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Offices & Candidates for Election

Nominations for elected offices to be voted upon at the 146th Annual Diocesan Convention, January 31-February 1, 2020, must be submitted to the Secretary of Convention no later than noon on Friday, December 6, 2019 in order to be assured inclusion in the pre-Convention packets given to deputies.

Late nominations will be accepted through noon on Friday, January 24, 2020. Late nominations will be included in the Convention packets distributed to deputies at the time of Registration at the Convention, and names will be handled as write-ins on ballots.

Go to the online Nominations form.

About ballotting

We will be utilizing Election Runner software to handle balloting. We tested this software at Convention in 2018. You can learn more about this application and process at and download the free software for your mobile devices/tablets.

Candidate information will be posted below with its office, as it becomes available.

General requirements for diocesan offices: No person shall be eligible for election to any office at Convention, nor shall any person elected by Districts, or appointed to serve on Diocesan Council or other Diocesan Standing Committees, Commissions or Boards accede to that office, unless that person shall have first completed or arranged for the completion of anti-racism dialogues as approved by the Bishop after consultation with the Diocesan body responsible for overseeing anti-racism dialogues. – (Diocesan Canon 2(5))

Communicant in good standing: All communicants of this Church who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God, are to be considered communicants in good standing. – (National Church Canons, I.17.3)

1) ACTS/VIM BOARD (12 members) (also administers funding grants through the Alleluia Fund)

To be elected: Class of 2023 - 1 clergy/2 lay members

Multiple nominations; require 2 clergy and 4 lay candidates.

Membership: The Diocesan Bishop; 3 clergy and 6 lay members elected by convention for a three year term; 3 clergy or lay members appointed by Bishop for a three year term. Two consecutive three year terms may be served.

Candidate expectations: attendance at four meetings a year when proposals are being considered for funding.  Two meetings between the second week in March and last week in April.  Two meetings between the second week in October and the last week in November. For the Alleluia Fund. Two or three site visits made to grant requesters in the spring and fall. Also, as needed, participation in at least two educational forums about ACTS/VIM around the diocese in the calendar year; e.g. district meetings, convention, workshops organized by ACTS/VIM.

  • Desirable, but not essential, experience: grant writing, reviewing grants, starting or expanding programs.


For Clergy Class of 2023:

The Rev. Ellen Kohn-PerryThe Rev. Ellen Kohn-Perry
St. Paul's, Chatham

I'm the Assistant Priest at St. Paul's Church in Chatham. I also serve as President of the Board of North Porch Women and Infants Centers, now in my 5th year. About 2 years ago I volunteered to fill a vacancy on the ACT/VIM board. I've really enjoyed the work and have learned so much from my time on the board. It's a privilege to meet so many dedicated non-profit leaders and assist in the funding of such wonderful ministries. I would like the opportunity to continue to serve on the board. Thank you.

For Lay Class of 2023:

Paula CappelPaula Cappel
St. Andrew & Holy Communion, South Orange

Paula Cappel originally from The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, South America has been an educator for more than thirty years. Paula is running for a second term of service on ACTS/VIM Board of the Diocese Of Newark because she found this work to be not only of faithful service, but also a rewarding experience. Currently Paula serves as the Senior Warden of St. Andrew & Holy Communion Church in South Orange. Her first foray into church leadership began as an Usher and Greeter, Lay Reader, and Vestry Person in 2006 for two consecutive terms. Paula chaired two successful Stewardship Campaigns in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Paula, walked the in last leg of “Joining Jesus on the Journey”, The Episcopal Dioceses of Newark River to River Pilgrimage. Paula brings to the table the skill set of Progressive Leadership and Organization which is an asset to the ACTS/VIM Board.

Michael FrancavigliaMichael Francaviglia
St. George's, Maplewood

Experience: Retired member of the diocesan staff; appreciatively served as Director of Administration and Secretary of Convention for twenty-three years. At St. George’s Church, service (past and current) included vestry, parish life committee, newsletter, acolytes and ushers.

Statement: During my years as diocesan administrator I had the privilege of administratively supporting the members of the ACTS/VIM Board (along with the Ward J. Herbert Fund Board). I witnessed the vibrant effectiveness that the granting process had in nurturing, sustaining, encouraging and funding new and existing ministries in our congregations and other faith-based organizations. I would welcome the opportunity to join in the work of ACTS/VIM as a committee member.

Joy E. ManasseJoy E. Manasse
St. Andrew & Holy Communion, South Orange

Congreagation leadership: vestry, choir,Altar Guild, Lay Eucharistic Visitor, Lay Minister, Finance committee chair, Stewardship committee co-chair. Officiant at morning prayer, delivered the sermon at noon day Good Friday service. Board member of a business professional networking group. (Powernet)  I welcome the opportunity to serve on a wider scale and feels like Acts /Vim  is a great committee to be apart of.

Pieter VoorheesPieter Voorhees
Messiah, Chester

A cradle Episcopalian, incl. 4 yrs at an Episcopal high school, I've been a vestry member at St. Andrew's and Holy Communion when Ward Herbert was the warden, as well as the Church of the Messiah. I also served as the property manager for 3 yrs at Messiah, then as junior and senior warden at Messiah, in addition to singing in the choir. I've been responsible for the annual pledge drive at least once at SA&HC, at least 3 times at Messiah, and have served as a delegate to the Diocesan Convention for Messiah 3-4 times, and attended Vestry University at least 4 times. I seek the office because I enjoy the opportunity to serve the diocese as well as my parish, and have gained so much from interactions with members of other parishes and the diocesan staff. I hope for the opportunity to be of further service. It feeds my soul.

