I am a priest thanks to the Spirit working through the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. I am learning to be a co-conspirator for goodness in our community thanks to Savannah-Chatham Citizens Advocacy, Crossfit Steadfast, and others like Emergent Savannah. I am passionate about roller derby and skating thanks to the Savannah Derby Devils and Savannah Chicks In Bowls. I am a well-loved human, thanks to my family, friends, my spouse, the Reverend Guillermo Arboleda. I love to go on long walks with Guillermo and our dog, Reina.
Here's a little bit more about my background.
I was not raised in the church, so I readily identify with people who feel disconnected to it. In fact, a majority of people I love aren't Christian. I grew up in an atheist/agnostic family and held those beliefs for most of my life. I was prodded by, embarrassed by and harassed by Christians most of my life, who all claimed I would "go to hell" if I wasn't a Christian. That sounded hateful and hypocritical to me. I became an ardent "spiritual non-religious" seeker claiming nothing but Universal Love as my religion.
However, after another series of "you'll go to hell" discussions with a Christian in college, I read the Bible for myself.
I found that Jesus was pretty lovable. It was pretty easy for me to believe that he preached and exhibited Universal Love. I was amazed at the thought that Universal Love could become human, maybe even in Jesus from Nazareth.
However, it was the Church and its hypocrisy kept me from casting my lot with the Christians.
Eventually, I had a night of existential crisis over my own bad choices. In that evening, I realized that I was just as guilty as anyone else for the prevalence of hypocrisy in the world. I prayed to the God-I-Wasn't-Sure-Was-There and had an ineffable realization of God’s presence.
Oddly enough, as a result, all the pent-up resentment about the church was turned "inside out" and became forgiveness and mercy toward the Church, the "international league of the guilty" as Francis Spufford calls it.
Even today, I consider my patience and love toward the church’s inadequacies nothing short of Divine intervention. From my freshman year of college, I knew I would dedicate my life to helping the church be true to its Founder, despite all its flaws.
Since then, I've gotten involved with a number of ministries, beginning with charismatic house church network in college, a Methodist megachurch, a tiny Episcopal church and an Episcopal Catholic Worker community.
Now, I am one of the Episcopal clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia in Savannah. I enjoy finding ways to encourage people into deeper leadership and discipleship in God's church.
I’m excited to to be a priest in the wilds of modern life, trying to foster spiritual community of justice, peace and love.
I really like meeting people and introducing them to each other over Indian food.
I enjoy roller skating, walking my dog, jet skiing, biking, kayaking, campfires, and learning people's Enneagram types.
The Rev. Steele is a 2015 summa cum laude graduate of Duke Divinity School, Duke University in Durham, NC as well as a 2012 summa cum laude graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.