Chautauqua institution appoints two heads for religion department

Melissa Spas, Reverend Eugene Sutton

Chautauqua Institution announced the appointment of two nationally recognized leaders for its religious life and programming.

Melissa Spas was named the new Vice President of the Institution of Religion. She is currently acting director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The Very Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton will become the Senior Pastor of the Institution. He is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

The appointment of two people to what was previously a combined leadership position represents a significant investment by the Institution in its Religion pillar. Spas and Sutton join longtime director of religion Maureen Rovegnoa signature curator of the Chautauqua Summer Assembly program, charting an updated course for the Chautauqua religion program.

Chautauqua Institution Religion Department offers a wide variety of worship services and programs to residents and community clients that express Christian heritage and an interfaith commitment in spirit and practice.

In the role of Vice President of Religion, Spas will be responsible for the strategic vision and administration of all faiths, faith/ethics-based programming, and ecumenical interfaith communication at the Chautauqua Institution. . She will oversee the creation of a strong religious program during Chautauqua’s traditional nine-week summer assembly and will also serve as the architect of a new set of programs and partnerships throughout the year to ensure that the pillar Religious of Chautauqua is a differentiator of the Chautauqua brand.

As senior pastor, Sutton will be in residence each summer to preside over the institution’s Sunday and daily ecumenical worship services in the amphitheater, curating and expanding a diverse roster of visiting chaplains. He will also serve in a pastoral role for the Chautauqua community, both locally and nationally.

the reverend Natalie Hansona longtime religious leader within the Chautauqua community, will serve the institution as interim senior pastor during the 2022 Summer Assembly, while Sutton completes his term as bishop of Maryland.

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