2) CONSTITUTION AND CANONS COMMITTEE (10 members and the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor)

To be elected: 10 members - (lay or clergy)

Multiple nominations; require 11 candidates; clergy or lay.

The committee serves from the adjournment of the convention at which it is elected until the adjournment of the next annual convention.  It reviews the Constitution and Canons and makes recommendations for the amendment thereof and reports to the convention on amendments proposed by others.  The committee also reviews Opinions of the Chancellor, as outlined in Canon 20.

  • The committee meets at the beginning of December to prepare for the annual convention, during convention as necessary, and when called into special session as described in Canon 20.
  • The Chancellor is a member ex officio and the chair.
  • Desirable, but not essential, experiences: church law, revising parish constitutions.


Thomas BisdaleThomas Bisdale
Grace Church, Westwood

I have served on the committee when eligible since 1999 and look forward to applying that experience in the future. I currently serve as a Trustee of the Diocese, as a member of the Disciplinary Board and have been a member of Diocesan Council. I have also held various positions on the parish level, including several terms as warden.

Patricia Arlin BradleyPatricia Arlin Bradley
Holy Trinity, Hillsdale

An HR executive with 30+ years of experience, I have served on the Bishop's HR committee, both as a member and Vice-Chairperson, and as an Ombudsman for the Diocese of Newark. In my home parish, Holy Trinity in Hillsdale, I have served on the Vestry for multiple terms, as Warden during a clergy transition, and Sunday School teacher. I am a licensed eucharistic minister and layreader, choister, and member of the altar guild. I am the current Communications Director for Christ Church, Ridgewood.

T. Donald CairnsT. Donald Cairns
St. Clement's, Hawthorne

I would like to continue to serve.


John C. GardeJohn C. Garde
Grace Church, Madison

As a lawyer and person historically active in the Diocese and in my church I look forward to continuing to serve on this critical committee. I am a partner at McCarter & English, President of the Diocesan Trustees, previous member of the Standing Committee, former Presiding Judge of the Title IV court, former Vice Chancellor, current Senior Warden and Grace Madison and long standing member of the Committee on Constitutions and Canons.

The Ven. Peter JacksonThe Ven. Peter Jackson
Holy Trinity, West Orange

I was ordained in 2006 as a vocational deacon and am an Archdeacon of the Diocese. I currently serve at Holy Trinity, West Orange. I have previously served on the ACTS/VIM Board and am currently Chair of the Committee on the Diaconate of the Commission on Ministry. I believe that my parish and diocesan leadership experience, as well as my professional and work experience in international relations will help me to make a valuable contribution to the work of this Committee.

John L. SmithJohn L. Smith
Trinity & St. Philip's Cathedral, Newark

I am presently a member of the Cathedral Vestry, past Warden, Disciplinary Committee, and an Usher at the Cathedral Church. I am a High School Graduate, Business Certificate Monroe Business College, Undergraduate Degrees in Sociology And Criminal Justice, and a Graduate Degree in Education. Combat Wounded Vietnam Era Veteran. I have been employed as an Operations Specialist at Bankers Trust in New York, Retired Newark New Jersey Detective, Adjunct Faculty Essex County College. I proofread well, and work well with other team members.

John SogliuzzoJohn Sogliuzzo
Christ Church, Short Hills

I've been actively practicing law for over 38 years and am a former vestry member of Christ Church Short Hills. Presently I'm a member of the Parish Life Committee for Christ Church. I'm serving on the Ward J. Herbert Board and have served on the Constitutions and Canons for the last year. Based on my background, I've enjoyed my tenure on the Constitutions and Canons Committee and ask for your vote to continue. Thank you.

Bernice E. VanderpoolBernice E. Vanderpool
Grace Church Van Vorst, Jersey City

I have been a proud Episcopalian since birth. I am presently the Senior Warden at Grace Van Vorst Church in Jersey City. I also serve on the founding Board of Episcopal Jersey City (EJC). During 2016-17 I worked closely as a member of the EJC Outreach Committee in strategizing a plan of action for opening the Triangle Park Community Center. I completed my Bachelors's from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2019, and am presently applying to Law School. I believe that my six years of Vestry experience will allow me to make valuable contributions to the Constitution and Canons Committee.

John G. Webb, IIIJohn G. Webb, III
St. Luke and St. Mary, Hope and Belvidere

I have served in various capacities related to the canonical structure of two Dioceses (New Jersey and Newark) on Constitution and Canons committees. I currently serve as a Warden and a member of Diocesan Committees on Constitutions & Canons and Rules of Order and Elections. It would be an honor to continue serving on this Committee.

The Rev. Paul YoonThe Rev. Paul Yoon
St. Agnes', Little Falls

I am serving as Priest-in-Charge at Saint Agnes Church, Little Falls and as Staff Chaplain at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Being a member of the Commission on Ministry, I am familiar with the nature of diocesan leadership. Outside the parish and diocese, I am a member of the Ethics Committee at Weill Cornell.

3) DISCIPLINARY BOARD (11 members: 6 clergy, 5 lay)

To be elected: Clergy Class of 2026 (1 for six year term)
To be elected: Lay Class of 2025 (1 for five year term)

One nomination necessary for each office.

The Disciplinary Board oversees matters of clergy discipline under Title IV of the Canons of the Episcopal Church.  Each diocese must have a Disciplinary Board.  The committee is made up of lay persons and priests and deacons. The members are elected by diocesan convention.  The Elected Members of the Disciplinary Board will be required to attend an organizational meeting of the Board tentatively scheduled for Tuesday February 12, 2019.


