Ky Chen Award
Daniel George Butler
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Sequim
Dan Butler is a new parishioner at St. Luke’s in Sequim who started as secretary of the church in May of 2021. The position is a second, part-time position for him; his full-time job is as an executive with Wycliffe Bible Association, which he does largely by remote. Because of this position, he is sensitive to the issues happening for Afghan refugees, he has worked in that part of the world at Wycliffe; and is very helpful as the church works to help the Afghan refugees in the area.
The Rector has said of Dan: “I would normally not hire a parishioner, but Dan is a wonderful exception to that rule. In the short time Dan has been here, he has expanded the role of the secretary. He has designed systems that organized our office and administration routines. He has also brought a high level of professionalism to the position, and thus upgraded the office environment. What is even more remarkable, Dan has established an extremely high level of trust with the parishioners at St. Luke’s. It’s wonderful to watch people relax and open up with him when they interact in the office. He has a sense of the pastoral tone needed to be a central figure in the parish. What I treasure most about Dan is the way he contributes to our attempts to increase anti-racism, feminism, and nonbinary thinking at St. Luke’s. He is committed to these efforts and is a huge help in creating an office atmosphere that furthers them every day. When he was hired, a few people suggested changing his title—after all, “he’s a guy: won’t he mind being called a secretary?”” The Rector asked him about this, and he said, “No, I don’t mind. In fact, I insist on it. I want to break up the binary thinking we have going on.” It is great for the church to have a team member who is so committed to these things, and so very talented.
For these reasons, it is my pleasure to give this year’s Ky Chen Award to Daniel Butler.