2024 Rectors and Deans Pre-Conference

Wednesday, March 6 thruSaturday, March 9, 2024

Inspiring Leaders

39th Annual Conference, Houston
March 6-9, 2024
Westin Galleria and Westin Oaks

2024 Annual Conference

Rectors and Deans

Wednesday, March 6 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 7 – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Episcopal Parish Network’s (EPN) pre-conference sessions are designed for colleagues and peers working within specific roles to share, learn, and inspire each other to strengthen their ministries.

Pre-Conference Sessions are led by clergy, lay leaders, consultants, and experts engaged in the ministry of the church in communities, parishes, cathedrals, and dioceses across the country.

Who Attends Pre-conference Sessions?

The pre-conferences begin on Wednesday, March 6 at 2:00pm CT and are open to everyone. These are generally role-based gatherings of lay and clergy leaders engaged in similar ministry. We encourage all attendees to take advantage of the intense-learning opportunity and deep networking available in these pre-conferences.

Note that some sessions are designed for and limited to individuals in a particular role (e.g., the Rector & Dean Pre-conference is limited to rectors, deans, priests-in-charge, interim rectors and others holding the senior clergy role in a congregation). Other pre-conferences are open to any attendee that wants to learn with and network among those with similar roles (e.g. the Vestry, Warden, and Lay Leader Pre-conference is open to all lay leaders with a call to and work in senior leadership roles in their congregation). This year, the Who is My Neighbor Pre-conference is designed for any attendee who feels a call to join a pre-conference but doesn’t identify with any of the eight role-based pre-conferences offered.

Pre-conferences are a great way to get to know others in the church doing work like yours or with similar interests. The pre-conference cohorts join for learning on Wednesday afternoon and share a meal and conversation on Wednesday evening and finish their time together on Thursday morning.

Session One Speakers

Session One: Wednesday, March 6 at 2:00 p.m.

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Th.D.

Dean and President, Seminary of the Southwest

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Th.D. is the eighth dean and president of Seminary of Southwest after serving on the faculty as the Ernest J. Villavaso, Jr. Professor of New Testament, and as academic dean.

The focus of Dean Kittredge’s leadership is the formation of Christian leaders in community for the vitality of the church and to advance God’s mission of reconciliation. She believes critical engagement with scripture, tradition, and context, energized by imagination, and grounded in prayer is the center of formation for mission.

Dean Kittredge earned multiple advanced degrees from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to joining the seminary faculty in 1999, Dean Kittredge taught at Harvard University and the College of the Holy Cross. She serves as assisting priest at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepard in Austin.

She is married and has three grown children.

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge

Session One Panelists

The Very Rev. Lisa Hackney-James

Provost, St. James Cathedral

Chicago, Illinois

The Very Rev. Lisa Hackney-James joined the staff of St. James Cathedral, Chicago as Sub-Dean in October 2015, and was elected Provost in October 2022.

Following a first career as a professional harpist, Lisa was ordained at St. James Cathedral in 2003 and returned to the Diocese of Chicago in 2014 after nearly a decade of ministry in Cleveland Heights, an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. There, she served on the staffs of two Episcopal congregations, and as a founding member of the executive team of Greater Cleveland Congregations, an Industrial Areas Foundation affiliate made up of 50+ interfaith congregations, schools, and unions whose work included advocacy in public education, health care access, and criminal sanctions reform. [With her two Episcopal parishes and the local public school between them, she pioneered a collaborative partnership supporting academic excellence among students and bridge-building among their families.]

As Provost of a vibrant downtown Cathedral in a global city, Lisa’s passion for the Gospel, and her love for God’s diverse people find a home in an historic and growing community focused on compassionate engagement across lines of difference, and encountering the Divine in the beauty of holiness.

The Very Rev. Lisa Hackney-James

The Very Rev. Dr. David Monteith

Dean, Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury (UK)

The Very Rev. Dr. David Monteith was installed in December 2022 as the 40th Dean of Canterbury (post Reformation) leading a staff of 250 and over 500 volunteers; leading the mother church of the Anglican Communion. He chairs the College of Deans for the Church of England.

Prior to this, David was Dean of Leicester in East Midlands where he was responsible for the re-interment of King Richard III after he was found in a “car park” and the redevelopment  of the cathedral in one of Britain’s most diverse cities.

