Arlene Bullard can multitask with the best of them. She’s special-projects assistant to the Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, Bishop of New York, and assistant to the Canon to the Ordinary, a position without a Canon at the moment.
Arlene manages the diocesan database and the bishops’ visitation schedules for the 193 churches in the Diocese, and coordinates the training for Eucharistic Ministers/Visitors, among many other assignments.
“In everything I do at the Diocese I get to work with people,” Arlene says. “I like the variety of it all.”
And then there are her volunteer ministries at St. Michael’s. A former two-term vestry member, she’s the mentor for Education for Ministry, or EfM; a Eucharistic Minister/Visitor; a Healing Prayer Team/Prayer Chain member; and an acolyte.
As EfM mentor, she leads 12 parishioners through an intensive 36-week, four-year course — in effect, a night-school seminary, with a curriculum on the Old and New Testament, theology, church history, Episcopal Church beliefs and practices, and more.
“The RenewalWorks survey revealed how hungry we are at St. Michael’s to learn,” Arlene says. “EfM is one way to recognize how God is at work in your life and in the world.”
In 1985 Arlene and her mother Naomi and late father Abner discovered St. Michael’s. Born and raised in Manhattan, Arlene attended public schools and colleges in New York before earning a master’s degree in marketing research.
Arlene’s first job out of college was with the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, where she encountered some of the city’s poorest and sickest people. “That work informed my faith,” she recalls. Later on, Arlene managed Trinity Bookstore, where, she says, “I learned to talk about my faith.”
At St. Michael’s now, Arlene says, “People have an honest, intentional desire to know and honor God and to care for one another. Our ministries more than ever reflect that desire.”
Photo: As Arlene Bullard sees it, “St. Michael’s parishioners don’t feel that the week is right if they don’t start it by going to church on Sunday.”