Bishop Transition Committee Bios
Marsha McCurdy Adell
While not a cradle Episcopalian, the Episcopal Church has welcomed me and my family, which includes my 6-year-old twin girls, since 2008. Trinity – Hartford is our home parish where I most recently participated in the search for our new rector and now serve on the Vestry. In the diocese, I’ve served on the Human Resources Committee, Deacon’s Council, and Anti-Racism Committee. Throughout the search for our new Bishop, I offer my experience as a diversity and inclusion specialist and skills I’ve honed as a community leader and in my 21+ year career with the West Hartford Fire Department. My hope is that this search process will not only meet our current diocesan needs but will also address what the future of the church may need for leadership.
The Rev. Linda Spiers
Retired, currently serving as supply at St. Matthew’s, Wilton
Ordained as a second career person, I am a native of Virginia and graduate of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Serving all of my 20 years as a parish priest in our diocese, I have been actively engaged in the work of the wider church. During ECCT’s last bishop transition, I served as President of the Standing Committee. I currently serve as President of the Title IV Disciplinary Board, a Deputy to General Convention, convener of the Holy Landers Ministry Network and a core team member of the Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network. As a lifelong Episcopalian, I love the Episcopal Church, care deeply about its future, and have passion for restoration and reconciliation of all of God’s people. With great honor I bring my varied experiences to our transition process as we work to find a new bishop to faithfully lead us into the future and help us live deeply as the Beloved Community.
St. John’s, Essex
At the diocesan level, I was the Transition Consultant for the recent rector search at St. Luke’s in Darien, and I’ve been a member of ECCT’s Mission Council since its inception. In addition, the Rev. Rowena Kemp and I are the co-conveners of ECCT’s Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network. I also recently chaired the Camp Washington Board of Directors for four years, and I serve on ECCT’s Finance Committee.
In my work life, I served in a variety of leadership roles at a Fortune 20 company, and in my “retirement”, I am an Executive Coach and business consultant.
ECCT is in the midst of an exciting, yet challenging, transition, and I’m honored by the chance to follow the Holy Spirit as we search for a Bishop who will help us live into a lifegiving future.
St. Paul’s, Shelton
I am a retired CPA and college professor, who was raised Lutheran and received in the Episcopal Church in 2004. My parish life has included terms as: Treasurer and Senior Warden and I am now temporarily serving as Vestry Clerk. Also, I chaired the Search Committee for our current rector, Amjad Samuel. Leadership of Small Group Ministry, Annual Stewardship Campaign and Discipleship Program currently occupy my St. Paul’s efforts. These endeavors have made me much more aware of God’s presence in individuals’ daily lives and the blessing of serving The Greater Good. As this committee commences its work, I believe many new and exciting opportunities exist for the Diocese in the future. Growth and vibrancy of individual churches with consequential impact on surrounding community are central to this task. I am grateful for this opportunity!
The Rev. Harlon Dalton
St. Paul and St. James, New Haven
When asked to write a biographical paragraph, I often begin with the following sentence: “Harlon Dalton is an African-American male child of God and of the 60’s.” I lead with this quadruple statement of identity because every part of it shapes how I navigate the world, and informs the kind of Heaven on Earth I envision.
I am a retired professor of law. I used to be a retired priest as well, until I made the mistake of saying “yes” to an email from Bishop Douglas saying “Let’s meet for coffee.” I know Ian well enough to have surmised that he had something up his sleeve, but it did not occur to me that it might be an opportunity to return to my old stomping grounds, The Episcopal Church of St. Paul & St. James in New Haven. That is where I now serve as priest-in-charge. Prior to my failed retirement I served as associate rector at St. PJ’s; interim rector at St. Ann’s Old Lyme; Acting Canon for Mission Leadership; and priest-in-charge at Christ Church Cathedral. Other past diocesan involvements include serving on the Standing Committee; serving on the diocesan Finance Committee; serving on the Title III Task Force (to reimagine our ordination processes); serving on the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church CT; and chairing the Commission on Ministry.
St. John’s, Washington
Greeting to you all. I am Laura Daly and have just retired after 25+ years as an advertising/marketing executive. Raised Catholic, I joined St. John’s in 1996 as a member of the choir. Over the years, my commitment to the Episcopal Church grew as I became more enveloped in its message and mission. For the last 10 years, I have expanded my commitment to the Church as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Crucifer and Thurifer. I have also received training for Morning Prayer and recently became a licensed Preacher. I joined the St. John’s Vestry in January of 2021 and became a member of the Northwest Region Leadership Team soon after.
