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Meet the FDNY’s First Lesbian Chaplain

Meet the FDNY’s First Lesbian Chaplain


The Rev. Ann Kansfield will be the New York City Fire Department's first openly gay and first female chaplain.

The New York City Fire Department swore in the Rev. Ann Kansfield, the FDNY's first female and first queer chaplain, in March.

Kansfield, who was ordained through the United Church of Christ (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 predominantly Catholic force. That doesn't faze her.

"My whole ministry has been in environments that don't look like me," she told The New York 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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