The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Election Nominees

At this year's Annual Convention, we will elect four members of the Standing Committee for three year terms, two from the lay order and two from the clerical order, as well as three new members of the Mission Council for three year terms. Details about each candidate are below.

Results announced 10/27/18: Standing Committee: Nancy Staniewicz; Thom Hagerth; the Rev. Rowena Kemp; the Rev. Mark Byers; Mission Council (elected from Ministry Networks): The Rev. Ranjit Mathews; the Rev. Bonnie Matthews, Deacon; the Rev. Ann Perrott

 Standing Committee | Lay Order

Thom Hagerth

Present Involvement in ECCT
I have served various parishes over my 45 years in Connecticut and arrived at St Stephen's East Haddam in January 2014. Previously, I was active at St. John's, Essex where I served on the vestry, various committees, and was a Diocesan Convention delegate to the June 1999 election of Bishop Andrew Smith.

I have sung in adult choirs for 32 years, in late 2014 became a worship leader, actively serving both at 8 and 10 am services. I have lead Morning Prayer, have served as lay preacher in Fr. Yates absence and I have attended many workshops offered by The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

More recently I have turned my attention to promoting parish programs to the community having completed a short video about St Stephen’ s Harvest House and a video interview series entitled "Conversations of Faith" which can be found on our parish website. This year I co-founded and lead a weekly Celtic Evening Prayer service at St. Stephen's.

Community Involvement
Locally I am active in the East Haddam Art League, promoting the Arts and artists in our community. I served for 10 years on the board of the Essex Winter Concert Series bringing a wide spectrum of live performances of classical and contemporary music to the region.   As a veteran, I am active in Post 156 of the American Legion supporting community youth programs and the needs of veteran’s in our town. Regionally, I have been an active member of the New London Chapter of the American Guild of Organist.

Personal Statement
With my retirement from business as a senior executive, a lifelong examination of my faith, a steadfast love of church, and my sincere desire to help support and renew the Episcopal Church and Christ in our lives - I would consider it a blessing to apply my knowledge, experience, and energy to the service of church and community.

Nancy Staniewicz

Present Involvement in ECCT
I am a current member of the Standing Committee and am acting as the Secretary.  I am on the leadership team for the South Central Region.  I am also Senior Warden of my parish and am active in its outreach activities.

Community Involvement
I am involved in a group that promotes caring for the physical appearance of our City as well as promoting a positive image of the City and its people.

Personal Statement
I am part of a parish currently in transition from full to part time clergy.   The parish was formed as the result of the merger of two parishes.  I have dealt with the sale and rental of properties.  I believe these experiences provide me with a solid background for serving on Standing Committee.

Standing Committee | Clerical Order

Mark H. Byers

Present involvement in ECCT:
Title IV Disciplinary Board, Priest in Charge, St. Andrew's, Meriden.

Community Involvement:
Connecticut State Firefighters' Association Protestant Chaplain, Connecticut Grey Rugby Football Club player

Personal Statement:
I look forward to serving, if elected. I enjoy being involved in our common life, and have served on the Diocesan Evangelism Committee and Executive Council in the Diocese of San Diego, as well as both BDEC and NWR Leadership Team in our diocese. I've been a local fire department chaplain and also served the Connecticut State Firefighters' Association as a statewide chaplain for several years. I was Rotary of Thomaston Chaplain for a number of years. I like to get out in support of my wife and three daughters in their activities. I am involved as a player on an "Old Boys" rugby team that plays competitively in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

Rowena Kemp

Present involvement in ECCT:
Priest-in-Charge of Grace Episcopal Church, Hartford
Bishop’s Representative to the Seabury Board and Volunteer
Clergy Volunteer at Church by the Pond, an Ecclesia ministry of Christ Church Cathedral
Co-convener of the Racial Justice & Reconciliation Ministry Network
Member of the Financial Study Working Group (49ers)

Community Involvement:
Girls’ Friendly Society USA – National Chaplain; part of an international, not for profit, faith-based organization for girls and women that values the richness of a diverse community and serving Christ through local and international collaborative service projects.

Heads Up Hartford – Camp Counselor and Spiritual Director; a faith-based group of urban and suburban youth who come together for a week long camp that promotes diversity, develops leadership and provides community service opportunities.

South Park Inn – Board Member and volunteer; an organization that assist homeless people to improve their life situation by providing temporary and long-term housing and supportive services. In addition, the organization advocates for solutions to homelessness.

Personal Statement:
After a time of prayer and discernment, I am honored to accept this nomination to continue to serve ECCT as we discern how God is calling us in this exciting time of change and re-imagination.  I served almost twelve years ago as a lay member of the Executive Council and that experience as well as my time as a Presbyter in the Middlesex Area Cluster Ministry and as an Assistant at Trinity on the Green, along with a lifetime in the church has allowed me to continue to offer my gifts for the greater church.