For Clergy Class of 2026:

The Rev. Kathryn L KingThe Rev. Kathryn L King
St. Alban's, Oakland/Franklin Lakes

Entering my 25th year of ordained ministry I have extensive experience and knowledge of the diocesan and national church. I have served on various elected and appointed boards and councils with a broad exposure to our common life. I am intentional about required training and proactive steps to maintain joy, health, balance and accountability in ministry. As my son heads off to college I am prepared to step back into more active leadership beyond the parish I am honored to serve. Attention to the complexity of clergy discipline, pastoral care of all parties involved, and the direct and sensitive handling of all aspects is something for which all of the above had prepared me.

For Lay Class of 2025:

Laura A. Russell, Esq.Laura A. Russell, Esq.
All Saints, Hoboken

Current President of the Disciplinary Board, President of the Court of Review, Supervising attorney at a public interest law firm, Board member of several not-for-profits, former Warden, Past Deputy at General Convention. As a public interest attorney specializing in helping clients in crisis, and the current President of this Board, I feel that my sense of justice, understanding of the law and Church Canons, and compassion for individuals brings support to this Board and its work. I would be honored to continue to serve.


To be elected: Class of 2024 -  1 clergy/1 lay members

Multiple nominations; require 2 clergy and 2 lay candidates.

4 clergy and 4 lay members are elected by Convention for a four (4) year term. A maximum of eight (8) consecutive years may be served.

The Standing Committee is the Bishop's council of advice and the ecclesiastical authority when there is no bishop in charge. Additionally, the Committee:

- gives consent to elections and resignations of bishops;

- approves any encumbrance of real property and sale of real property;

- approves modifications or revisions of judicial sentences;

- recommends postulants for candidacy, candidates for ordination to the diaconate and deacons to be ordained priests.

  • Attendance is required at ten monthly meetings.
  • Currently the Standing Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month (except July and August) at 12:30 p.m. The body is open to a time change to 7:30 a.m. (same day) as an accommodation to different schedules. Video conferencing is also an option that will be considered.
  • Committee assignments as required.
  • Desirable, but not necessary, experience: law, real estate, vestry/executive committee, diocesan groups.


For Clergy Class of 2024:

The Rev. Canon Robert GrinerThe Rev. Canon Robert Griner
Christ Church, Newton

As a child of our Diocese -- ordained by Bishop Spong at All Saints', Millington in 1986 -- I have witnessed the long arc of our history bending towards justice.  Having served as Chair of the Companion Diocese in the Diocese of Newark and Co-Chair of the Commission on Ministry in the Diocese of New Jersey, I would bring  many years of experience in Church governance to the Standing Committee. My parish experience includes a suburban church attempting charismatic renewal (Millington, NJ), a well resourced corporate sized church (Rumson, NJ), a joyously diverse, inner city church struggling with financial challenges and now Christ Church, Newton. This breadth of experience blesses me with a sensitivity to the wide variety of ministry contexts found in our Diocese.

The Rev. Dr. Debra Brewin-WilsonThe Rev. Dr. Debra Brewin-Wilson
St. Mary's, Sparta

Prior to my ordination to the priesthood in 2006, I served on Vestry, sang in choir, served as Eucharistic Minister and Lector, served on committees, and taught Sunday School in the churches of which my family and I were members. Since being ordained, I have served as Priest-in-Charge or Rector of three parishes. I am currently serving as the Rector of St. Mary’s in Sparta; I serve on the Boards of the House of the Good Shepherd and Family Promise of Sussex County; I am filling an unexpired term on the ACTS/VIM/Alleluia Fund board; and I have served on the planning committees for Clergy Conference and Diocesan Convention. I play the Celtic harp; I am a member of the Masterwork Chorus; I practice Centering Prayer; and I am a Certified Daring Way Facilitator™. Drawn to contemplative practices and Celtic spirituality, I have always stood with one foot in and one foot out of the institutional Church. Because of that, I feel particularly drawn to be present to the reality of what “is” in our churches today and to help hold space for what the Church of the future will become. In running for election to this office, I am answering Bishop Hughes’ call for dreamers to come forward, work together, and dream the Church of the future into reality, here in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

For Lay Class of 2024:

Robert Harwood
St. John's, Passaic

I was a member of Diocesan Council, Outreach Committee and the Technology Committee. I have had many positions in my parish over the decades. I have been a adult leader in Scouting. A served in the Regular US Army. I have over forty years experience in the global information technology industry. Within that experience I have worked in various industries, such as banking, investments, real estate, manufacturing, and NASA. I am semi retired, as such I have the time. From my various experiences in the world I have insights that may be of value in situations that may come up. It would be my pleasure to serve the Diocese.

Naomi HorskyNaomi Horsky
St. Gabriel's, Milton/Oak Ridge

I have been active in the Diocese for many years. Serving on the Youth Committee when we had archdeaconries. I have also served as convener of District 2 for many years, member of Diocesan Council, member of the Nominations Committee, Arrangements Committee, past president of the Standing Committee, serving presently on the Standing Committee. I have served and I am presently warden of St. Gabriel's. Served on several search Committees for previous Bishops' of our Diocese. I have been employed for the last 34 years at William Paterson University, thirty of those years in the Department of Nursing. I have enjoyed being a part of this dynamic Diocese and hope to continue to be of service to our Bishop and Diocese.

