Clergy
Rector

The Reverend 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, an artist and Episcopal priest, have a son, Chris. When not at St. James’, Brenda can be found swimming laps, at the theater, spending time with the men in her life and enjoying tim  with the furry members of the family:  Quique, Alma (dogs) and ChiChi (chinchilla).

212-774-4250

bhusson@stjames.org

A Ministry of Support

At St. James’ Episcopal Church, we foster a desire to see everyone in the church grow, succeed, and build community. The clergy and lay staff help further this mission by engaging with the congregation and facilitating togetherness; St. James’ Church welcomes people from all walks of life.

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Vicar

The Reverend Zachary Thompson

Zack has been at St. James’ since 2017, serving first as Associate Rector and now as Vicar. He is particularly responsible for coordinating our worship and pastoral care ministries along with initiatives in new member incorporation and parish life. As Vicar, Zack works with the Rector, 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.

212-774-4255

zthompson@stjames.org

Associate Rector

The Reverend Eva Suarez

Eva Suarez came to St. James’ as the 2017-2019 Rockwell Fellow, and became Associate Rector at the conclusion of her fellowship. Eva is excited about the ways people can grow in faith through service, and has primary oversight of St. James’ outreach ministries and local and international partnerships. After studying religion at Columbia University, she received her M.Div from Union Theological Seminary and her M.S.W from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter. Originally from Washington, D.C., Eva is a city girl at heart. She lives on the West Side with her partner Robert, a food photographer.

212-774-4256

esuarez@stjames.org

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.

212-774-4239

jsidebotham@stjames.org

Rockwell Fellow

The Reverend James Morton

James became the 2020-2023 Rockwell Fellow after completing an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He enjoys cultivating experiences that help others fall in love with God and is thrilled to be a part of the St. James community. Before seminary, James earned a BA from William & Mary and later served as the deputy director of a nonpartisan political advocacy group. He also spent a summer living alongside the brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a monastic community of the Episcopal Church in Cambridge, MA. In addition to his professional life, James enjoys finding ways to volunteer locally. Past examples include jail ministry, civil liberties work, and service in support of an LGBTQ youth center in Central Virginia. In his spare time, James loves to sail, stay active, read, and listen to podcasts. He also has great affection for creatures great and small, especially dogs.

212-774-4242

jmorton@stjames.org

Program Ministers
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.

212-774-4232

Vhall@stjames.org

Director of Music, Organist

Davis Wortman

Davis Wortman has been the Director of Music and organist for St. James’ since September 2000.  He was formerly the Choirmaster and Organist for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas. His graduate studies were at the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, followed by post-graduate studies at Yale Divinity School. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Manhattan School of Music. True to his roots as an organist, he designed and installed St. James’ 96-rank Schoenstein organ as part of the 2010 Bicentennial Celebration of the founding of the church in 1810. He enjoys travel, fine foods and is extremely partial to the care and joy of canine companions.

212-774-4233

dwortman@stjames.org

Associate for Music, Children's Choirs

Loraine Enlow

Loraine Enlow joined St. James’ staff in January 2015.  As Music Associate, she is responsible for the Children’s and Youth Choirs, assists with the adult choirs, and helps manage the many details that go into our vibrant music program at St. James’. Mrs. Enlow completed her undergraduate work at The New England Conservatory of Music, did graduate work at The University of Chicago in ethnomusicology, and post-graduate study in music education at both the Catholic University of America and the Hartt School of Music.  She regularly serves as guest conductor and clinician for choral festivals across North America. She is also working part-time on a doctorate in Biblical Interpretation at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

212-774-4200

Youth Minister and Mission Coordinator

Windsor Jones

Windsor Jones grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in music. In his first year out of college, Windsor worked as an intern for Church of the Common Ground in Atlanta, a church that strives to be a welcoming spiritual home for the homeless community in Atlanta. Since moving to New York in the summer of 2019, he joined St James’ staff, and currently serves as the Youth Minister & Mission Volunteer Coordinator. Windsor enjoys exploring the city and state on his bike, tasting new foods at home and around the city, listening to live music, and most of all, any time he’s able to see his family.