Mission Council

Duo Dickinson

Present Involvement in ECCT:
On the ECCT Mission Council
Member, ECCT 49er Committee
Member. ECCT Property Committee
Member ECCT Faith & Order Committee
Member South Central Region
Part of New Haven Churches Group of the South Central Region

Community Involvement:
Trustee on 3 Committee New Haven Preservation Trust, Awards Program Chair
Trinity Church on the Green, New Haven, Properties, Music 4 Music Concert Series Chair, Liturgy Committee, Development Committee, Marketing Committee, pro bono architect
Madison Cultural Arts founder/board member
Strong Center Madison, Board Member, pro bono architect
Incarnation Center, Buildings & Grounds Chair, Board Member, 2 Committees, pro bono architect
Host WPKN “Home Page” radio program
AIA Fellow Committee
Over 200 built projects over 35 years as a pro bono architect for not-for profits

Personal Statement:
The Episcopal Church is an essential part of my life. It is also a critical part of our culture. As the nature of our world dramatically changes, ECCT has to respond to be a viable, relevant part of the evolution of our communities and state. Religion is in a change time, and the response of ECCT have begun to be part of that change. But words are not actions and my deep involvement over the last 2 years on the Mission Council and the last 8 years on the ECCT Oroperty Committee followed through on my role as The Commons architect, but far more importantly on a lifetime of being a cradle Episcopalian, As a staff writer for Mockingbird Ministeries, a contributor to The Living Church and a presenter at Mockingbird conferences and a writer in the meaning of spirituality and faith in design for many venues I hope that my seminal conviction by Jesus, my Lord and Savior, finds fruit - here in the privilege of continuing on the ECCT Mission Council.

Ranjit Koshy Mathews

Present Involvement in ECCT:
I serve as the Rector of St. James, New London, and over the past 17 months of being in the Diocese, I’ve been a part of a ECCT clergy conference team that has lead conversations towards the ongoing work of dismantling white supremacy.

Community Involvement:
I serve on the boards of our local homeless shelter here in New London, and IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services). I have been a part of local efforts to support immigrants and refugees in the legal system. I support youth who have been unfairly marginalized in our justice system. I have tried to be a bridge-builder between Connecticut College and people from downtown New London.

Personal Statement:
I believe in the power of the Gospel, and the ways in which it transforms people and structures for the building of the Realm of God. I am committed to that l, and would fully show up to be a part of the deliberative, democratic process. I also believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit to work through ecclesiastical bodies, like Mission council, to support the ministry of the larger body of Christ. I have also served in these types of councils in other Diocese and can bring my experience for relevant application. Its for these reasons why I would be suited for the work of the Mission council.

Bonnie Matthews

Present Involvement in ECCT:
I am a vocational deacon serving ECCT since 2012. I currently serve as deacon at Christ Church Cathedral.
I am the Chair of The Deacons' Council.
As chair of the council I travel one Sunday per month to parishes where deacons serve.
I am a deacon mentor supporting those in deacon formation.
I am a member of The Association for Episcopal Deacons and I participate on the planning team for New England Deacon Network's Biennial Conferences.
As an operating room employee of Hartford Hospital and a clergy member of ECCT I distribute ashes to patients before and after surgery, their family members, and employees on Ash Wednesday.

Community Involvement:
My vocation and passion is to bring the cares and concerns of the world to the church. In doing so, I am involved in Hartford's Faith Based Initiative. My concern for the homeless in the Greater Hartford Area has led me to encourage the North Central and North East Regions of ECCT to work in collaboration with Footwear With Care (a 501C3 organization) and the Hartford Police Department to provide boots for the homeless and volunteer their services during the annual Winter Boot Party.

Personal Statement:
My previous experiences as a warden in my home parish and as co-chair of the Greater Hartford Regional Ministry, my secular work experience with budgets and attention to detail and my present call to the diaconate provide me with an understanding of the financial abilities of ECCT to encourage the church to respond with words, action, and financial support to the cares and concerns of those in CT who are vulnerable and defenseless.

Peter E. Bushnell

Present Involvement in ECCT:
Chair, Social Justice and Advocacy Ministry Network, ECCT
Board President, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS), New Haven, CT
Supply Sunday Celebrant, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford

Community Involvement:
As a recently retired cleric in my community, I have resigned from my local memberships and responsibilities in this past year.

Personal Statement:
I have always believed in being part of many ministries beyond the local church and community.  It is all part of the Christian responsibility for works of evangelism and loving service to our neighbors, particularly those who are vulnerable and in need.

Kevin Otis Olds

Present Involvement in ECCT:
I am a mentor for someone in the ordination process. In the past I've been a prayer partner for Camp Washington. I'm also involved with regional activities as well as working to foster collaboration among the Episcopal churches in Fairfield. Most recently, the Rev. Katy Piazza and I have launched a ministry network around providing worship opportunities for children with special needs ("A Special Grace").

Community Involvement:
My church hosts monthly open forums where people in our voting district can have conversations with their representatives to town meeting. We have created a welcome center for area cyclists, and we open the church during power outages in the winter so people have access to heat and power. I'm also involved in a local clergy prayer group and foster relationships with area clergy to see where collaboration might make sense.

Personal Statement:
The post-Christendom institution of the Church needs creativity, innovation, and fresh perspectives...all while honoring our tradition and our history. That's the space I work to inhabit.

Ann Marie Perrott

Personal Involvement in ECCT:
I was ordained a priest in ECCT in 2017 and since then I have been working as a supply priest as well as a sabbatical priest. I have worked as an assistant in Christ Episcopal Church in Norwich. I have been a part of the Southeast Region Convocation, and have been involved in Faith Beyond Bars and Beyond for several years.

Community Involvement:
Currently, I am Executive Director of New Life Ministry of Southeast CT., a program assisting women leaving the prison system. We offer them an opportunity to begin "new lives" in Southeastern Connecticut through transitional housing, assistance in finding employment and encouraging independence. I also facilitate a Healing Program for men at Corrigan Prison in Uncasville.  

Personal Statement:
Most of my ministry is in the community. This makes me particularly suited to voice the needs of community ministry to the Mission Council.