Susan Buchanan

User Profile

The Reverend

“I seek to welcome all into a nurturing Christian community that is marked by joyful thanksgiving for God’s grace and love – joy that touches all of life, recognizes no boundaries, and leads to sharing God’s love and service to the world.”   -Rev. Susan Buchanan

Susan comes to St. Thomas from Christ Church in North Conway, New Hampshire where she served as Rector from May, 2002 until August 2014.  In this small parish, she has strengthened worship and outreach ministries, revamped education programs including both youth and adult formation, and worked to found a shared ecumenical ministry among seven local churches to share office, outreach, and education. 

Even though her last 12 years have been “up north,” Susan has a strong history in Virginia.  In fact, she describes the Diocese of Virginia as her Episcopal “home.”  She served as an Associate Rector at Christ Church in Winchester, Virginia from 1994 until 2002, building her experiences in youth ministry, preaching, outreach, and pastoral care.  She also served as Director of the Mid-Atlantic Parish Training Program, where she worked with seminarians and congregations to build opportunities for ministerial formation. 

Susan’s Diocesan work includes serving on the Commission on Ministry and Diocesan councils, as well as working with programs for Seminarians.  She is active with her Diocese, and has been elected to serve as General Convention deputy from New Hampshire for her third term.  She is also active in local community volunteerism, from coaching Little League Softball to volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and serving on the Board of Directors for a local Hospice and AIDS care provider agency.

Susan attended Virginia Theological Seminary for her MDiv, and was a previous graduate of Wheaton College where she majored in biblical studies.  Her own history includes work with ShrineMont camps, and many connections with clergy and she is known and beloved to many of us at St. Thomas.  In Susan, there is both a richness of new experiences, new approaches to ministry, new enthusiasm for outreach and service…as well as rich history, grounding in the many varied expressions of worship and liturgy as experienced in the Diocese of Virginia, as well as a sense of “coming home” to Virginia to help St. Thomas grow from the roots that we have already planted into a thriving community ready to expand into new areas of life, ministry, and Christian service where the church meets the world both within our walls and extending to our community.

Susan and her husband, Rick Smith, bring to St. Thomas rich life experience and interests.  Rick served in the Navy for over 20 years, and now teaches computer science in high schools as well as in college settings.  He also enjoys serving as a Verger at Christ Church, and has been active in local volunteer and community service projects. Susan and Rick are warm, personable, and full of the authentic humanness that allows God’s grace to show its presence in their words, actions, and conversations.  Between them, Susan and Rick have five children and four grand-children, including the youngest, Aria. 



Member for
2 years 39 weeks

Related content