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FDNY Swore in First Female, First Lesbian Chaplain

Rev Ann Kansfield

Rev. Ann Kansfield (left) takes the Oath of Office from Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Her wife, Jennifer Aull, held the chaplain's family Bible | Photo credit: FDNY

As the New York Times reports, the New York Fire Department swore in Rev. Ann Kansfield, the FDNY’s first female and first queer chaplain, on Tuesday.

Rev. Kansfield, who was ordained through United Church of Christ as the New York branch of the Reformed Church in America would not ordain her despite her being deemed “fit for ministry” by her seminary professors, will be the FDNY’s eighth chaplain. 

Being a chaplain for the FDNY is a part-time gig, which mostly involves counseling members of the Fire Department, performing blessings and invocations, and assisting in notifying families when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty. 

Kansfield comes from a family of firefighters and will be one of three Protestant ministers serving the predominately Catholic force. That doesn’t faze her.

“My whole ministry has been in environments that don’t look like me,” she told The Times. “I live in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood — their faith is not like mine, and they don’t look like me. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have a ministry with them.”

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