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Convention Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Presenter Biographies
for the
149th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany


Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16

Workshops are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Workshop Presenter Biographies

Rebecca Alamillo
Workshop: Shining Light into the Darkness of Domestic Violence

Rebecca Alamillo has been the domestic violence community educator for Columbia and Greene counties for several years. She is also the domestic violence court advocate for both counties. She is active at St. Luke's in Chatham and is the Vice President of the Hudson Valley Deanery.
The Rev. Katherine Alonge-Coons
Workshop: Puppets of Grace

Mother Kathy serves as Rector at Grace Church, Waterford. She is a bivocational priest who is a licensed clinical social work and Commissioner of Mental Health in Rensselaer County. Much of Mother Kathy's career has been spent in working with children experiencing emotional disturbance. She and others at Grace Church use puppets at Sunday worship and special events to share the joy of Jesus.
Ms. Shannon Ames
Workshop: Taizé: Worship in Community

Shannon Ames has worked with the Diocese of Albany in many capacities over the last 5 years - most notably in the youth ministry and Beaver Cross Day Camp programs. After taking six months away to participate on an international mission trip through Youth With A Mission, she found herself back in the capital district - now as parish administrator at St. Paul's Church in Troy and also part-time staff at Oaks of Righteousness. She loves being able to serve the body of Christ through worship and is excited to present Taizé here at Convention.
Ven. Dr. Christopher Brown
Workshop: "Shine!" - What God is Like, and How We Become Like Him

The Venerable Dr. Christopher Brown is the Rector of Trinity Church, Potsdam. He grew up in the Boston area and studied Asian religions at Amherst College before coming to faith in Christ in his early twenties. He received his M. Div. from General Theological Seminary and a PhD. in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary. He has served parishes in Manhattan, and in Westchester and Ulster Counties. He is the Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Albany, Archdeacon and Dean of the St. Lawrence Deanery, and Provincial Chaplain for the Community of St. Mary. Fr. Brown†writes the annual diocesan canonical exams, and¬†is the author of a regular column in the Albany Episcopalian. He is also a jazz guitarist and serves as on the convention music team.
The Rev. James Brisbin
Workshop: Border to Border: Boots on the Ground Ministry

For nearly 20 years, Father James worked in and traveled to virtually every country in Southeast Asia searching for jewelry and handicrafts to sell in the U.S. What he didn't know then was that God was preparing him for a life in ordained ministry, working with and ministering to Southeast Asian refugees. His travel experience has enabled him to lead a growing community of Christian refugees from the Karen, Karenni, and Kachin Burmese ethnic groups who were being resettled in Rensselaer, Albany, and Troy. Now Vicar of St. Francis Mission, in the West Hill district of Albany, he leads a congregation that is 95% Burmese refuges. He also heads the Albany Refugee Resettlement Ministry (ARRM) of the Diocese of Albany. He still travels to Southeast Asia, but now it is to visit the nine refugee camps that dot the border between Burma and Thailand.
The Rev. Anne Curtin
Workshop: Shining Light into the Darkness of Domestic Violence

Mother Anne is a teacher, an attorney, and an Episcopal priest. She is the Executive Director of Healing a Woman's Soul, a Christian organization that provides spiritual support to domestic violence victims in shelters and halfway houses and provides education on domestic violence to churches and other organizations. She is associated clergy at Saint Paul's, Kinderhook.
The Rev. Lynne Curtis, CSW
Workshop: Pastoring Those Impacted by Addiction

Deacon Lynne has served as a Deacon in the Diocese since 1991, first at St. George's, Clifton Park and then at St. Luke's on the Hill, Mechanicville, where she has been for the last eight years. She worked as a Social Work Supervisor for Hospice of Saratoga for nearly 20 years before retiring to get more involved in ministry both in the parish and as a member of the Healing Team at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center. She is now active in recovery and youth ministry at Saint Luke's, and facilitates Comfort For Those Who Mourn, an ecumenical grief support group.
Sister Mary Elizabeth, CSM
Workshop: Having Gifts that Differ