212-774-4200

wjones@stjames.org

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.

212-774-4231

gbeacham@stjames.org

Lay Staff
Director of Communications

Patricia Allen

eNews & Announcements, Social Media, Parish Publications, Website

Patty has more than 25 years working as a professional communicator specializing in the field of media relations. She has worked in a wide range of sectors, including multinational corporations, universities and non-profits.

pallen@stjames.org

212-774-4244

Hospitality Manager

Zoraida Benitez

Bio Coming Soon!

zbenitez@stjames.org

Administrator for Stewardship and Operations

Sandra De La Cruz

Stewardship, Annual Commitment, Financial Gifts

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.

sdelacruz@stjames.org

212-774-4243

Sexton & Verger

Saadik Desane

Bio Coming Soon!

sdesane@stjames.org

Maintenance Assistant

Isaac Eustaquio

Bio Coming Soon!
Creative Producer Audio & Video

Andrew Filippone Jr.

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

Josefina Franco

Bio Coming Soon!
Administrative Assistant to the Rector

Rosa Gentile

Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms

Rosa Gentile has been the administrative assistant to the rector, Brenda Husson, 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.

rgentile@stjames.org

212-774-4251

Sexton & Verger

Stephen Hurst

Bio Coming Soon!
Accounting Manager

Cathy McAleer

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 more than 30 years, they believed it was time for a change of pace and lifestyle. Cathy and Kevin spend their time together exploring the city, embracing the culture, and enjoying more than a few good meals! But most importantly, they enjoy spending quality time with their children and being part of the St. James’ community and family.

cmcaleer@stjames.org

212-774-4238

Property Manager

Francis Piraino

Requests for Space Rental

Bio Coming Soon!

fpiraino@stjames.org

212-774-4279

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.
Receptionist

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’.

mrosario@stjames.org

212-774-4200

Director of Administration & Finance

Jerry Sgambati

Artist in Residence

Stephen Tharp

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.

stharp@stjames.org

Vestry
Senior Warden

Jennifer Charrington

I am deeply humbled and honored to be asked to continue to serve as (Senior) Warden at St. James’ Church. It has been a role that has been a source of great joy to me. There is no other place, nor group of people, with whom I would rather spend my time and energy. I believe that each one of us has a call to continue to grow spiritually. It has been particularly exciting for me to be witness to the remarkable spiritual growth taking place amongst parishioners through our work together. The enthusiasm and energy is bubbling up all over the place! I look forward to learning, praying, serving, questioning and going further on this journey together, as we deepen our relationships with God, our neighbors and the world.
Junior Warden

Missy Condo

It is an honor to serve as the Junior Warden at St James’. The work the Clergy, Staff, and Vestry undertake is truly a labor of love for the St James’ community. St James’ is a very welcoming church that makes it possible to grow spiritually in many ways as well as to give back to our community and beyond. After being a member of St. James’ for 28 years I am still amazed at all the new opportunities to grow in faith and help our neighbors, those in need, and to make a difference in community organizations.

Sue Bennett

Sue is a mother and freelance Creative Project Director. As a vestry person, Sue believes that it is so important that the doors of St. James’ are open every day. By having the doors open St. James’, parishioners have the opportunity to worship, grow spiritually, deepen their relationship with God, and can spread the Good News of the Gospel outside of the doors of the Church. Sue affirms that we warmly greet all who come in the open doors; St. James’ is a welcoming place to worship, to belong and to grow. We are a strong community with many ways to be involved; from worship services, to the amazing children’s programs for kids of all ages, to adult forums and small groups, to mission and outreach beyond the doors of the Church. All of these elements of St. James’ are essential to our continued growth, as a church and for individual members. It is her hope to continue to support all that we do and also explore new ways to reach out even further. Sue believes we all have a responsibility to keep the doors open with our financial gifts to the Church. By giving financially we receive so much in return. With the doors of St. James’ open we can fulfill our mission statement as a community that actively shares the love of Jesus Christ with each other, our city, and the world.

