Rev. Tracey Lind
Tracey is the child of interfaith parents. Her Jewish father, Stan, and her mother, Winne, who came from a Methodist community, agreed to raise Tracey and her younger brother Tom in the Jewish faith. Tracey and Tom attended Sunday school and were confirmed at their reformed synagogue in Columbus, Ohio.
Tracey knows it was no coincidence that she was born on May 17, 1954, the day that Brown V. Board of Education issued the ruling that separate is not equal in public schools and all other public facilities. Coming of age in the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Tracey’s passion for social justice took root one summer in high school when she volunteered in a Head Start classroom, and ever since, she has devoted her life to social and environmental justice, interfaith relations, sustainable urban development, and progressive theology.
When Tracey decided to become a religious leader, she struggled with which faith she would be ordained. On the one hand, she was told that, because her mother was not Jewish, she would first have to be confirmed before she could become a rabbi. On the other hand, she had not been baptized, so she was not considered a “Christian.” Eventually, she would be ordained as an Episcopal priest at Union Theological Seminary; however, the theme of exclusion would continue to be a part of her identity. In her own words,
“As an Episcopal priest and dean of a major urban cathedral, I live at the center of an established church and privileged society. Yet in my very being, as a child of an interfaith marriage, a lesbian, and one who has spent a great deal of time with the homeless, I belong to the edge, to the fringe, to the people who are never certain if, when, or where they fit into the great scheme of things” (xi, Introduction to Lind’s Interrupted by God).
On Nov. 8, 2016 (Election Day), Tracey was diagnosed with early stage Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). After serving at Christ Church in Ridgewood, NJ, later as the rector at St. Paul’s Church in Paterson, NJ. and most recently as Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Cleveland’s oldest congregation of any denomination, for 17 years (2000-2017), Tracey retired from this ministry and began her ministry (with her partner Emily) traveling the world talking about early onset dementia.
Tracey is a storyteller. Author of Interrupted by God: Glimpses from the Edge, her life has been a journey of seeking to find and share the most fundamental truths of her own life as honestly as she can. Along the path, she notes significant “interruptions” and, instead of seeing these as “intrusions,” she sees them as “invitations.” Her recently-diagnosed FTD, she describes, not as a “death sentence,” but a “pilgrimage.”
To learn more about the Very Rev. Tracey Lind, to read a selection of her writings and view some of her photographs, please visit www.traceylind.com .