His interests focus on faith in the public realm, change, culture, and the arts. David grew up in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland and shares his life in a Civil Partnership with David Hamilton and their dog.

The Very Rev. Dr. David Monteith

The Rev. Dr. Luigi Gioia (Reflection Guide)

Theologian in Residence, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue

New York City, New York

The Rev. Dr. Luigi Gioia is the Theologian in Residence at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Research Associate at the Von Hiigel Institute at the University of Cambridge (UK). His is the author of Say It to God. In Search of Prayer. The Archbishop of Canterbury Lent Book 2028 (Bloomsbury 2017), and The Wisdom of St. Benedict. Monastic Spirituality and The Life of The Church (Canterbury Press 2021; Winner of the first prize in the spirituality category from the Catholic Media Association Award in 2021). His books have been translated in six languages.

The Rev. Dr. Luigi Gioia

The Rev. Canon Carl F. Turner

Rector, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue

New York City, New York

The Rev. Canon Carl F. Turner became the rector of Saint Thomas Church in July 2014. Prior to coming to Saint Thomas, he was the Canon Precentor of Exeter Cathedral for 13 years. He led the Department of Liturgy and Music working with the 850-year-old Cathedral School.

As a seminarian, he spent two years in the United States before serving two curacies in Essex at Leigh-on-Sea and Brentwood. He also became rector of the Parish of the Divine Compassion, a large urban parish in Plaistow and Canning Town in the East End of London. All his parishes have been Anglo-Catholic in tradition with a strong love of music and Liturgy as well as a strong commitment to the communities they serve.

He was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. Carl is married to Alison, and they have three adopted children who are now young adults.

The Rev. Canon Carl F. Turner

The Rev. Dr. Manoj Mathew Zacharia

Rector, St. Anne’s in the Circle

Annapolis, Maryland

The Rev. Manoj Mathew Zacharia, Ph.D. serves as the rector of the historic St. Anne’s parish in Annapolis, Maryland. Along with his rectorship, he serves as vice chair of The Standing Commission on World Mission of The Episcopal Church.

Prior to his current ministry, Manoj served as sub-dean of Christ Church Cathedral Cincinnati, rector of St. Paul’s and Resurrection (Diocese of Newark) and in various parishes as licensed by various churches in communion with the See of Canterbury – the Anglican Church of Canada, Church of South India, and the Mar Thoma Church.

Among his life experiences are working in politics, congressional constituent affairs, business-economic development, and on a venture capital fund. Manoj completed a fellowship at the prestigious Hartman Institute through the Christian Leadership Initiative sponsored jointly by Hartman and the American Jewish Committee.

The Rev. Dr. Manoj Mathew Zacharia

Session Two Speakers

Session Two: Wednesday, March 6 at 2:00 p.m.

The Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick

Principal Consultant, Saison Consulting

Durham, North Carolina

The Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick is the principal consultant at Saison Consulting. He has worked with a number of nonprofit institutions, principally faith-based, designing and facilitating their planning processes. His clients include The Episcopal Parish Network (EPN), Church of the Heavenly Rest (New York City), Epiphany Episcopal Church (Seattle), St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (Durham), Trinity Episcopal Church (Indianapolis), University United Methodist Church (Chapel Hill), and Washington National Cathedral.

Nathan serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, and the Texas Methodist Foundation. He was previously the Director of Alban at Duke University (formerly the Alban Institute), a globally recognized congregational consulting company.

The Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick

William (Bill) Reynolds

Co-Founder and Partner, HRG Consulting

Washington, District of Columbia

Bill Reynolds began his 20-year career in Brand Management after graduating with his MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University. He worked at Nestle, L’Oreal, and Unilever with profit and loss responsibility for divisions with $300 million in sales. Critical success factors in building brand sales and profits in highly competitive markets require superior consumer insight, defining brand assets to “own” them, extend them into new markets, and leverage them in advertising and promotion.

Bill spent 17 years at Georgetown University as the Associate Vice President for the Annual Fund & Alumni Relations as well as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association. He is the Co-Founder and partner at HRG consulting and serves on several not-for-profit boards. Bill is married with two children, two grandchildren, and a Norwich Terrier. He loves a good story.