Bernard J. MilanoBernard J. Milano
Trinity, Allendale

In March of 2019, I was appointed to the Standing Committee to fill the position vacated by John Garde who resigned to serve on the Diocese Trustees. Prior to the SC, I served many years as a Trustee of the Diocese, was a member of the Fund Development Committee, the Commission on Ministry and a Pastoral Response Team. I have worked with several congregations of parishes that were considering some form of joint ministry several of which resulted in successful combinations. I had the honor of being on the Bishop Search and Nominating Committee which brought Bishop Carlye Hughes to our Diocese. I am chair of the Diocese Audit Committee. In my parish I have served many roles, some several times, such as warden, treasurer, chair of finance, choir. From 1997-2006 I served on the Episcopal Church Foundation Board of Directors and Chair from 2000-2006. I am a CPA, have served as president of the KPMG Foundation and The PhD Project, a national diversity program to being more African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans in to roles as university business school professors. I am retiring from both effective 1/15/20, which will free up even more time to serve my parish and the Diocese. I humbly seek your support.


To be elected: Class of 2023 - 1 clergy/1 lay members

Multiple nominations; require 2 clergy and 2 lay candidates.

The membership of the Chapter is as follows:

  • The Diocesan Bishop as President
  • Bishops
  • The Dean
  • Archdeacons, if any
  • 3 clergy & 3 lay persons elected by Convention for a one 3-year term
  • 3 clergy or 3 lay members appointed by the Bishop for a one 3-year term
  • 2 wardens, 1 treasurer, 1 clerk and 12 lay members elected from and by the congregation

Under the joint consolidation agreement and the Constitution of the Cathedral, the Chapter shall have the regulation, management and administration of temporal affairs of the Cathedral and the decision in such spiritual matters pertaining to its administration as may be referred to the Chapter by the Bishop or the Dean. Attendance is required at quarterly meetings. Desirable, but not necessary, experience: vestry, diocesan groups.


For Clergy Class of 2023:

The Rev. Victoria Geer McGrathThe Rev. Victoria Geer McGrath
All Saints', Millington

In my 25 years in the Diocese of Newark I have served as Vice-President of Diocesan Council, screening Co-Chair for priesthood on the Commission on Ministry, Co-Chair of the Bishop’s Search and Nominating Committee, and several other diocesan organizations. I’ve also served in three different parishes in the diocese. My strengths are in listening to others, seeking clarity with compassion, and putting sensible structures in place that serve the work of the group as they fulfill Jesus’ mission. In standing for election to Cathedral Chapter I offer my experience and hope to be a conduit of God’s Spirit and collaborative wisdom for the good of the Cathedral, its congregation, and our diocese.

For Lay Class of 2023:

Susan DunnSusan Dunn
St. John's, Montclair

I now live in NYC but lived for almost 3 decades in New Jersey. I continue to be involved and worship at St. John's in Montclair and to volunteer within the Newark community. I am just finishing a 3 year term as a lay member of the Cathedral Chapter. At St John's I served on the Vestry and as a Warden, I edited our weekly email letter, chaired the Newcomers, Hospitality and Communications committees and sang in the choir. I continue to serve on the Finance Committee. I volunteer twice a week at the KIPP schools in Newark helping children in elementary and middle schools with academic work. I serve on the boards of a number of non-profits: Teach for America, Big Brothers / Big Sisters (and I am a ""Big""), Braven (a career accelerator program at several state universities including Rutgers - Newark), The Nature Conservancy, Spelman College (a women's HBCU) in Atlanta, and Soho Rep (an off Broadway theater in NYC.) In NYC I worship at Trinity Wall Street. I have a Masters in Elementary Education from Bank Street College and a Bachelors Degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Although I have never lived in Newark I appreciate the city, its people and institutions. I see that the people of Trinity and St. Philip's would love to grow into a more vibrant community. They have dreams that I have heard expressed in my home church around spiritual education and uplifting worship with music. They yearn for a steady leader of their congregation. They are facing a complex situation as the city changes around them. I feel that I can be of help to them in navigating the next years ahead and would be honored to continue to be part of the Cathedral Chapter.


To be elected: Class of 2022 - 1 vacancy - either clergy or lay

The Trustees hold title to and administer the funds and real estate for the benefit of the Diocese.

  • Additional candidate requirement: must reside in the geographical area of the diocese.


Walton ClarkWalton Clark
Church of the Atonement, Tenafly

I joined the Trustees last January to fill a vacancy which has given me the opportunity to learn about the Trustees and get up to speed on all issues. I have enjoyed this time and would like to continue to serve. I am a member of the Church of the Atonement in Tenafly where I am a past Senior Warden and currently serve on the finance committee and in charge of buildings and grounds. I am also on the Board of the Center for Food Action and a past president. I have over 35 years of experience in business running businesses from start-ups to over $600 million in sales. My wife and I live in Cresskill NJ and have two grown children.


To be elected: 4 clergy deputies, 4 lay deputies, and 4 alternates in each order

All deputies and first alternates represent the diocese at the 2021 General Convention in Baltimore, MD (all expenses covered by the diocese).


For Clergy Deputy:

The Rev. J. Brent BatesThe Rev. Dr. J. Brent Bates
Grace Church, Newark

I was elected as an alternate to the 2018 General Convention. I have been a member of the Commission on Ministry from 2014 to Present. Rector, Grace Church in Newark, 2011-Present; Associate Rector, Calvary Church in Summit, 2008-2011. I hope to represent the Diocese of Newark by taking a Christ-centered approach in the work of the Convention. Prayerfully dedicating myself to the preparation, participation, and reporting of Convention, I will faithfully serve to uphold the reconciling mission of the Church.

