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Rev. Canon Denise G. Haines, Former Archdeacon and Educator, 73

Reverend Haines’ ministry began as chaplain at Overlook hospital in 1975 and then as a chaplain supervisor at Allentown State Hospital in 1977 while she was living in Summit.

The Reverend Canon Denise G. Haines, in the vanguard of women ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, former Archdeacon of the Diocese of Newark and developer of innovative clinical pastoral care programs died on October 8th in Summit, NJ.  She was 73.  The cause was cancer, said her daughter, Elizabeth L. Haines. She was a resident of Summit from 1967 to 1986 and then again from 2007 until the time of her death.

In 1973, Mrs. Haines was accepted as a student at The General Theological seminary in New York City at a time when women were not permitted to enter the priesthood. In 1976, The Episcopal Church, in General Convention, approved the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.  In 1977,  Mrs. Haines was ordained, first as Deacon then as Priest after completing her Master of Divinity.  

Reverend Haines’ ministry began as chaplain at Overlook hospital in 1975 and then as a chaplain supervisor at Allentown State Hospital in 1977 while she was living in Summit.  She followed this with a two-year assignment as rector at St Paul’s Church in Chatham, NJ.    In 1983 she was named Archdeacon for Missions and Urban Ministries for the Diocese of  Newark, NJ under the leadership of the Right Reverend John Shelby Spong.  During this period she co-authored, with Bishop Spong, Beyond Moralism, a Contemporary Discussion of the Ten Commandments.  The book challenged the foundations of traditional Christian doctrine offering alternative interpretations of the Ten Commandments.   As Archdeacon, she was an advocate for under-served communities.   She was a principal in developing low-income housing in the diocese.  She also established partnerships with Anglican communities in Southern Africa, educating clergy in clinical pastoral care for AIDs patients.

Reverend Haines was a leading pastoral care educator and Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor. From 1989 through 2004 she created innovative training programs focused on the development of hospital chaplains at Jersey City Medical Center, St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, in New York, and the Health Care Chaplaincy, also in New York.  Her programs drew students from a variety of economic and religious backgrounds.  She earned accreditations from and held leadership positions in the regional and national  Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.  She was given a lifetime achievement award from the ACPE in 2010.

After her retirement from the Health Care Chaplaincy, she returned to Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit as an associate,  where she had been elected to the vestry in 1970, being the first woman to serve in that position. 

Born in Wilmington,  Delaware on March 7, 1939, Denise Lee Games was an only child.  She studied organ performance and played professionally from the age of 15.  She was graduated from the University of Delaware in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.   She was married to Richard C. Haines in April, 1960 until they divorced in 1984.  She is survived by three children, William C. Haines and his wife Karen of Summit, Andrew P. Haines and his wife Gail of Maplewood and Elizabeth L. Haines and her husband Terence McCarty of Summit as well as six grandchildren Sarah  Haines, Michael  Haines, Madeline Haines, Spencer Haines, Justin McCarty and Danielle McCarty

— Elizabeth L. Haines, Ph.D.

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