The Rev. Canon Pam Hyde
The Rev. Pam Hyde is Canon for Creation Care. She is available to preach, teach, and speak at churches across the diocese.
Pam believes that the entire earth is a sacred text wherein God is revealed to all whose hearts are open to reading it. She was created with a deep sense of place, and has called Arizona home for most of her life. Prior to her call to ordained ministry, Pam was called to protect God’s creation. That call became a 20-year career in river conservation, working for government agencies and nonprofit conservation organizations and eventually co-founding and serving as executive director of her own regional river conservation organization. When God called her to the sacred priesthood, she knew that her call to protect creation would be transformed into one that would involve helping others discern their own call to protect creation.
Pam received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2016, and served as Assistant Rector at St. Francis in the Valley, Green Valley until 2019. She joined the diocesan staff in January 2020 to develop and lead the new Creation Care ministry for the Diocese. Pam also serves on the boards of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light and the Imago Dei Middle School in Tucson. She and her husband Doug are dedicated outdoor-lovers and head out into the natural world to enjoy it and renew themselves as often as possible.
Creation Care Council
The Rev. Canon David Hedges
Rector, St. Michael & All Angels, Tucson
David Benedict Hedges, BSG is Rector of St. Michael & All Angels in Tucson, and serves on the Standing Committee. He has previously served parishes in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Sycamore, Illinois. He enjoys amateur astronomy and letter-writing.
“I have been interested since childhood in the conservation and care of the natural environment. I believe the Church is called to respond to God’s command to till and keep the Earth – balancing our human use of the resources of nature (tilling) with the honoring of nature as an intrinsic good in itself (keeping). I am honored to participate in the effort to raise the issue of creation care in the Diocese of Arizona – one of the Anglican Communion’s five Marks of Mission, “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth,” – and to align our missionary endeavors with this call.”
The Rev. Steve Keplinger
Rector, Grace St. Paul’s, Tucson
Throughout his 20 years in the priesthood, Steve has concentrated on linking people to God through Creation, instituting a Season of Creation in 2001. He wrote a Creation Eucharistic Prayer in 1997 that has been used at churches across the nation. In 2009, Steve began serving on the Season of Creation subcommittee of Liturgy and Music for General Convention. In 2019, Steve lobbied U.S. Congressional leaders in the House and Senate to co-sponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. Steve believes that if the climate crisis is going to be reversed, it will take a psychic change within humanity to make that happen and that this is one of the central roles of religion in the 21st century.
The Rev. Alison Lee
Interim Rector, Church of the Epiphany, Flagstaff
Alison has been blessed to have lived in many different places in God’s creation – northern Canadian climes, Europe in its variety, the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, flat tidal marsh areas of the Chesapeake, and now the Sonoran desert.
“We are called through our faith and our humanity to be stewards of this abundant beauty, working with the lilies of the field, and the Leviathans of the deep.”
‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being. (Job 12: 7-10)
The Rev. Dr. John Leech
Priest Associate, St. Matthew’s, Tucson
The Rev. Dr. John Leech is an Episcopal priest, a Benedictine oblate, and a friend of the Iona Community. He has served congregations in northern California and western Washington, and now in southern Arizona.
“I’ve been active in environmental stewardship since Boy Scouts & Earth Day, and love to help the people of God connect faith to action in their care of creation. Let’s green the church!”
D.W. (Bill) Robinson
Transfiguration Episcopal Church, Mesa
Manager of the Crazy Chile Farm and Director of A Million Meals for our Neighbors
Retired from a career as a marketing specialist in outdoor sports, and in international sales of aviation turbine engine maintenance equipment, he is now a farmer and a writer. Bill manages the Crazy Chile Farm at Transfiguration, Mesa and writes on numerous subjects, including social justice, food sovereignty, Native American water rights, ethnobotany, indigenous comestibles, and historic recipes. The Crazy Chile Farm is a self-sustaining non-profit, on the property of Transfiguration Episcopal Church, producing revenues that support food outreach and grow-outs of indigenous seeds for Native Americans working to restore traditional, eco-sensitive agriculture and food sovereignty.
“Many of the issues that I care about and write about that are important to Native Americans are also Creation Care issues. I’m interested in integrating these issues into the Creation Care Council by serving as a member and as a liaison to the Council from the Council for Native American Ministry, and from the perspective of an environmentally aware farmer and lay minister.”
The Rev. Hunter Ruffin
Rector, Church of the Epiphany, Tempe
The Rev. Hunter Ruffin serves on the Commission on Ministry and supports church planting initiatives within The Episcopal Church. In the local area, he is active with Valley Interfaith Project. He has served congregations in Texas and Arizona ranging in size from one of the largest to a church restart.
“Creation care has long been an area that I have held as important in the Christian life. I first became aware of caring for creation in 3rd grade when our class celebrated Earth Day by making sun tea and roasting hot dogs in a sun oven for our lunch. The love of the outdoors has continued, and I am able to share that love back to creation in the ways I care for it and help others to see that it is a ministry gifted to us by God in God’s act of creating humankind.”
Dr. David Spence
Church of the Epiphany, Flagstaff
David is a retired physician with a lifelong passion for conservation and renewable energy.
“At my age of 80 I sense personal urgency to act on behalf of God’s Creation. Each person, agency and institutions must do its part. This Council will guide and inspire the Diocese of Arizona to DO just that.”
Dr. Angel Wang
Grace St. Paul’s, Tucson
Angel once worked as a system engineer developing orbiting satellites on NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth. Since retiring in 2011, she has been involved in Climate Change and Sustainability activities and serves in GSP’s Green Church and Animals and Spirituality ministries as well as its solar installation.
“Let us behold the wonders of God’s Creation and all the living creatures with whom we share this Earth. Let us bring healing so that we may protect the world and sow beauty, rather than pollution and destruction. Let us recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature, every season, and every landscape.”
The Very Rev. Rick Wilson
Rector, Church of St. Matthew, Tucson
Fr. Rick Wilson is the Rector of St. Matthew’s in Tucson, AZ serving initially as Priest-in-Charge under Special Circumstances and then called as Rector five months later in July 2009 where he continues. On February 14, 2015 at St. Matthew’s with almost all the parishioners present, Rick and his spouse Chax were married with Bishop Kirk Smith as officiant. It was a joyful celebration.
“Christianity has historically paid little attention to the stewardship of the earth even though the responsibility is given to us by God as evidenced in the ancient story of humankind and the Garden of Eden. Currently, the earth is experiencing considerable deterioration due to humankind’s influence. I accepted the invitation to be on the Creation Care Council so I could work with others in alerting the broader community of this destruction and in finding ways to counter it.”