The Rev. Cynthia BlackThe Rev. Cynthia Black
Redeemer, Morristown

I have served as an alternate or deputy to all but one General Convention since 1991 (from the Diocese of Newark and the Diocese of Western Michigan). My extensive experience at previous General Conventions-- everything from being a part of the platform team with President Gay Jennings, to serving on the Liturgy and Music legislative committee, to providing organizing assistance to organizations such as the Episcopal Women's Caucus and Integrity-- has provided me with a deep understanding of how Convention works, how the legislative process happens and the scope and dynamics of issues facing the church.  The church is in the midst of one of the most significant periods of change in its existence. I believe my passion, creativity, thoughtfulness, prayerfullness and knowledge can be an asset both to the larger church and to the Diocese of Newark. I welcome the chance to use my love for the church and my skills as a General Convention Deputy.

The Rev. Sylvester O. EkunweThe Rev. Sylvester O. Ekunwe
St. Andrew's, Newark

The Revd Sylvester Ekunwe, Vicar at St. Andrew's Episcopal church, Newark, NJ. Served as Director of Youth Group for 5 years and Coordinator for Adult Christian Formation for 3 years and warden at the now Epiphany and Christ's Church, Orange. Presently, a member of Resolution Committee and serve as Board member on the ACTS/VIM of the Diocese.  
Prior to call to ministry, an educator, worked with New Jersey State Mental Health Agency, served children and young adults along with their family in dealing with behavioral challenges. Representing the Diocese as a Deputy at the General Convention will equip and broaden my ministry at St. Andrew Church, Newark.

The Rev. Sharon Sheridan HausmanThe Rev. Sharon Sheridan Hausman
Christ Church, Newton

I believe my in-depth experience at General Convention, work as a church journalist, and involvement in the diocese will help me serve as a knowledgeable and faithful deputy of the Diocese of Newark. I am priest associate at Christ Church, Newton, and a member of the diocese since 1986. I attended the last 8 General Conventions: in 2018 as first alternate lay deputy, and the 7 previous conventions as a journalist with the Episcopal Church news team. As part of our diocesan Prison Ministry, I serve as volunteer chaplain in two state prisons and coordinate an enrichment program for children of incarcerated parents. I also am an active member of the Union of Black Episcopalians. I believe my knowledge and experience will be helpful in addressing important issues facing our church, including prayer book revision, new liturgies, and social justice concerns, particularly racial reconciliation and mass incarceration. As a General Convention reporter, I extensively covered prayer book and liturgy legislation, as well as a wide range of other topics, from gun violence to children’s ministry to provincial structure.

The Rev. Anne E. KitchThe Rev. Anne E. Kitch
St. Luke's, Phillipsburg


- Elected at-large member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, on which I serve on the Finance Committee and Budget Sub-Committee (2018 to present)

- General Convention Deputy in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, twice as deputation chair

-- Committee service: Christian Formation 2012, Ministry 2015, 2018

-- 2018 Chaired Sub-committee on Canons for Committee #15 Ministry

- Member of the Conant Grant Committee (2016 to present)

- Have served the Church in a variety of roles and contexts including as rector, associate rector, canon for life-long Christian formation, diocesan transition officer, canon to the ordinary

- Author of several books and articles on leadership and Christian formation including: Expectant: Advent Meditations (2019), “Leadership, the Canons, and the Incarnation,”, (2018), Preparing for Baptism in the Episcopal Church (2015)

Within any diocese, I believe we are called to support one another in mission and ministry as we build relationships that nurture Christian discipleship and bring the love of Christ into our communities and the world around us. I value strengthening our bonds to the larger church, collaborating to powerfully proclaim Christ’s love, and sharing our gifts as a diocese with our siblings across the Episcopal Church. I bring leadership, vision, and an understanding of the polity of the Episcopal Church. Having served as a deputy in another diocese, I would like to bring my gifts and skills to my new diocesan home. I would be honored to serve.

The Rev. Tom MathewsThe Rev. Tom Mathews
Christ Church, Ridgewood

It would be a tremendous honor and privilege to represent OUR diocese at the 2021 General Convention in Baltimore. I am a lifelong member of this diocese, which has been the center of my ministry as a leader of youth groups, as a member of Vestry, as a member serving on numerous committees (Diocesan Council, Bishop Search Committee, ACTS/VIM, Alleluia Fund, Budget & Finance, and the former Youth Commission and Stewardship Commission) and as an ordained Clergy member for over 16 years. I respect both the history & tradition of the Episcopal Church coupled with an openness to new ideas and an optimism about the future. As a Deputy, I would work from a basis of our commitment to Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience and the vital importance of working TOGETHER through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the denomination we love and the faith we share.

The Rev. John A. MennellThe Rev. John A. Mennell
St. Luke's, Montclair

I Would like to serve as a deputy to the 2021 General Convention to continue the work of spreading the love of Jesus to all of God’s children. My past service as a deputy has given me insights on how the General Convention shapes the work of The Episcopal Church and how that can be leveraged in the Diocese of Newark. While serving as the rector of St. Luke’s in Montclair for the past 13 years, we have doubled attendance and giving and expanded our feeding program, Toni’s Kitchen, to offer more than 200,000 meals annually. I have led creative evangelical initiatives including Celebrate! (younger children’s worship), Worship Without Walls (outdoor community worship) and Journey with Jesus (diocesan walking pilgrimage). In addition to serving as a Deputy to General Convention in 2015 and 2018, I am a member of the Standing Committee, Budget & Finance Committee and President of Foundation for Community of St. John Baptist. Past Diocesan service includes service on the Board of Trustees, Christina Formation Commission, Mission Strategy Finance Commission, Diocesan Council, Diocesan Stewardship Committee, Visual Arts Commission and Finance Committee for CrossRoads.

