Clergy & Lay Staff
The Rev. Brenda Husson
Brenda Husson has been Rector of St. James’ since All Saints Day (Nov. 1), 1996. Her history here is a bit longer, however, as she was also Associate Rector from 1988 until 1991 and then Interim Pastor from 1991-1992. As Rector, Brenda’s work leads her into every aspect of St. James’ life - from worship and preaching, to pastoral care and leadership development, to budgets and administration. She is passionate about preaching, loves pastoral care and teaching, and those opportunities to talk with parishioners about their own journeys into deeper relationship with God through Christ. She and her husband Tom Faulkner, a sculptor and Episcopal priest, have a son, Chris. When not at St. James’, Brenda can be found swimming laps, at the theater, or just spending time with the men in her life, including the family dog, Quique.
The Rev. Ryan Fleenor
Ryan has been at St. James' since July 2010, serving first as Lilly Fellow and now as Associate Rector for Spiritual Formation. He is particularly responsible for coordinating our worship ministries and initiatives in adult formation, including the Forum, Bible studies, small groups, retreats and more. Ryan sees his ministry as one of creating spaces---in worship and study, through mission and service, and in our daily conversations---where we can notice and respond to the ways God is at work in our lives, transforming us and equipping us as disciples of Jesus. Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Ryan studied history at the University of Virginia and earned his M.Div. at Yale Divinity School. He and his partner Dan were married at St. James' and live in Brooklyn.
The Rev. Sarah Stewart
The Rev. Sarah Stewart graduated from Yale Divinity School in May 2015 and joined St. James' staff as Rockwell Fellow in July 2015. Ordained in the Diocese of Washington (DC), she will serve for two years at St. James' in a variety of ministries.
The Rev. Craig Townsend
Director of the Hays Rockwell Center for Clergy Development
Craig arrived at St. James' Church as Associate Rector for Education in the fall of 1997 and was named Vicar (senior associate) in 2007. Since its inception in 2003, Craig also served as Coordinator of the Lilly Program, a mentoring program for new clergy. His leadership enabled the creation in 2015 of the Hays Rockwell Center for Clergy Development at St. James' Church, a program for which he now serves as Director, mentoring and overseeing newly ordained clergy throughout the diocese. Craig was born in Syracuse, New York, and received an A.B. from Brown University, an M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity and American Religious History from Harvard University in 1998. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.
Director of Operations
Toby Anderson joined the St. James' staff in October 2014 and was named Director of Operations in January 2016. Toby is an Iraq war veteran and much of his work during his three tours focused on project management with the Army. At St. James', he is responsible for overseeing the functioning of our physical plant, including supervising the maintenance staff and managing capital projects.
Associate for Parish Life
It seems that everyone at St. James’ knows Grace Beacham our resident Southern Belle and Jill of all trades. Grace has been a part of St. James’ 1990, as a parishioner, staffperson, or both! Community is highly valued here at St. James’, and as the event planner for all parish-wide activities, Grace is invaluable for both her creative eye and her warm personality. In addition to fostering fellowship in our halls, our “Community Festival” events raise money to support social service agencies throughout the city. Always looking for volunteers, Grace loves her job for the many parishioners and visitors she gets to work with all year. Her other great love is, of course, New York City. (“It has never gotten boring after 25 years,” she claims.)
Born and raised in Manhattan, Calvin Butler first came to St. James' as a volunteer and has been on staff since May 2009. His two favorite things about St. James' are how everyone reaches out to help those who can't help themselves and the quality of our children's programs. Butler knows that happy kids makes for a happy space -- when he's not at work, he loves spending time with his three children, Cashan, Schante, and Calvin Jr., and with his girlfriend, Nee.
Sandra De La Cruz
Administrator for Stewardship & Operations
Sandra joined St. James' staff at the end of January, 2017. She has many years of experience in organizational administration, most recently at the Board of Global Missions of the Methodist Church. Sandra was also at one time an assistant in the office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Chris came to St. James’ in October 2011 with her little yellow lab mix, Boomer. Together, they administer St. James’ website, design our signage and print publications, and diligently color-code calendars. Chris loves to talk about grids and typography, and believes there’s nothing a walk through Central Park can’t solve.
Music Associate for Children & Youth
Loraine joined St. James' staff at the start of 2015. Loraine holds a double-degree with highest honors from the New England Conservatory of Music for viola performance and music theory. At the Conservatory she studied under Alan Fletcher and Marcus Thompson, and was a teaching assistant at the Conservatory for both keyboard harmony and music theory. While at NEC she studied at Harvard University with David Lewin and at MIT with David Epstein. Her graduate work was at the University of Chicago, where she was a Century Teaching Fellow in ethnomusicology, and also Visiting Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, where her work in Coptic liturgy earned her presentations at conferences worldwide. She has also done post-graduate study in early childhood music education at both the Catholic University of America and the Hartt School of Music, and has served as a national adjudicator for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She is also the Director of the summer Girl Chorister Course at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, and an active member of the Board of Trustees for VOICE Charter School.
Associate for Mission
Susana was born in Spain and grew up in Honduras, where her parents were missionaries. She moved to the Bay Area in 2004 to attend college and upon graduation decided to take on the challenges of seminary training. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Intercultural Studies, and then from Union Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Christian Social Ethics. She loves the variety of programs she gets to be involved with at St. James’, as well as the enthusiasm and commitment of its parishioners.
