Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral is pleased to announce that it has called Shayna Watson as a curate.
Shayna Watson was born and raised in Lancaster, PA, to parents who migrated from South Carolina, Shayna has strong work ethics, family values, and faithfulness to the Church. Her father was the first African American in his local union and her mother was a steward. Conversations about safety, bargaining, and discriminatory grievances were part of daily life. Shayna, too, wanted to make a difference in the lives of the underrepresented and under served, and her path to ministry began at the age of 9. Shayna has seven siblings, most of whom serve in the field of human services and community activism. The youngest are 7 and 14.
Transitioning from the Church of God in Christ to the Episcopal Church has been an enriching experience. Shayna’s experience in the Episcopal Church USA has been one filled with warm hospitality, and she is happy to be in a place where healing through mission and justice is a priority. Shayna believes that wherever the Church is, the people and the land will flourish and have basic needs addressed. In other words, the Church reflects its community, and the community reflects the Church. What matters most to Shayna when preaching is that the message should always address the spiritual needs of hearers, offering comfort, encouragement, love, reflection, through highlighting the legacy of Jesus Christ.
Shayna graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 with a dual major in Political Science and African Diasporic Studies. She later earned her Master of Divinity with honors from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and an Anglican Studies Diploma from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2018. Shayna is a board certified chaplain, having served in hospital and hospice settings in Hershey and Lancaster. She is also a community activist, with a track record of organizing community events and fundraisers, offering anti-racism and cultural sensitivity platforms, and developing innovative ways to converse about challenging topics. One of her pastoral passions is to work with veterans and populations who experience post-traumatic stress. At her core is her capacity to network, collaborate and form partnerships with community members, and interfaith groups as well as with audiences who do not find the church safe. Shayna is the Creator and founder of ΘeoCon (pronounced Thee-Oh-Con): Where Theology Meets Pop Culture Convention, one day comic convention-style event, a first of its kind, scheduled for September 29 at Virginia Theological Seminary.