The Rev. Andy OlivoThe Rev. Andy Olivo
St. Elizabeth's, Ridgewood

Andy has been privileged to serve the larger church in a variety of roles. In the Diocese of East Tennessee he was a member of Diocesan Council, the Diocesan Young Adults Task Force, and an elected deputy to General Convention. He also served as the chair of the Episcopal Campus Ministries board at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. During his time In the Diocese of Washington, he was a member of the Planning Committee for the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes, a field education seminarian supervisor, and a member of the Washington Interfaith Network. Andy is passionate about evangelism, church growth, and stewardship, to name a few areas. He offers the perspective of one with many years of experience working for the church as well as one who will be serving as a priest in 20, 30, and maybe even 40 years from now. Decisions made at the 2021 General Convention will impact the church of the future, and Andy seeks to be one of the many voices at the table.

The Rev. Jerry A. RacioppiThe Rev. Jerry A. Racioppi
Holy Spirit, Verona

Since being ordained in 2015 many experiences have led me to want to attend General Convention 2021. As the rector of Holy Spirit Verona I have learned how to guide a congregation to do the work God calls us to in the community. We are much larger then our own congregation, and for this we need to be reminded.

In 2017 I had the honor and privilege to attend the Episcopal Youth Event along with another adult chaperone and six amazing Diocesan youth members. This was my first real experience of the national church and it was amazing. Equally powerful was co-chairing the search for our recent Diocesan Bishop. I learned a lot about the greater church, but also about our own Diocese. I now have the opportunity to co-chair our Namaste Commission, which facilitates the dialogues towards racial reconciliation and healing. I value my time spent in this group.

All of these previous experiences, along with a 22-year history in the hospitality (hotel human resources) industry make me feel called to attend General Convention. At this point in my spiritual journey, I would love the opportunity to see first-hand the inner workings of The Episcopal Church and network among other members in our part of the Christian vineyard. Also, since General Convention is in Baltimore, I would love the opportunity to catch up with The Rev. Deacon Chris McCloud. Grin.

The Rev. Elaine Ellis ThomasThe Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas
All Saints, Hoboken

Church Involvement – Local, Diocesan, National:

- Organist and Choirmaster - various churches (Episcopal and others) in the Philadelphia area
- ECW President - Diocese of Pennsylvania (Trinity Church, Gulph Mills)
- Chair, Spiritual Growth Resources Committee, Diocese of Pennsylvania
- Diocesan Coordinator - Episcopal Relief and Development (PA and Central PA)
- Diocesan Coordinator - Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (PA and Central PA)
- Advisory Committee (rebranding project) Episcopal Relief and Development
- Assistant Priest, St. Edwards Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA
- Associate Rector, St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Charlottesville, VA
- Co-convener, Charlottesville Clergy Collective
- Diocese of Virginia Region XV Board (At-Large)
- Diocese of Virginia Standing Committee (Class of 2019)
- Elected as deputy to the 79th General Convention but left Virginia before serving
- Rector, All Saints Episcopal Parish, Hoboken
- Standing Committee, Diocese of Newark (Class of 2023)
- Chaplain, Hoboken Fire Department
- Doctor of Ministry Candidate, Drew Theological School at Drew University (2021)

A lifelong Episcopalian, I love God and I love this church. I have a keen understanding of organizational dynamics and how those dynamics affect decision-making and leadership, and I genuinely enjoy digging into governance and the actions of Convention (even as a spectator!). I believe that the organizational and leadership skills that I have developed in the church and in the not-for-profit worlds, including my experience working in three different dioceses in the Episcopal Church as well as serving on the Standing Committees of the Dioceses of Virginia and Newark, would serve me well as a deputy to General Convention. At ordination, I promised to take my “share in the councils of the Church,” and I believe that putting my name forward as a deputy is one way of fulfilling that promise faithfully.

The Rev. Deacon Erik SoldwedelThe Rev. Deacon Erik Soldwedel
St. Paul's, Paterson

I have had the privilege and honor to be elected deputy to General Convention twice representing the Diocese of Newark. I have shared my voice and yours before committees working with other deputies to pass meaningful legislation that supports the mission of the church in the 21st century. I have been blessed to work with many congregations as a Consultant; Member of Diocesan Council; Bishop’s Staff; Deacon of Christ Hospital; Trustee of the Diocese of Newark and as clergy with the opportunity to experience life in the Episcopal Church in many areas. This is coupled with a network of The Episcopal Service Corps and Interim Clergy colleagues from the Appreciative Way Institute provide me a platform to share our experiences of ministry. Our collective shared stories are beneficial as we strive to support and grow our church. The Diocese of Newark has long been a voice for those who have no place at the table. Many now are at that table and I will continue to provide more room to welcome all. I wish to continue to be one of the voices and represent this diocese to General convention.

The Rev. Lynne Belich WeberThe Rev. Lynne Bleich Weber
Atonement, Tenafly

Convention Deputy 2018. Diocesan Ecumenical & Interreligious Officer; Chair, Ecumenical & Interreligious Commission; national ecumenical representative for The Episcopal Church; Active District 9 Convener; Pride Day & Stigma Free Committee - Tenafly; Bergen GreenFaith Circle for environmental advocacy, various interfaith groups. Past GreenFaith boardmember, Women's Commission Chair; Oasis board; Diocesan Council; Celebrating Creative Congregations. Recognized leader and organizer across Bergen County & northern NJ; deeply committed to developing partnerships and networks within and outside TEC, and across boundaries to unite and strengthen our witness to the Way of Love, the Good News that our Lord Jesus revealed through his life and work, death and resurrection. I would be proud to represent the Diocese of Newark at Convention again, and to work cooperatively to further our Christ-centered values of mercy, compassion, inclusion and justice.