Director of Children’s and Family Ministries
Vicki has been shepherding children and families into the St. James’ community since 1997. A Band Director in her previous life, Vicki received her MA in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Virginia. At St. James', she oversees all of our family and children’s programming - helping little ones become engaged in worship, understand what it means to be Christian, and love their neighbors. Our kids are integral to all aspects of our life in the church, from music to mission and everywhere in between. It’s no surprise that Vicki is often sought-after for answers to questions like: Are the playgroups full or can I still register? Can my daughter acolyte and sing in the choir? Can my son have a speaking part in the Christmas pageant? Where is the fourth grade Church School class? My father is very ill and close to death. Do you have any resources that I can use to help my child through this difficult time? When she isn’t at St. James’, Vicki loves her morning exercise time and her great big family.
Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries
Chris joined the St. James' staff in the summer of 2015, having previously served as Youth Minister at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Glen Rock, NJ. Chris grew up in Buffalo, went to High School in South Florida and graduated from Nyack College in Nyack, New York with a degree in History and Religion. After college, he spent a year in San Francisco with the Episcopal Service Corps, living in intentional community and working with Episcopal Senior Communities. Chris currently lives in Harlem with his husband, Andrew. He loves dogs, exploring the city, cooking, and skee ball.
Director of Finance & Lay Associate
Matthew Leaycraft joined St. James' staff in May 2015, bringing many years experience in commercial real estate finance and administrative asset management. He was also involved in the work of non-profit management, as a Director for more than twenty years and ultimately Board Chair of the New York City Mission Society and as a board member and then Executive Director of Byrdcliffe, an arts non-profit in Woodstock, New York. Matt is a graduate of Vassar College; he received his Masters of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School in 2010 and has served as an intern at both the Church of the Heavenly Rest and Holy Cross Monastery. He served most recently as a Parish Associate at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights. He is a retreat leader and spiritual director. Matt and his partner of twenty-three years, Steve Cambron, were married in 2011. We are excited by the skills and experience Matt brings to this work and his clear belief that the work ahead for him and for us is a ministry that can strengthen our proclamation of the Gospel and support St. James' parishioners in their discipleship.
Cathy joined the staff at St. James' in June 2014 with more than fifteen years' experience in corporate and public accounting -- and the intention to find more than gainful employment. Her goal was to find a “home" both at St. James' and in NYC. Born and raised in NJ and a longtime resident of East Brunswick, she raised two sons, Kevin and Daniel, who are her pride and joy! Both her boys moved to NYC after graduating college. Empty nesters, Cathy and her husband Kevin sold their home in the suburbs to rent an apartment in NYC. High school sweethearts married 31 years, they believed it was time for a change of pace and lifestyle. Cathy and her husband plan to spend this next phase of their life together exploring the city, embracing the culture, and enjoying more then a few good meals! But most importantly, they look forward to spending quality time with their children and being part of the St. James' community and family.
Emil has worked at St. James' Church since the summer of 2006. Prior to working here, he worked part-time at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. He and his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer, were married in March 2013. He enjoys working at St. James' and helping keep God's house clean and maintained.
Born and raised in Manhattan, I began at St. James' as a temp receptionist in February 2006, and three months later was hired as full time staff. I have met many interesting people at St. James'. I love that things are never the same here at the receptionist desk, and it helps that I am a people person. (My family likes to call me "a social butterfly!") I have a wonderful husband, Miguel Rosario, who I have shared my life with for the last 29 years. God has blessed us with six wonderful children---Miguel, Christina, Megan, Manuel, Mia, Matthew---and four grandchildren---Miguel the 4th, Madison, Benjamin, and Luis. My family loves going to the mountains in Glens Falls, NY, where we camp all summer long, and the little ones love fishing, canoeing and just exploring nature in all its wonders. Mike and I have volunteered for many years in amateur boxing. He began as a boxer at the age of 6, has won numerous titles, and today is an international referee and judge. I began as fan and became a computer scoring technician, both nationally and internationally. Today I am happy to say that I spend the better part of my day in a place I love with the people I have come to love as my family, the staff at St. James'.
Joel Sosa joined St. James' staff full-time in October 2016 as Property Manager. Joel has worked as a Facilities/Project Manager for more than 10 years. He loves going to concerts and playing basketball with his three boys, partnering with his coworkers at St. James', and knowing that our purpose serves God and the community.
Artist in Residence
Stephen Tharp has been Artist-in-Residence at St. James’ Church since November 2014, serving as the principal organist for the 9:10 and 11:15 a.m. liturgies on Sunday. Stephen is an internationally-acclaimed concert organist, recording artist, and composer. Learn more at www.stephentharp.com.
DMA, Director of Music & Organist
Davis has been at St. James’ since August 2000. As Director of Music & Organist, he plans the music for all of our worship services (including weddings and funerals) and concerts. He also directs the adult choirs, plays the organ for services, presents educational forums about sacred music, and oversee the children’s music program. Most parishioners seek Davis out for information about how they can volunteer to sing or play an instrument in the music ministry. People also call to ask about what our musicians do in the service itself, especially what kind of music we're using and why. Davis is passionate about sacred music and crafting experiences of liturgical music that help draw parishioners more deeply into worship.