With an academic background in circumpolar anthropology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, folklore studies in Mesopotamian and ancient Mediterranean symbol systems at Indiana University Bloomington, and a member of the National Jesuit Honor Society related to her seminary training at Loyola University in Chicago, Rachel brings a wide breadth of study, field experience and historical insight to her preaching and teaching.
During her 9 year tenure in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Rachel has served on several diocesan committees including: the Committee of Trainers in Anti-Racism, the First Nations (Indian) Committee, Ethnic Ministries, and Diocesan Council. For three years, she represented diocesan interests and programming to Governor Christine Gregoire’s Faith Advisory Board and served on the Washington State Disaster Preparedness Task Force. Additionally, Rachel served as Co-Chair of the Diocese of Olympia Bishop Search Committee in our recent diocesan bishop search process. She is currently an officer on the national church’s Executive Council Committee on Indigenous Ministries (ECCIM).
A recipient of the Qualis Award for innovative quality improvements enhancing spiritual care delivery in the healthcare setting, Rachel is a Board Certified Chaplain with the national Association of Professional Chaplains. Certified in Pastoral Counseling, Rachel also holds certifications in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for emergency responders, Crisis Intervention, Bereavement Counseling, Medical Ethics and Cultural Competency Training.
An experienced and respected writer and lecturer, Rachel received a Polly Bond Award for Excellence in writing from the Episcopal Church Office of Communication in 2005. Her most recent publication is an article appearing in the October 2010 issue of an international church publication, the Anglican Theological Review.
Celebrating 18 years of marriage to her one-and-only husband, The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton, Rachel’s family also includes a Blue Merle Collie (Dougal) and two Snowshoe Siamese cats (Devon and Samantha).
In addition to seventeen years in professional ministry in both healthcare and parish settings, Rachel was ordained on February 14, 2004 in a service held at her sponsoring parish, Trinity Episcopal Everett. Formerly serving as Rector at St. Stephen Episcopal in Oak Harbor and most recently as Director of Pastoral Care at MaineGeneral Hospital out of Augusta, Maine, Rachel is looking forward to coming home to serve as Trinity Episcopal Everett’s next Rector.