Sister Mary Elizabeth has been a professed member of the Community of Saint Mary for more than 20 years, currently managing the community's farm. She is a member of the Christ the King Healing Team, having studied with Francis and Judith McNutt at Christian Healing Ministries in Jacksonville, Florida, and mentored under Father Nigel Mumford during his tenure at Christ the King. She conducts quiet days and retreats and has taught on general topics of Christian Spirituality.
The Rev. Dr. Desmond Francis
Workshop: The Fruit of the Holy Spirit as the Distinguishing Mark of Shining for Jesus

Father Desmond is married to Jean Marie and is currently the Rector of Trinity Church, Lansingburg (Troy). Previously, he served the Lord in the Church at both the parish and diocesan levels in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and in India. He has two adult children, Leah and Aaron, and one grandchild, Mylaya Sarita. He graduated with a Doctorate in Christian Missions from Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky. His pride and passion is to proclaim in word and deed that "Jesus Christ is Lord!"
Mrs. Marianne Gorchov
Workshop: Safeguarding God's Children

Marianne Gorchov has more than thirty years of experience in substance abuse treatment and family mental health. She was in private practice as a psychotherapist and is the past Director of Community Services (DCS) for Hamilton County, New York.
Rev. Michael Gorchov
Workshop: Safeguarding God's Children

Fr. Michael Gorchov is the rector of St. Paul's Church, Troy. Before he entered the ministry, he had many years of experience in the field of human services, primarily as a substance abuse counselor.
Rev. Karl Griswold-Kuhn
Workshop: The Cranmer Option: An Anglican Perspective on Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option.

Fr. Karl Griswold-Kuhn came to Glens Falls in August of 2014 and is the Rector of The Church of the Messiah. Before coming to Messiah, Fr. Karl was the rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Kinderhook, where he and his wife Jen spent three years ministering to the people of Columbia County. Karl received his MDiv. from Yale Divinity School and a Certificate in Anglican studies from Berkeley Divinity School. Fr. Karl is now an associate of Holy Cross Monastery as well as a member of the Society of Catholic Priests.
Rev. David Haig
Workshops: Pastoring Those Impacted by Addiction

Fr. David Haig is the Rector of St. Luke's on the Hill in Mechanicville. As a trained actor and director, a professional singer, and for the past 27 years a business owner, a licensed builder, a husband and father, and a priest, he has seen it all! He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Cathy, for the past 32 years. They have three children: Ryan, 33, who is married and they have a little girl; Jesse, 30, who is married and works in the family contracting company; and Shelly, 21, who is attending Liberty University. As part of Fr. Dave's ministry at St. Luke's, he has engaged with the Recovery Community with many becoming wonderful members of the parish community. The mission field is ripe for harvest.
The Rev. Dr. William R. Hinrichs
Workshop: Keeping Faith in Mind

Father Bill is a graduate of Nashotah House who was ordained in Colorado. He and his family moved to the Diocese of Albany in 1987 when he was called to serve as Rector of Saint John's in Massena. In 1991, he moved to Clifton Park where he served as Rector of Saint George's for 17 years. In 2008 he retired from full time parish ministry and began working for the Alzheimer's Association. From 2009 until 2016 he served part-time at Christ Church in Duanesburg and is currently the Rector of Saint John's in Cohoes. During his tenure in the Diocese, Father Bill has served on the Commission on Ministry, Diocesan Education Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee for Christ the King Spiritual Life Center, and has been elected Deputy to General Convention three times. He is a trained Stephen Ministry leader and has served as mentor, diocesan coordinator, and trainer for the Education for Ministry program. He received his D.Min. from Drew University.
Mr. John Iseman
Workshop: Leaving a Legacy

John is the Youth Ministry Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. John graduated from Colby College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. He and his wife Jackie have been married for three years and are blessed to have two children, Eliza and Josiah. John loves working with youth to help them grow in their faith and in their skills and talents to be all God created them to be.
The Rev. James Krueger
Workshop: Desert that Blooms, Darkness that Shines: The Way of Contemplation