I am honored to be part of the BTC. I accept this great responsibility with prayerfulness and humility as we search for a Bishop who will share our hopes and concerns and can lead through prayer and empowerment.
Please feel free to contact me with any hopes or concerns you may have as we move forward into our future.
The Rev. Luk De Volder
Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven
I am the Rector of Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, CT. I have been a priest for over twenty years with a focus on building community, undoing racism, eco-spirituality and supporting people in the development of their God-given inner strength. Prior to my ministry at Trinity, I was the Rector of Christ Church, Clermont-Ferrand, an Episcopal Parish in France (2005-2011), after having served as Youth Minister at All Saints Episcopal Church, Brussels, Belgium. I originally hail from Belgium, where I received my Ph.D. in Theology at the Catholic University of Leuven. Throughout my academic commitments and ministry, I engaged also in gender equity, in social justice, particularly serving people who are struggling with homelessness or addiction, in youth work, choral singing, strategic planning, and spiritual discernment.
St. John’s, Vernon
I was baptized into ECCT at St. James, Danbury, where I was confirmed and married, to my wife Melissa. We joined St. John’s Vernon after moving to the area 25 years ago. Our active ministry in the church began with an invitation to join the Vestry as Assistant Treasurer. My professional background is in Accounting and Finance so the work of parish finances was a natural fit. Through the years, I served as Sr. Warden, and now serve as the Treasurer. In 2017, we navigated a merger with St. John’s East Hartford, which afforded me the opportunity to work with ECCT staff and ultimately led me to election to ECCT standing committee in 2018. The pandemic provided great challenges and opportunities where we were able to pivot to remote, Facebook Live worship within a week of closing. The BTC committee is committed to finding a diverse slate of candidates that fit all of our parishes, big and small and a Bishop that will walk beside us out of the pandemic into a prosperous new future.
The Rev. Jack Gilpin
Christ Church, Roxbury
I grew up in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia. I got a B.A. from Harvard in 1973, and an M. Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 1997. I’ve been a professional actor for 46 years, performing in theatre, film, and television, most recently as Sean Ayles on Showtime’s “Billions,” and soon as Henry Church in HBO’s “The Gilded Age”. I came to ordained ministry late, becoming deacon-in-charge at St. John’s, New Milford in October 2012, was ordained to the priesthood there in December of that year, became its Rector in January 2016, and retired from parish ministry in September 2020. I have served on the Cathedral Chapter, the Cathedral Discernment Task Force, and on Mission Council (two terms.) I and my wife Annie have three children and, as of last November, one grandchild.
Bishop Ian has led ECCT in a very powerful, spirit-filled, groundbreaking direction, and I am honored to join this committee as it works to discern where the Holy Spirit is urging us forward from this point, and who might be best suited to lead us in that direction.
St. Paul’s on the Green, Norwalk
I have been a member of St. Paul’s for eleven years and have served as warden, vestry member, and on numerous ministries. I am an original member of The Race & Justice Coalition at St Paul’s and co-run our tutoring program for refugee high school students. In addition, I am the manager at Dogwood Books & Gifts at Christ Church Greenwich. I believe that the core of the church is its people in the parishes, and that the diocese must listen to, and support, its parishes. The church is at her best when she is serving local communities, ministering to all, especially those who are marginalized. I am grateful and humbled by this opportunity to discern, with grace and faith, the next shepherd for our diocese.
The Rev. Jane Hale
Hi! I’m Jane Hale. I was ordained a priest nearly five years ago and have consistently found that following Jesus during a time of such important and rapid change— in the Church and the world—is an exciting, challenging, and holy invitation. Woven into the fabric of my parish and diocesan ministry is helping people develop the spiritual practice of spending time in our communities, listening to the stories of our neighbors, discovering how God is at work in our wider context, and discerning how the Holy Spirit is inviting us to join in. Following Jesus out of our comfort zones in a way that engages the lives of those who aren’t in our pews leads us into vulnerable and holy spaces that often point us to new and beautiful ways of life. I’m honored to work with my fellow BTC members to listen to the sacred stories among our parishes and communities to discern how God is inviting us to call our new Diocesan Bishop.
St. James, New London
As a committed Christian and Episcopalian, my relationship with God continues to evolve. I am blessed to be a part of the St. James family and the Jesus Movement. I previously served on the Vestry and am now actively involved in the “post-COVID” Re-opening committee. I chair the board of the Drop-In Learning Center, a children’s educational program supported by St. James. I’m a founding member of the parish’s Racial Reconciliation Working Group. My passion is promoting health equity and improving the healthcare experience for people of color. I recently retired after 15 years of leading a managed care company.
