassroots community of Episcopalians of color and authentic allies in the Episcopal Church of Western Washington and serves on the board of Paths to Understanding, an organization of interfaith leaders committed to mutual support on issues of social justice.

Rachel is a Board Certified Healthcare Chaplain, endorsed through the Office of the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries. With an academic background in cultural anthropology and cross-cultural communication, Rachel specializes in assessment and care plan development for recovery processes related to incidents of community and organizational trauma. As a writer, her work has appeared in the Anglican Theological Review, God Space, Church Foundation Vital Practices, the Living Church, and more. Rachel is currently the Vice President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church General Convention.