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The Reverend Zachary Thompson

Zack began as Rector of St. James’ Church in May of 2023. Prior to joining the staff at St. James’, Zack served as the Episcopal Chaplain to Emory University, and as an Associate Rector, and Rector, in parishes in the Diocese of Atlanta. As Rector, Zack works with the Vestry, lay leadership, and staff to focus everything we do as a parish on our core mission of forming disciples of Jesus who will actively share God’s love with each other, our city, and the world. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, Zack earned his M.Div. at Emory University and a Master of Sacred Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he defended a thesis on the theological vision of Rowan Williams. Zack is married to Amy, and they have two sons, Rowan and Ezra.


Associate Rector

The Reverend Marisa Sifontes

Marisa serves as the Associate Rector of St. James, with a focus on Mission, Parish Life, and Pastoral Care. Prior to this, she served as Associate Rector of a parish in Roanoke, Virginia and Diocesan Missioner for Becoming Beloved Community in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. She received her M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

She has a passion for Mission. Her faith leans heavily on the words of our Baptismal Covenant, particularly our call to seek and serve Christ in all persons, respecting the dignity of every human being. 

While born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Marisa has lived in Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina most recently. Moving to New York has brought her back North for the first time in many years. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from the University of Michigan. She actively practiced law for twenty years before being ordained.

Marisa has two college-aged sons, Cole and Max, unwittingly practices tsundoku, and is almost always planning her next trip.


Associate for Formation

The Reverend Jay Sidebotham

Jay joined the St. James staff in September 2020, although COVID precluded in-person presence until Easter 2021. He serves as Associate for Formation, working half-time at St. James’ while continuing with work with the wider church through Forward Movement and RenewalWorks. He has been a priest for 31 years, and views a return to St. James as a homecoming, since he served as seminarian at St. James while he attended Union Seminary. In intervening years he served churches in Rhode Island, Washington D.C., North Carolina, New York City (St. Bart’s) and Lake Forest, Illinois. In addition to his ministry in parishes, he enjoys cartooning and illustrating for the sake of church. Jay is married to Frances Murchison. They live in Wilmington, NC, where Jay heads when he’s not working at St. James. They have two young adult children who are each married, and two grandchildren.


Lay Staff
Associate for Parish Life

Grace Beacham

Donations, Thrift Sales, Parish Events, Altar Guild

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, staff-person, or both! Grace’s deep faith, real love of people, and attention to detail help make St. James’ retreats, workshops, newcomer events, and parish-wide functions places where parishioners can come to better know each other and Jesus. Grace and her volunteers are also responsible for the thrift and antique sales that raise money for St. James’ Grants Program to support social service agencies throughout the city. 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.


Hospitality Manager

Zoraida Benitez

Associate for Youth, Young Adults, and Mission

Calvin Bushman

Originally from North Jersey, Calvin completed his undergraduate degree in Biblical and Theological Studies at Nyack College before completing his Master of Divinity at Boston University School of Theology.  Calvin has previously been involved with several youth ministries, and recently completed a one-year residency as a hospital chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital prior to coming to St. James’.  Calvin is beyond excited to be a part of the St. James’ community, and looks forward to the fun of exploring faith and formation with youth and young adults.

Outside of church, Calvin loves going to the movies and considers it a spiritual practice to go once a week.  Currently, Calvin lives in East Harlem with his partner, Sophie and their dog, Moses.


Director of Communications and Associate for Children’s Choirs

Marisa Curcio

Marisa has been a soprano in the Compostela Choir since September 2021, and joined the staff as Director of Communications in February 2022. Originally from near Saratoga Springs, NY, she relocated to Princeton, NJ for school at Westminster Choir College, earning a B.M. in Music Education and a B.M. in Sacred Music. Previously, she worked at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia as their Associate for Communications, where she facilitated a website build, oversaw the implementation of new live-streaming equipment, and helped the parish feel connected in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic by making worship services available weekly. In addition to her work in communications, she is a professional choral singer and teacher, singing all over NY, NJ, and PA (sometimes all three in one day!) and maintaining a private studio of fifteen voice, piano, and strings students at a Central NJ music school.


Sexton & Verger

Saadik Desane

Saadik began working at St. James’ in 2015. Born and raise in Queens,  he is the father of one son, Robert Saadik DeSane. His responsibilities include maintenance and verger duties and he always available whenever we need him.

Creative Producer Audio & Video

Andrew Filippone Jr.

Andrew is a filmmaker and two-time New York EMMY Award winner.

Hospitality Assistant

Josefina Franco


Administrative Assistant to the Rector

Rosa Gentile

Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms

Rosa Gentile has been the administrative assistant to Rectors Brenda Husson and Zachary Thompson since February 2001. But that wasn’t how Rosa first came to know St. James’. That was in the distant August of 2000 when she arrived as temporary assistant to then Associate Rectors, Craig Townsend and Susannah Smith. Working with Craig and Susannah and getting to know the parish, its people and the caring staff, all contributed to her appreciation of the synergy and the good deeds that are manifested when people work together as one caring and loving body.  As administrative assistant to the Rector, Rosa assists parishioners in many aspects of parish matters and is typically the first person to receive requests for baptisms, weddings and funerals. Those new to the parish or life-long parishioners are sure to find a caring ear and an answer to their administrative and sometimes pastoral queries when they call her office.


Director of Children's and Family Ministries

Vicki Hall

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. When she isn’t at St. James’, Vicki loves her morning exercise time and her great big family.


Sexton & Verger

Stephen Hurst


Interim Director of Music, Organist

Vaughn Mauren

A lifelong Episcopalian, Vaughn Mauren began his musical career as a treble chorister and graduated from Trinity College (Hartford) and the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music. Since then, he has held positions at Christ Church Bronxville and St. James’s West Hartford. At St James’s he oversaw a major organ project, developed a popular concert series featuring international artists, and led the choir on a summer tour of England. He has conducted several chamber operas and major choral works, including the Brahms Requiem. Beyond his deep passion for choral and organ music, Vaughn is an active professional pilot and flies out of Westchester and Teterboro airports.


Accounting Manager

Cathy McAleer

Cathy joined the staff of St. James’ in June 2014 with 15 years’ experience in public and corporate accounting. Her work experience began in brokerage after college before spending many years working for a hedge fund manager. She was later employed as Accounting Manager at both a medical communications firm and government contract agency.  A longtime resident of East Brunswick, NJ, she and her husband Kevin raised two sons Kevin and Daniel. Empty nesters, they moved to NYC where they now enjoy spending their free time exploring and embracing  the city and spending quality time with their growing family.


Part-Time Assistant

Eva McCoy

Eva has been a member of St James’ Church for the past 5 years. She assists Vicki with Children and Family Ministries (CFM) and now assists Marisa in production of printed materials. She has served in the youth choir, is currently a chalice bearer, and has been part of the Tuesday meal program and various Mission outreach programs. She will be starting at Hunter College this fall and is proud to be a part of St. James’ lay staff. Eva is excited for this journey and continued growth at St. James’!

Sexton & Verger

Emil Ramirez

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.


Mercedes Rosario

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’.


Director of Administration & Finance

Jerry Sgambati