Reverend Takako Terino
November 16, 2016
Menaul School proudly announces the official call of our first female chaplain, Reverend Takako Suzuki Terino! The reverend will be joining the Menaul family as chaplain, beginning on January 1, 2016.
“Reverend Terino is ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC (USA) Church. She brings profound life experiences, empathy for boarding and international students, and a real sense of calling to the Menaul School community. We are confident God has ordained this partnership,” said Lindsey Gilbert, Head of School.
In typical Presbyterian fashion, the calling of Takako involved multiple visits with the whole community. Julie Shuler-Misra, MS Director, explains, “To select our chaplain, the search committee spent more than seven months screening applications from a wide range of qualified ministers. In the end, after prayerful consideration, the committee unanimously recommended Takako for the position, recognizing her unique gifts and experiences as a fit for our school community.”
Born in Tokyo, Japan, a third generation Christian on her mother’s side, Takako grew up in a church that nurtured her faith. On her father’s side, her great grandfather was the last generation of Samurai who believed in education for women and girls at a time when the rest of Japan did not.
At the age of 13, Takako had an opportunity to visit the US and to stay with an American family in California, where she attended a 6th grade class for a week with her host sister. This experience changed Takako’s life and led her to leave Japan for the US the day after graduating from middle school. As an international student, Takako first took ESL classes in North Carolina before enrolling in the 10th grade in Oklahoma. From there she transferred to Houghton Academy, a Christian boarding school in upstate New York, where she served as Class Chaplain in her senior year and graduated with the National Leadership Award.
Takako went on to Houghton College and lived in the Academy’s Girls Dorm as an RA, and was active as the Vice President of the International Students Association. After graduation, her passion for peace and justice advocacy brought her to internship with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith peace and justice organization. From there, Takako moved to New York City with her high school sweetheart and future husband, Timothy, where they lived for the next 25 years and raised their daughter Beatrice.
Takako also joined the Presbyterian Church (USA) in New York City and became actively involved in the life of the church. While working full-time for law firms, she graduated from the Union Theological Seminary with the Master of Divinity and was ordained by the Presbytery of New York City. Shortly after moving to Albuquerque, a terminal illness took Timothy away. Takako considers it her privilege and gift that she was able to walk alongside her husband as he made his heavenly journey home.
In response to the calling of chaplain, Takako said, “I trust that God has prepared me for the ministry of chaplaincy through everything I have experienced. As I joyfully join the Menaul School community as chaplain, I am grateful for the opportunity to let my life speak of God’s care for all of God’s children.”