Meet the Team
The Rev. Tom Brackett is the Manager for Church Planting & Mission Development for the staff of the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop. He aspires to provide coaching, organizational development and management consulting for diocesan leadership teams and their congregations, with compassion and grace. When consulting leaders in difficult settings and trying times, he is often called on to discern “what the Spirit is up to,” in that moment. His approaches to organizational redevelopment via coaching and consulting involve rigorous practices of compassion as well as a durable commitment to honoring the individual’s ideas and strengths.
The Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey is a native of Harrisburg PA, and has lived most of her life in Philadelphia. Prior to becoming a priest, Betsy was an executive in the Commonwealth of PA government for the Office of Inspector General. Betsy was ordained to the priesthood in 2014. After a two-year curacy in Central PA, she served as Rector of St. Simon the Cyrenian in South Philadelphia from 2015-2017. Building on St. Simon’s community engagement through the City Camp ministry, she created a meal ministry, a food distribution partnership, and a Saturday arts program for children and youth. In 2017 Bishop Daniel G. P. Gutierrez appointed her as Canon for Growth and Support which included directing Youth Ministry. As Canon, Betsy enables churches to envision and enact new models of ministry. As Director of Youth Ministry, Canon Ivey has decentralized the core activity of youth ministry to the parish and deanery levels. This year she expects to expand the scope of City Camp to include a program for other-abled children.
Betsy holds a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary (both with honor), and a Master of Sacred Theology cum laude from the General Seminary. Betsy is on the Board of Trustees of the Lancaster Theological Seminary. She, also, serves on the GCO Task Force for Church Planting and Church Redevelopment, Genesis II: Re-Vision and Re-New. Betsy loves the Church, the Diocese of Pennsylvania, big cities, reading, jazz, the arts, traveling, the beach, and cooking. She adores her two daughters and four grandchildren and is currently a resident of South Philly with her Labradoodle Noah.
The Rev. Dr. Gray Lesesne is a church planter and congregational redeveloper who is passionate about forming disciples of Jesus who love, serve, and include all people without exception. He is currently the Vicar and Church Planter at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Brownsburg, Indiana, a thriving new congregation focused on serving its community in suburban Indianapolis. A collaborator, teacher, cheerleader, and innovator, and believer in the ministry of all the baptized, Gray uses his academic training in congregational development to empower faith communities to look for and be a part of God’s transformative work beyond their walls and in their neighborhoods.
Steve Matthews is a leadership coach working with redeveloping communities and new missional initiatives. He has an MA in Clinical Psychology (Western Carolina University), a Master of Divinity degree (Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond), and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction (San Francisco Theological Seminary). Steve Matthews lives in Richmond, VA. Formerly, Steve worked at St. Paul’s Richmond, and most recently he was the Executive Director of the South Coast Mission Hub in the Episcopal (a local collaborative of churches sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts). He was a writer for The Way of Pilgrimage: An Adventure in Spiritual Formation for the Next Generation (Upper Room Books) and also writes for Devozine (a magazine for Youth and Youth Leaders). Steve is a Senior Associate Consultant with The FaithX Project.
Caroline McCall is Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of Congregational Studies at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. In her teaching at CDSP, Caroline has focused on providing students with skills, tools, and knowledge for effective congregational development and leadership. Prior to joining the faculty at CDSP, Caroline spent a decade providing consulting, training and coaching within the Episcopal dioceses of California, Northern California. Olympia, New Jersey, Central Pennsylvania, and Oregon. She has also worked with the Diocese of New Westminster in the Anglican Church of Canada. This consulting practice emerged out of her prior business in organizational development, facilitation, and training for agencies and individual leaders in the non-profit, philanthropic, and public sectors. Caroline is a trainer for the College for Congregational Development and is committed to supporting the vitality of the Christian community in all its forms.
The Very Rev. Amy McCreath is the Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Boston Common. Her favorite part of the year is summer, when she spends a good bit of time on the plaza in front of the cathedral leading bingo games, signing people up to vote, and inviting people to make “art for peace” as part of the cathedral’s Ministry of the Steps. She previously served as Episcopal Campus Minister at MIT in Cambridge, MA, and then as Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown, MA, where she worked alongside the congregation to reconnect to the community through helping start community gardens, developing a summer program called Vacation Garden School, and bringing people together to share food they had grown at “Real Meals.”
The Rt. Rev. Allen Shin was elected to be the Diocese of New York’s new bishop suffragan on December 7, 2013. Born in South Korea, Allen K. Shin and his family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1972, where he attended Gonzaga College High School, a Jesuit school for boys. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1983, majoring in Music/Vocal Performance. He then spent four years in New York City working as a professional singer, before taking up a position as a choir director at a Korean Episcopal church in Chicago.
Having gone through the discernment process in Chicago, Shin studied for his Master of Divinity degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, graduating in 1996. He was ordained to the diaconate in the Diocese of Chicago in June of that year, and to the priesthood in the Diocese of New York that December. Also in 1996, he was called as Curate/Assistant to the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City, where he remained until 2001, at the same time taking up the position of Assistant Officer, Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry at Episcopal Church Center, which he held until 1999.
In 2001, he earned the degree of Master of Sacred Theology from the General Theological Seminary. He then went to England, where from 2002 to 2005 he pursued post-graduate studies in Patristic Studies at the University of Oxford. During the course of his studies, he also held the position of Honorary Assistant Priest at All Saints Church, Margaret Street, London. He then remained at the University of Oxford from 2005 to 2010 as Fellow and Chaplain of Keble College. Shin returned from England to the United States in 2010, to take up the position of Rector of St. John’s Church, Huntington, NY, in the Diocese of Long Island.
Natalie Thomas is the Director of Engagement at Episcopal City Mission. Episcopal City Mission builds relationships and collective power across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for racial and economic justice as the expression of God’s transforming love. As the Director of Engagement Natalie is responsible for activating faith-rooted communities to join in God’s movement for Justice. Natalie began her professional career as a community organizing fellow with Life Together, a program for young adults in the Episcopal Church. This inspired Natalie to lead organizing movements in Boston, New Zealand and Nairobi, Kenya. She was a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and continues to work on projects with Sr. Lecturer Marshall Ganz. Natalie worked extensively as a teacher, consultant, and retreat facilitator with non-profit organizations and Christian congregations across the country. Natalie is a candidate for the Diaconate in the Diocese of Massachusetts and an Episcopal Church Fellow.
The Rev. Canon Janet Waggoner is the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, where she partners with the Bishop and clergy in an array of ministry adventures which are changing lives and growing congregations. She is passionate about sharing the love of God and helping Christian communities thrive. Prior to serving in the Diocese of Fort Worth, she was the interim pastor in a Lutheran congregation in Texas and rector of a congregation in Connecticut. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, her great-great-grandparents homesteaded in the hills of Washington overlooking the Columbia River; their determination and innovation inspire her transformative work with clergy and congregations as a coach, consultant, and mentor.
The Rev. Canon Ada Wong Nagata is an Episcopal priest, and an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, Diocese of Los Angles. She has served in parishes in the Dioceses of Los Angeles and New York and was instrumental in establishing two Chinese-language congregations forming multicultural ministry in two churches. She has joined the General Convention Task Force on Church Planting and Congregational Redevelopment since November 2018. Ada is passionate about developing multicultural ministry and studied this topic and earned her Doctor of Ministry from Episcopal Divinity School in 2015.
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