Grace Episcopal Church
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Sustainably Fueled by a Higher Power
Meet our Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Nancy Gage, Deacon
Nancy moved to Connecticut from Massachusetts in 1962. She attended different churches in Fairfield County until finding St Paul’s On The Green in Norwalk in the 1970’s. She served as an acolyte and was active in various positions within the vestry for many years. It was at St Paul’s where she felt a persistent call to serve on a deeper level in the church and she sought to explore this call in the two-year MEEP (ministry education and exploration program). Upon completing MEEP she attended the two-year Deacon Training Program of the Episcopal Diocese of Ct. Nancy was ordained a Deacon in September 2007 by Bishop Andrew Smith. She has served at two churches, where she has been involved in helping people become more aware of and involved in various programs assisting those who live with few resources, has served as Deacon in the Sunday liturgy, and has been instrumental in helping to grow ministries of healing. Nancy is a CT state licensed alcohol and substance abuse counselor and worked at Norwalk Hospital for over 21 years as such, retiring from the hospital in 2003. She completed training at the Westchester Institute for training in counseling and psychotherapy, and has attended many workshops since then in her field. She did her clinical pastoral education at Bridgeport Hospital. Nancy continues to work with people who have addiction problems.Nancy lives in Stratford Ct with her husband Dave, and great granddaughter Mikaella. Her interests are the piano, crocheting, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Dave McWilliams, Minister of Music
Originally from Seymour, Connecticut, Dave studied music education with a vocal emphasis at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. He studied piano with renowned concert pianist, Dr. Paul Rutman and spent much time touring and competing both nationally and abroad. Most extensively, Dave has served as the accompanist for the Connecticut Children’s’ Chorus and has completed two international tours to both France and Italy.
Dave is an accomplished and dedicated educator. Upon graduating magna cum laude from the Hartt School in 2009, he immediately began teaching both general and vocal music to grades K-6 in Wethersfield, CT. He also served the Connecticut State Department of Education during this time as he worked to develop and pilot state benchmarks music assessments in the areas of singing and composition for grades 2 through 8.
In 2011 Dave went on to assume the full-time post of choral director at the middle school in Wethersfield, CT where he directed three choirs: the 7th and 8th grade chorus comprised of 150 singers respectively and also the select auditioned chorus, Chorale. Dave is also an active member of professional music and educational organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), where he has presented and performed at both national and state music conferences. Currently, Dave serves as Head of Music at the British International School in Manhattan, NY; a private independent school for children 3 to 14 years old.
In addition to teaching, Dave is an accomplished musician. Prior to his appointment at Grace, he served for 6 years as the organist and choir director at Plainville United Methodist Church in Plainville, CT.
Dave currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. He loves hosting friends and family in NYC, reading, and throwing his own pottery. (He’s getting better!!) He is thrilled to be serving as Minister of Music at Grace Episcopal Church where he hopes to use his talents to help create a meaningful worship experience for all.
Sarah Ginolfi, Seminarian
Sarah is a postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church through the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. As a (mostly) lifelong Episcopalian, she completed the Journey to Adulthood program through St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and made her pilgrimage to Recife, Brazil. Currently, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg sponsors Sarah in the ordination process. In 2008, Sarah graduated from Messiah College with a BA in English-writing and a theatre minor. During her college years, Sarah partook in various immersion excursions that brought her to China as an English teacher, to Harrisburg’s inner city as an art mentor, and finally to Oregon where Sarah shared a simple life of study, reflection, and adventure with a small group of students from all parts of the country. In order to better discern her call to ministry, Sarah spent three years in various mission-related fields following graduation. Her travels took her to the Bronx, rural Alaska, the Iona Community in Scotland, and then back to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she lived in The Sycamore House intentional community at St. Stephen’s. Currently, Sarah is a student at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale where she finds constant laughter and joy thanks to the school’s Yale Divinity Drama troupe, the Berkeley Rota, and evening songfests with her roommate, Christian.
Maryann Ameden, Parish Secretary
Hi! Greetings from Church Central!
Funny thing about those initial job descriptions! I pictured a computer, a desk and a green mostly-living green plant. Who knew a secretary needed to come to work with a paint roller? How could I have expected to be checking booboos for the day care children and running trips to the dump ( courtesy of the Closet of the Month Club! ). Our priest has enough ideas to rival Martha Stewart!
Our office has happily become a hub of activity. With the doors opening and the phone ringing we are facilitating all kinds of community efforts as well our liturgical responsibilities, and we have become the center for parish communication/coordination of both liturgical and community events. Elsa generates a steady flow of ideas for joyous growth and the staff works diligently to see them implemented!
Freshly decorated offices and library, up-to-date computers, websites and a newsletter, and new fellowship groups have invited us to reach well beyond our church membership. Our administrative functions have also supported the hugely successful Recovery Eucharist every month and extended our priest’s ecumenical contacts bringing new, rewarding experiences to our church home.
Parish Secretary? I think I could run a cruise line now!
Karen Behar, Bookkeeper
Karen did her MBA in Accounting and Finance at Pace University. She has worked in accounting for large international companies and as a bookkeeper for small family owned businesses and more recently not-for-profits. She has twenty years of experience that includes work on accounting systems migration, development of reports for man-agement decision-making and preparation of materials for Church Treasurers, Chief Ex-ecutive Officers, and external auditors. She, her husband and their sixteen year old son have lived in Norwalk for the past 20 years.