The Rev. Diana WilcoxThe Rev. Diana Wilcox
Christ Church, Bloomfield/Glen Ridge

I hope to serve our diocese as a deputy to the General Convention in 2021 because I want to leverage my experience across The Episcopal Church, particularly as a member of the Program, Budget, & Finance Committee toward a new future for our church, locally and worldwide.  I am the Rector of Christ Church in Bloomfield & Glen Ridge, and have served the church in a variety of positions, including:

- Appointed to the Program, Budget, and Finance Committee (2018-2021)
- Appointed to Special Committee on Sexual Harassment & Exploitation
- Deputy to the 78th General Convention, Alternate Deputy and Credentialed Media at 79th General Convention
- Provincial Court of Appeals
- Province II Campus Chaplain & participant in Episcopal Chaplains Conferences

- Vice-President of Diocesan Council
- Budget & Finance Committee
- Disciplinary Board
- Co-Chair Diocesan Anti-Sexism Task Force
- Bishop’s appointment to the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission
- Board of Directors – Crossroads Camp & Retreat Center
- Chaplain to the Young Adults & Blogger - General Convention of the Episcopal Church 2012
- Co-developed and lead workshops on art & spirituality for Clergy Conference and at local parishes
- Multimedia specialist producing videos for convention (see below)
- Retreat Leader

- Member, Fredon Land Use Board of Adjustment, 2004-Present
- Associate and Former Capital Campaign Vice-Chairman for the Community of St. John Baptist in Mendham

For Lay Deputy:

Paula CappelPaula Cappel
St. Andrew & Holy Communion, South Orange

Paula Cappel originally from The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, in South America has been an educator for more than thirty years. Paula currently serves on ACTS/VIM Board of the Diocese Of Newark because she found this work to be not only a service, but a rewarding experience. Paula is the Senior Warden, third term, and Lay Reader of St. Andrew & Holy Communion Church in South Orange. Her first foray into church leadership began as an Usher and Greeter, Vestry Person, and Stewardship Campaign Chair in 2014 and 2015. She has also served as Annual Convention Lay Deputy. Paula brings to the table the skill set of Progressive Leadership and Organization which is an asset to General Convention Deputy.

Wendy Drake-SchneiderWendy Drake-Schneider
St. Luke's, Montclair

Stay at home mom to three children ages 18, 16 and 14, I have been married to Ken Schneider for 20 years. I hold a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Southwestern College, 2016) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology (College of Staten Island, 1997). I am currently the President of the Standing Committee, and have served on the committee since January 2017. Served on the Bishop transition committee during the Bishop search and transition process for the XIth Bishop of the Diocese of Newark. I am presently the Senior Warden at St Luke’s Montclair and also give of my talent and time there in the following ways: vestry member, youth group chaperone, Memorial Committee, 2nd Time Around Shop, diocesan convention deputy, Diocesan Licensed for Lay Ministries including preaching, chalice, reading, worship leader, etc and helping to host diocesan and church events. Former warden/vestry member, two time diocesan convention delegate and Sunday School teacher at St. Agnes’ Little Falls. Completed the following trainings: Anti-Racism Diocese of NY (Feb 2017), Up to date (and former administrator) Safeguarding God’s Children, Diocese of NY Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment and Exploitation training (1999). Pastoral Bereavement Certified through the Archdiocese of NY (May 1998). As a cradle Episcopalian I would be honored and privileged to be able to represent the Diocese of Newark as a Deputy to General Convention. I understand the workings of diocese, parishes including that of property and trusts, the roles and expectations of priests, deacons and lay leaders within the national church, the diocesan level and within parishes. I have served as a warden in a parish during a time without a rector, interim priest or deacon, as well as I have served as a warden during an extended rector sabbatical. My MATS degree gives me a well rounded understanding of church history and governance, theology, ethical thinking and the role and expectations of the Episcopal Church and its members within our present society.

Janelle GrantJanelle Grant
St. Paul's, Paterson

I am a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Paterson. I have the pleasure of serving on ACTS/VIM and the Namaste Commission. I’ve served one term on Diocesan Council and served in the Search Committee for the XI Bishop of Newark. Growing up I was actively involved in youth ministry and I continue to be involved in Youth Ministry creating an environment for youth to develop a closer relationship with God. I now serve as one of the Youth Fellows for the Pop Youth Ministry. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have the drive to fight against injustice and inequalities, advocate for others and promote positive growth and change in the community. I served as the 1st Alternate Lay deputy at the 2015 General Convention. It was an honor to serve as the 1st Lay deputy at the 2018 General Convention. It would be an honor to serve again and represent the laity in Diocese of Newark.

Sidney W. King, Jr.Sidney W. King, Jr.
Incarnation, Jersey City

I am seeking election as General Convention Deputy to assist the Deputation in representing the Diocese of Newark at the upcoming General Convention. Having served on several Committees, Commissions and Boards of the Diocese, I have learned a lot about this Diocese. I have been elected Alternate Deputy to four of the last six General Conventions and a Deputy at the last General am seeking your support in electing me as one of your Deputies.