Hugh Boston

Hugh feels enriched to be a part of St. James and inspired and grateful each time he enters our church to worship or to engage in work or fellowship. While as a parent of young children, he is closest to the children’s and family ministries, he sees and is appreciative for the work of this church across its diverse congregation. Hugh believes our church is strong due to the work of so many who have gone before us, and that it is our responsibility to continue the Lord’s work in this place now and in the future. At St. James’, “we are welcome here” and so is everyone who seeks to join us in our walk of Christian faith

Richard Brown

Richard considers it a privilege to serve on the Vestry after having done so once before for six years during the transformative “Master Plan” years in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Professionally his career has been a mix of twenty years in private banking and more recently in residential real estate. For over three decades, in times of joy and difficulty, St. James, has played a critical, influential and stabilizing role in Richard’s life. He has two grown children, Charlotte and Preston, who were baptized and confirmed at St. James’ and grew up participating in Sunday School, children choirs, and as acolytes. Upon their graduation, he shifted from the 9:10am service to being one of the Usher Captains for the 11:15am. It is however the Candlelight Communion service at 6:00pm, with its contemplative and centering qualities, that has become his mainstay. Richard is grateful for St. James’ participation in Renewal Works and the opportunities for spiritual growth that are available through these rich and varied offerings. It is his hope these programs, often small groups welcoming a blend of newcomers and parishioners of longstanding, will continue to grow in participation. They are sources of inspiration and connection that provide the means and pathways for each of us to strengthen our relationship to and love for God and to one another.

Tristan Bultman

Most important to St. James’ is building a sustainable future to ensure all the ministries, community, opportunities, and resources remain available to this generation of parishioners and many to come. The spirited family and youth programs and homeless outreach, such as the Friday Night Dinner Program and Overnight Shelter, is the cornerstone of our community. I believe that our mission ministries are vital locally, nationally, and globally and must continue to be engaging. To do so, I encourage the generosity of each parishioner while nurturing new members to enrich our ministries. I am motivated by my belief that it is important that we take steps now, large and small, to secure a bright future for all who come here to worship, and invest their participation in our mission.

Stephen de Francesco

Stephen’s leadership at St. James’ is motivated by his sense that we are called to live in love, not fear, and to stand as a community. He takes joy in seeing the wide diversity of new faces in the pews every week, the increasing number of baptisms and confirmations, and the growing interest in exploring what scripture really has to say about how we are to live in the world and to treat each other. Now more than ever, he believes we must strengthen these commitments, stand with all “the others” who are unjustly persecuted, and declare unequivocally that in Christ — and in our nation — there is no division and we are all created equal. Stephen proclaims St. James’ admirable history as a “mission” church, a progressive leader in expanding God’s domain, through feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, sick and elderly, and advocating for social justice in our city and our world, to name just some of our programs and activities. He pledges to continue that mission in his service on the Vestry.

Dolly Geary

Dolly is honored to serve on the Vestry and is excited to serve as the liaison to the New Member and Evangelism committee and the Youth Council. Dolly and her husband, Jack, have two daughters, Eloise and Hilary, and have been active members of St. James’ since 2002. St. James’ is their spiritual home and a place where they have grown as a family and individually through the vibrant and beautiful services, Christian formation, volunteer opportunities, and just by being a part of the community for many years. In the past, Dolly served on the Mission Committee, Adult Education, and Parents of Young Children committees and led a small group Bible study. Outside of St. James’, Dolly runs a contemporary art gallery with her husband and volunteers with Student Sponsor Partners, Art21, and the Lehman College Art Gallery.

Susanna Guffey

St. James’ has been Susanna’s home through both hard times and joy. She considers it an absolute privilege to serve and be a part this church family in a myriad of ways so far, and has especially loved getting to know our “next gen” by teaching middle and high school Sunday School, bonding with her peers in the St. Jamesians 20s & 30s group, and having opportunities to share with parishioners of all ages through the Catechumenate and other small groups. Growing up as a preacher’s kid, church has always been a constant for Susanna. However, she believes there is something about St. James’ that is truly special, whole-hardheartedly welcoming and dedicated to spiritual growth in Christ. Susanna looks forward to continuing our Christian journey together, as we challenge ourselves to grow both as individual followers of God and as a community. Susanna works as an attorney.