William (Bill) Reynolds

Session Three Speakers

Session Three: Thursday, March 7 – 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Dr. Robert (Rob) Garris

Executive Director, Trinity Leadership Fellows Managing Director, Leadership Development, Trinity Church Wall Street

Dr. Rob Garris is the Executive Director of the Trinity Leadership Fellows program and Managing Director of the Leadership Development initiative on the philanthropies team at Trinity Church Wall Street. These programs support the creation of educational programming that develops the  leadership capacities of people of faith, empowering them to better serve their congregations and communities. 

Rob has built innovative international education and research  programs at universities and foundations for more than 20 years, working for Schwarzman Scholars in China, the Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia University, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Rob received his Ph.D. in European history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he specialized in immigration and urban policy.

Dr. Robert (Rob) Garris

Rev. Lisa Greenwood

President and CEO, Texas Methodist Foundation and Wesleyan Impact Partners

Rev. Lisa Greenwood is the president and chief executive officer of Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF). She joined the staff of TMF in 2012 serving as vice president for learning and innovation before taking her current roles in 2022.

For over 30 years, Lisa has been a change-maker within ministry and faith communities, empowering leaders through learning and innovation and promoting congregational growth. She regularly speaks and facilitates national conversations creating cultures of purpose, generosity, and courage in the church.

Lisa is an ordained elder in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, where she has served several congregations including Highland Park United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church in Commerce, among others. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School.

Rev. Lisa Greenwood

The Rev. Yuri Rodriguez

Curate, The Episcopal Church of the Nativity

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Rev. Yuriria (Yuri) Rodríguez-Laureani serves as a curate at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in the Diocese of Indianapolis. She was recently ordained to the priesthood after completing the Master’s in Divinity program at the School of Theology, Sewanee: The University of the South. She is a native Costa Rican singer, artist, and educator specializing in Latin American music and culture. For more than 20 years, Yuri has performed in and conducted works of sacred and Latin American music in the United States. Through music, she has developed programs and curricula to accompany diverse communities in their journeys of faith, affirm their sense of identity, and celebrate God already present in the experience of others.

The Rev. Yuri Rodriguez

The Rev. Katy Shedlock

Pastor, West Central Abbey

Spokane, Washington

Katy Shedlock is the lay pastoral leader of the West Central Abbey, a church plant in the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane that celebrated five years of weekly Sunday workshop on December 3, 2023. Additionally, she is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Eastern Washington University and a community organizer with the Spokane Alliance supporting the housing research action team. Katy holds an MDiv from Iliff School of Theology and is a candidate for ordination to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane.

The Rev. Katy Shedlock

The Rev. Michael Gienger

Co-Pastor, Central United Methodist Church

Galveston, Texas

Rev. Michael Gienger is a community organizer and changemaker known for his tenacious solidarity with the poor. Michael is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He received his undergraduate degree in Religion, concentrating in Christian Ethics, from Baylor University, and his Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Michael has been serving as co-pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Galveston, Texas since 2014. Central is a hybrid church plant/revitalization that is making space for hopeful skeptics and the spiritually homeless through a generous orthodoxy and focus on justice ministries. Michael is also the co-founder of Galveston Housing Plus, an organization that innovates new approaches to address homelessness across the city.
Michael Gienger is a 2023 recipient of the Locke Innovative Leader Award from Wesleyan Impact Partners, an award that lifts up the work of spiritual entrepreneurs who envision new ways to serve their mission field and inspire others to join them in growing the impact of the church and nourishing their communities.

The Rev. Michael Gienger

De’Amon Harges

Founder, The Learning Tree and ABCD Consultant

Indianapolis, Indiana

De’Amon Harges is a “Roving Listener,” a role defined by his posture of curiosity and his passion for discovering the gifts and talents of the people in his community. He is also the founder of The Learning Tree, a non-profit that uses an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach with city governments and organizations to improve the quality of lives of people, communities, schools and businesses.
His approach has greatly influenced how congregations, non-profits, and local governments view their work. Instead of seeing people and communities as lacking in resources, De’Amon sees their wealth of “intangible currencies” such as imagination, relationships, and stories as the way to bring people together in a fellowship of “mutual delight.” Sometimes referred to as a “Social Banker”, De’Amon believes that when you invest in the intangible currencies in your neighborhood, you will find the riches of love, hope, and joy in abundance.
De’Amon Harges is a 2021 recipient of the Locke Innovative Leader Award from Wesleyan Impact Partners, an award that lifts up the work of spiritual entrepreneurs who envision new ways to serve their mission field and inspire others to join them in growing the impact of the church and nourishing their communities.