Serving on the Bishop’s Transition Committee is an honor. I hope God sees favor in my contributions to a process that hopefully inspires candidates who are committed to fairness and racial healing, and have the vision to create the Episcopal Church of tomorrow.
St. Mark’s, Mystic
Greetings, I am Zachary Kohl. I am an attorney and clergy spouse raised in the evangelical church who joined the Episcopal Church during law school. In the parishes where I have been a parishioner, I have served as a choir member, cantor, and instrumentalist, as well as working with parishes professionally on governance, contractual, and Paycheck Protection Program lending. I bring the experience of someone raised in the evangelical church and having spent several years as part of a mega-church but who has come to love the Episcopal Church and its unique place in the larger Church. ECCT and its parishes must learn how to “be the church” in the 21st century and post-pandemic. This includes adapting long-held beliefs and practices about the life of our parishes; how, when, and where we meet; and how we reach out to people. At the same time, we must address how the ECCT and its parishes have and will engage with the historically marginalized and our Church’s role in such marginalization.
The Rev. Helena Martin
St. Paul’s, Southington
I was ordained into the pandemic in summer 2020. Having grown up in Connecticut, I became a rock musician in New York City after college, before attending Berkeley Divinity School. I have a special interest in lifting up our church’s marginalized voices, especially Episcopalians who are LGBTQIA+, Millennial and Gen Z, or disabled. I also have an indefatigable hope for the church’s ability to faithfully pursue God’s mission. I’m honored by this opportunity to help discern where the Holy Spirit is leading ECCT next.
The Rev. Deacon Bonnie Matthews
Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford
As a deacon, I interpret the concerns and needs of the world to the church, encouraging congregants to serve beyond the walls of the building. My involvement in ECCT includes being a member of Mission Council, Deacons’ Council, Bishop’s Intentional Episcopal Community Task Force, Racial Healing Justice and Reconciliation Network, and I am a convener of The Food Ministry Network. I offer my gifts of listening, interpreting, and action to ECCT and The Bishop Transition Committee. I am honored to participate on this committee and look forward to following where the Holy Spirit leads ECCT.
The Rev. Marissa Stuart Rohrbach
St. Matthew’s, Wilton
I serve as Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wilton. I have served around the Church and in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut in a variety of ways, including as the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, a consultant for parishes, and on various other committees. I am grateful for the privilege of having served with many lay and clergy members around ECCT, and give thanks for the diversity, gifts, and faithfulness of God’s people here in Connecticut. I am particularly fascinated by the formation of lay and ordained people as disciples. I also enjoys exploring liturgics and French literature (especially from the Renaissance). I live in Wilton with my wife, daughter, and our beagle, Becket, who is named for the Saint and martyr.
Harold (Harry) Schmitz
Believing that there is “no place that God is not,” I am passionate about encountering the incarnational Divine Presence in everyday experience. Together with others, I believe such encounters when based in prayer and action help discern how best to be Church. In doing so, I offer my experiences in clinical psychology and corporate consulting, contemplative practices, and church/community service. Parish service includes involvement as meditation/worship leader, lay preacher, adult education co-chair, choir member, and
delegate to ECCT Diocesan Convention (2020 -21). Community service includes EMS work and interfaith collaboration. I am directly involved with parish leadership in the new Trinity Spirituality Center to help better define our parish for the 21st century. I am proud of TSC’s accomplishments in offering activities addressing racism and “othering,” the environment, aging, gender issues, and spiritual seekers. I believe that responding to these and other human needs provide fertile ground for engaging the Holy One’s desire for justice and accompaniment. I look forward to working with others to help discern how best to respond to this desire
Trinity on the Green, New Haven
I am a parishioner at Trinity on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut. During the day, I am the Library Director at Saint Thomas More: The Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University as well as the co-editor of STM Magazine. I also serve on the Board of Governors for the Episcopal Church at Yale and am a fellow and academic advisor at Pierson College, one of Yale’s residential colleges. I love campus ministry in both Episcopal and ecumenical settings and enjoy walking with college students as they find their voices, deepen their faith, and slowly but surely discover what God is calling them to do with their talents and lives. I look forward to adding my own talents of working with young adults, writing, editing, and research to the Bishop Transition Committee, not only as a member but also as the Profile Committee Chair.