Rhonda LutzRhonda Lutz
Church of the Saviour, Denville

I am currently a vestry member, Finance Committee member, Welcoming Committee Chair, and Choir member at the Church of the Saviour, Denville. Also, I run a Spiritual Format class for the women in my parish. On a Diocesan level, I currently serve on the Board of Trustees and Assistant Treasurer of Convention. My past experiences, in my church and the diocese, have been Warden, President of St. Martha's Guild, Parish Life Chair, Treasurer, and Search Committee for the XI Bishop of Newark. Professionally, I am a financial professional in the healthcare industry and a Doctoral Candidate at Walden University. I seek the position of Lay Deputy to the 2021 General Convention because my church and the Diocese of Newark have filled my heart and soul with the spirit of the Lord. I would be an honor to proudly represent the Diocese of Newark.

Sue Morgan
All Saints', Glen Rock

I have been a warden at Christ Church, Ridgewood, and at All Saints Glen Rock, both during interim times. I am now the Lay Associate for Pastoral Care at All Saints, where I also teach the 3rd-5th graders and am a member of the Healing Ministry team. I am a board member of the Religious Communities of Glen Rock. I have been a diocesan consultant to parishes in transition, and I have been the Chair of the Congregational Leadership University. I am on the Empowering Team of Diocesan Council, and help to facilitate the Advent and Lenten meditations. I am a mentor for Education for Ministry at All Saints’ Church and I was a 2018 Lay Deputy to General Convention I have been a Trustee and a member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Bergen County and a Trustee of Hamilton College. I believe that as a theologically educated laywoman, I bring an interesting perspective on both the challenges and opportunities of the church and as one who believes that as followers of Jesus we are all called to be God’s light in the world.

Laura A. Russell, Esq.Laura Russell
All Saints, Hoboken

Chair, Episcopal Church Task Force to Study Sexism, former member of several boards of The Episcopal Church, Past Deputy to 2012, 2015 and 2018 General Conventions, President of the Disciplinary Board, President of the Court of Review, Supervising attorney at a public interest law firm, Board member of several not-for-profits, former Warden.
Having been a Deputy to prior General Conventions, and currently the Chair of an Episcopal Church task force, and President of its Court of Review, I feel I have an understanding of the wider Church. Working as an attorney for those who are marginalized has helped me to have a greater understanding of our mission. I would be humbled to continue to serve as a Deputy and bring my knowledge to General Convention.

Martha ThalheimerMartha Thalheimer
St. Luke's, Montclair

I am a cradle Episcopalian who grew up at Grace Church Nutley. While there, I was a Sunday School teacher, an acolyte and member of the youth group. I have been a member of St. Luke’s Montclair since 1999. I have the honor of being the director of the Altar Guild, a worship assistant, reader, Eucharistic minister and part of the healing time. I spent six years on the Vestry, as well as serving as Junior and Senior Warden. I am part of the management team for our thrift shop and help Toni’s Kitchen with back office record keeping. I would feel honored to represent the Diocese of Newark at the next General Convention. I would welcome it as an opportunity to learn more about the larger church and bring my varied experience to the convention.


One nomination necessary. Candidate requirement: Communicant in good standing.

The Secretary shall give notice of all Conventions as required by the Constitution, take Minutes of the proceedings, preserve the journals and records, attest the public acts of the Convention, and perform such other services as may from time to time be prescribed by the Canons or by the Convention.

The Secretary of the Convention shall also be a Secretary of the Diocesan Council.


John A. KingJohn A. King
St. Andrew's, Harrington Park

A lifelong member of the diocese, I have had the benefit of being spiritually nurtured by, and have served on the vestries of, four different congregations of various sizes within the diocese. I was formed as a Christian by Eagle's Nest Camp, and World Of Our Diocesan Youth (WOODY), having held various leadership roles including Camp Life Director of ENC. Served on the Youth Ministries Board, and currently on the Board of Trustees at Cross Roads Camp., I volunteer as a LEM at St. Andrew's, Harrington Park and as a volunteer firefighter, serving the Harrington Park Fire Company as President. I have 18 years of corporate experience and a profound respect for the polity of the Episcopal Church. I look forward to continuing to enhance the ways that we interact with each other as a diocese, utilizing new technology whenever possible, while at the same time, respecting the needs of those who, for whatever reason, cannot similarly embrace technology.


One nomination necessary for each office. Candidate requirement: Communicants in good standing.

The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer each shall give satisfactory security for the faithful performance of his/her duties. The Treasurer shall be entitled to a seat in the Convention and shall submit a statement of the accounts to each Annual Convention. The Assistant Treasurer shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the Treasurer of the Convention.

The Treasurer of the Convention shall also be Treasurer of the Diocesan Council.


For Treasurer of Convention:

Sam ReckfordSamuel Reckford
Christ Church, Short Hills

Sam is the Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese of Newark.


For Assistant Treasurer of Convention:

Rhonda LutzRhonda Lutz
Church of the Saviour, Denville

I am currently a vestry member, Finance Committee member, Welcoming Committee Chair, and Choir member at the Church of the Saviour, Denville. Also, I run a Spiritual Format class for the women in my parish. On a Diocesan level, I currently serve on the Board of Trustees and Assistant Treasurer of Convention. My past experiences, in my church and the diocese, have been Warden, President of St. Martha's Guild, Parish Life Chair, Treasurer, and Search Committee for the XI Bishop of Newark. Professionally, I am a financial professional in the healthcare industry and a Doctoral Candidate at Walden University. I seek the position of Assistant Treasurer as a way to use my gifts and give back to the Diocese of Newark.