De’Amon Harges

2024 Annual Conference

Rectors and Deans

Episcopal Parish Network’s rectors and deans annual gathering will start at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. This year’s gathering will feature three sections of learning, sharing, and collaborative thinking on the future of the church.

Section #1

Navigating the New, the Unexpected, and the Welcomed Change in Historic Institutions

Wednesday, March 6 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Five institutions and five leaders confronting waves of change, disruption, and opportunity will be in conversation. This panel, representing parishes, cathedrals, and seminaries, will be moderated by the Very Rev. Cynthia Kittredge, Dean of Seminary of the Southwest. The panelists will explore challenges and opportunities for this moment. Each institution is navigating myriad points of disruption, as well as welcome and unwelcome change. Whether coming from internal pressures or demanding external forces, these leaders are capitalizing on opportunities and managing through change. A group reflection will follow the panel’s conversation.

The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Th.D., Dean and President, Seminary of the Southwest; Austin, Texas

Reflection Guide:
The Rev. Dr. Luigi Gioia,
Theologian in Residence, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue; New York City, New York 

The Very Rev. Lisa Hackney-James,
Provost, St. James Cathedral; Chicago, Illinois
The Very Rev. Dr. David Monteith, Dean, Canterbury Cathedral; Canterbury (UK)
The Rev. Canon Carl Turner, Rector, Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue; New York City, New York
The Rev. Manoj Zacharia, Rector, St. Anne’s in the Circle; Annapolis, Maryland

Section #2A

Clarifying Identity to Navigate Disruption

Wednesday, March 6 – 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In seasons of change and disruption, knowing and articulating who you are clearly and carefully as a congregation in the Anglican tradition can be a significant missional advantage. In this 75-minute interactive and interdisciplinary conversation, William Reynolds, a brand strategist (formerly of Unilever and Georgetown University), and scholar whose work focuses on the strategic implications of branding, will join the Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick to discuss how our churches can define their brand, leverage it for meaningful outreach, and extend it in missional ways. This is not a conversation about marketing, but about core identity and calling.

Following this interactive session on Wednesday afternoon, Bill and Nathan will gather the group on Thursday morning for further reflection.

Section #2B

Reflecting on Clarifying Identity

Thursday, March 7 – 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Following the conversation between Bill Reynolds and Nathan Kirkpatrick, the group will reflect on what was said and not said during the Wednesday afternoon session and the group dinner on Wednesday evening.

Conversation Facilitators:
The Rev. Nathan Kirkpatrick,
Principal, Saison Consulting; Durham, North Carolina
William (Bill) Reynolds, Co-Founder and Partner, HRG Consulting

Section #3

Innovation and Re-Imagining Local Ministry for Today

Thursday, March 7 – 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

With change and disruption omnipresent, change agents are present helping leaders reinvent and reimagine what it means to be God’s people gathered in community. During the closing session for the gathering, fellows from the Trinity Church Fellows Program and the Texas Methodist Foundation Locke Fellows Program will share their innovative ministries.

Leading the conversation will be program leaders Rob Garris of Trinity Church Philanthropies and the Rev. Lisa Greenwood, President of the Texas Trinity Methodist Foundation. Leaving this session, you will be inspired to dream and encouraged with hope for where local ministry can and is headed.

Conversation Facilitators:
Dr. Robert (Rob) Garris,
Executive Director, Trinity Leadership Fellows and Managing Director, Leadership Development; Trinity Church Wall Street, New York City, New York
The Rev. Michael Gienger, Co-pastor, Central United Methodist Church, Galveston, Texas
The Rev. Lisa Greenwood, President and CEO, Texas Methodist Foundation and Wesleyan Impact Partners;  Austin, Texas
De’Amon Harges, Founder, The Learning Tree and ABCD Consultant, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Rev. Katy Shedlock, Pastor, West Central Abbey, Spokane, Washington
The Rev. Yuri Rodriguez, Priest, Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, Indiana

Make your plans today to join us in Houston for a joyful and hopeful experience together!
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