Rev. Luther Zeigler
Current President, Harvard Chaplains
Telephone: (617) 495-4340
Address: The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard, Two Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Special areas of interest: Faith and vocation, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Web site: www.harvardepiscopalians.org
One of the great joys of being a priest is the opportunity I have to listen to people's stories. I'm fascinated by the surprisingly diverse ways in which we encounter the transcendent in our lives and feel connected to a mysterious reality bigger than ourselves. I also know that each of us has had moments (for some, long stretches) when God seems utterly absent, and sharing conversation about these times is also a deep interest of mine. In short, I love engaging with the "big questions" of meaning and purpose—not just in the abstract, but within the particular context of the rough and tumble of our everyday lives. Whether you are a believer, seeker, or doubter, I'd very much like to hear about your spiritual journey.
I am an Episcopal priest who has spent my entire ministry in academic settings of one sort or another. I come from Washington, D.C., where I've been a chaplain and teacher in various schools, including the St. Albans School for Boys and St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, MD. I've taught theology, ethics, and biblical studies, and have especially enjoyed traveling with students on service trips to places like South Africa and Haiti. I am also eager to share my appreciation for the beauty and transforming power of the Episcopal liturgy in all of its manifestations: word, music, prayer, and sacrament.
Prior to my ordination as a priest, I had another life. I practiced appellate law for twenty years with a large firm in the Nation's Capital, where I had an interesting and varied public service practice. I brought one of the first constitutional challenges to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on behalf of Lt. Tracy Thorne, a Navy airman who first came out as a gay man on ABC News' Nightline with Ted Koppel; filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the NAACP in the Supreme Court contesting the State Department's policy of forcibly repatriating Haitian refugees; defended the Georgetown University Sex Discrimination Clinic in litigation regarding the constitutionality of D.C.'s civil contempt laws directed at protecting victims of domestic violence; and successfully represented the Volunteers of America in challenging the City of Los Angeles' allocation of housing to the homeless under federal military base closure laws, resulting in a $50 million housing complex being awarded to the VOA at the former San Pedro Naval Base. I try to keep questions of social justice close to the heart of my ministry.
I studied religion at Oberlin College (B.A.) and Stanford University (M.A.), and did my theological training at Virginia Theological Seminary (M.Div.). I also hold a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School. My wife, Pat, and I have been married for over 30 years and we have two adult daughters. We live with a Labradoodle named Grace.
Whether you count yourself an Episcopalian or not, I invite you to join us some Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cambridge (Zero Garden Street), where we gather for a simple Eucharist followed by a casual supper and conversation. You can also visit our Web site (www.harvardepiscopalians.org) and Facebook page (The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard). Or, if you'd rather, just send me an e-mail and maybe we could have a cup of coffee?