The Rev. Dr. Joanne Sanders
The Rev. Dr. Joanne Sanders has accepted the invitation to serve at Trinity as a volunteer priest associate. Joanne has a long association with our parish, beginning in 1993. Trinity sponsored her for ordination to the priesthood.
Joanne recently retired as Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University.
Greetings to the beloved Trinity community!
By way of introduction, I’m the Rev. Dr. Joanne Sanders and grateful to be joining Trinity as a priest associate. Following twenty incredibly transformative and meaningful years as Senior Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University, I recently turned the page to the next chapter and officially retired in July 2020.
Trinity, as some of you know, has been such an indelible part of my life. My partner and now spouse Kathy and I became part of this community in 1993. Our lives were truly transformed, and Trinity became the place where discernment and sponsorship for the priesthood took place. We were also officially married at Trinity on May 4, 2014.
My theological degrees include a Master of Divinity in 2000 from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min) from Seattle University in Seattle, WA in 2017 with a concentration on interdisciplinary leadership.
During my tenure at Stanford, I had the privilege to serve as liturgical officer for Memorial Church, facilitating our weekly Sunday morning service of University Public Worship, at which I presided and preached regularly. As a pastor to the university community, I had the honor to accompany students, staff and faculty through the many joys and sorrows of life, officiate at countless weddings, walk with families through the loss of loved ones, preside at memorial services, and regularly offer pastoral and spiritual counseling to many students, individuals and families, as well as bear witness at campus vigils and protests.
One of my deepest commitments was to introduce the Stanford community to the transformative power of contemplative practice, including facilitating the presence of indoor and outdoor labyrinths and cultivating numerous meditation and mindfulness programs at Windhover contemplative center on campus. I have Trinity to thank for my love of Celtic spirituality – in the second year of divinity school at CDSP, I had the pleasure to accompany members of the youth program on pilgrimage to Iona, the heartbeat and center of Celtic Christianity. That pilgrimage was a life changing experience for all of us.
Beyond the walls of Stanford Memorial Church, I had the extraordinary opportunity to teach in the classroom and foster collaborative connections with inspiring colleagues in Athletics, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Haas Center for Public Service, Women’s Community Center, Queer Resource Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Vaden Health Services, Student Engagement and Student Affairs, Health and Human Performance and Outdoor Education. More broadly, I was honored to serve and contribute as the President of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA), a national organization of professionals in higher education working to support pluralistic and inclusive endeavors in religion, spirituality and ethics in colleges and universities.
For what has been and what will be I remain forever grateful. I am deeply appreciative to Rev. Tom, Rev. Frannie and the vestry for welcoming me to this beautiful full circle moment in a return to Trinity. May our hearts be filled together with strength, meaning, love and grace in the days to come.