Nina Huffman

I am excited and honored to serve on the Vestry of our vibrant church, which happily has been my family’s spiritual home for more than 20 years. I am a strong advocate for our outreach ministries, which provide opportunities for participants to deepen our relationships with God, the St. James’ clergy and staff and fellow parishioners. This energizing work demonstrates the extraordinary gifts of St. James’ – the collective spiritual gifts of the institution – drawn from generations of devoted and impactful parishioners and leaders. I believe our Christian duty calls us to engage with the broader community and share these gifts to promote the common good, now more than ever.

Elizabeth Littlejohn

Elizabeth is a wife, mother, and independent art appraiser. She is honored and humbled to have been elected to St. James’ Vestry. Elizabeth and her family are extremely grateful to be part of this special community, and Elizabeth is proud to have contributed in numerous capacities over the years. In her role as vestry member, she looks forward to serving our congregation in an even more meaningful way. Spiritual growth — as individuals and as a community — is a priority for Elizabeth, as is continuing to make St. James’ a welcoming place for all newcomers, particularly families and the newly baptized. Although she currently a regular attendee of the 9:10 a.m. service, Elizabeth values St. James’ broad reach via its multiple services, liturgies and music programs — all of which allow the greater congregation to feel connected to God and to each other.

Marcy Sendax

I believe that the purposeful dedication of the clergy and the vestry to deepen the spiritual lives of our parishioners so that together we can become more faithful followers of Jesus, is crucial to the good health and continued growth of St. James’ Church. The opportunity to participate in an on-line assessment of the vitality of our spiritual lives has been a blessing for both the church and the parishioner. With the information from this survey, we will be able to take the measure of our success as disciples of Jesus. Together with the great gift of God’s loving spirit, we will develop opportunities that will continue to engage and delight us as we come to understand His abiding love for all of us, and with that, to discern what God has called us to do and how we will do it.

Aaron Simpson

Aaron P. Simpson is an attorney, husband and father, and an active member of the St. James’ community. In fact, all the members of the Simpson family are active in the life of the parish, serving in liturgical roles during worship and in Children’s and Family Ministries. “Like the city itself, what we love about St. James is that it is a Church for everyone. All are graciously welcomed through those doors on Madison Avenue by our wonderful clergy and invited to grow in their Christian faith, participate in a diverse array of programs and ministries, and develop authentic relationships with their fellow parishioners.”
Prior to coming to St. James’, Aaron served on the Vestry of St. John’s Church in Larchmont. He is on the Advisory Council for the College of Liberal Arts at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin.
Youth Representative

Harper Simpson

Harper Simpson will serve as the youth representative on the Vestry. She is the daughter of Aaron and Shannon, and sister to Tate. At St. James, Harper serves as a lay worship assistant and is a member of the Youth Group. She is a student at the Brearley School and enjoys playing soccer, tennis and softball, as well as reading and travel.

Robert Stinson

Bob is an architect, husband, father, and grandfather, not necessarily in that order. St. James has been a very important part of his and his wife Mimi’s move to New York several years ago. It has provided a place of welcome and support, and a place of service as well. He is very honored to be a part of the vestry. Bob serves on the adult formation committee, the newcomer’s committee, the usher team, the grants committee and the property committee. Especially meaningful has been his participation in the men’s group on Friday mornings. St. James’ unique combination of welcome to all, spiritual growth in Christ, and outreach to the New York community makes it a very special place. Part of the church’s ministry has been to raise money through the second time around sale, and then donate this money to the grants committee to distribute. Visiting the charities which we support and seeing the difference we make has shown how very important St. James’ is not only to our local community but to the city as a whole. Bob looks forward to working with the Vestry as we grow inwardly in Christ and use the strength that gives to reach out to our families, neighborhood, city, and beyond.