Father Krueger serves as Priest-in-Charge at St. James' Church in Lake Delaware in the northwestern Catskill Mountains. He is the founder of Mons Nubifer Sanctus, a center dedicated to fostering "full-contact discipleship" centered on training in the contemplative disciplines. Fr. Krueger holds a B.A. in the Humanities with a minor in Writing and Literature, an M.A. in Gerontology and Long-Term Care Management, an M.A. in Theological Studies with a focus in Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Direction, and a certificate in Eastern Orthodox Theology. His inspiration for Mons Nubifer Sanctus grows out of his own sinuous faith journey, which has taken him from a respectable suburban Protestant upbringing to surprising places, including a cave for fasting and prayer in Utah, a Zen Buddhist monastery (where he studied for over 7 years), and overwintering in a tipi in the Catskill Mountains.
The Rev. Frank Lockwood
Workshop: Pastoring Those Impacted by Addiction

Fr. Frank is the Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church in Coxsackie. He is married with two adult children and three grandchildren. Fr. Frank works full time during the week providing counseling to those who have the disease of addiction. He is a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) as well as a certified Recovery Coach.
Mrs. Karen Love
Workshops: Beth Moore's Bible Studies for Women, Youth Bible Study Programs

Karen is a retired military aviator and Air Force officer. She attends St. Mary's Church in Lake Luzerne. Now teaching high school math, she has a passion for teens, mission, and women's Bible Studies. An Associate of the Community of Saint Mary and a member of the Daughters of the King, Karen has participated in youth mission trips to Bolivia, Peru, and Northern Ireland, and a trip to Northern Malawi with the Sisters of St. Mary in Greenwich. She enjoys facilitating Beth Moore Bible studies for women and teen Bible studies at St. Mary's. Karen is married to Bishop Bill Love. They have two adult children, Chris and Catie, and three amazing grandchildren, Peter, Caleb and Nora.
Mrs. Gillian Maganda
Workshop: The Church in South Sudan: Reflecting the Light of Christ in the Darkness: Philippians 2:14-16

Mrs. Gillian Maganda is CMS Ireland's Personnel Manager and is responsible for looking after their long-term Mission Partners and short-term volunteers, who minister overseas, as well as overseeing their teams. She also provides HR support for the staff team. Having previously worked as a CMSI Mission Partner in Egypt for 6 years, Gillian is well positioned to help guide those engaging in cross-cultural mission. Prior to working in Egypt, she spent 7 years ministering alongside the Episcopal Church in Northern Sudan, Khartoum and worked with internally displaced people from the South of the country. She has been married to David (originally from Uganda) for 26 years, and they have three grown children: Esther, 25, Beth, 24, and Nathan, 19.
The Rev. Judith Malionek
Workshop: The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Shining at Saint Michael's Colonie

Deacon Judith is a Transitional Deacon, currently serving at St. Paul's in Albany. She continues a weekly involvement at St. Michael's, Colonie, in their afterschool program. She has been involved with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for 30 years, and has completed all of the trainings for this work. Over the years, Deacon Judith has also worked and ministered in other capacities, including liturgical music, crisis intervention, Christian journalism, and education. She has been married to Father Tom Malionek for 30 years; they have two grown children.
Ann McMillan
Workshop: Prayer Shawl Ministry - Knitting into the Mystery

Ann has been in the Diocese of Albany for 7 and a half years as a member of St. Paul's, Albany, where her husband is the Rector. She has served on the Great Chapter of the Cathedral of All Saints and also on the Commission on Ministry. She was a nurse in her professional life and was drawn to prayer shawl ministry as a means of providing comfort to parishioners. She has had the pleasure of starting many such groups in churches that she and her husband have served and is blessed to see the power of prayer realized on both sides of the shawls.
Very Rev. Nixon McMillan
Workshop: Pastoring Those Impacted by Addiction

Father McMillan has been the Rector of St. Paul's Church in Albany since November 2009. From the age of 14, he has served churches in Canada and the US as a musician, and more recently as a priest. Before coming to Albany, Fr. McMillan and his wife Ann lived in Ontario, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Connecticut.
The Rev. Darius Mojallali
Workshop: Sing to the Lord an Old Song: Leading Traditional Hymns with Guitar Accompaniment - For singers and guitar players

Father Darius has served as rector of two parishes, St. John's in Delhi and St. Peter's in Hobart, since 2011. Before that, he served a parish in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts (2008-2010), St. Stephen's in Delmar (1988-2008), St. Paul's in Greenwich, and St. Paul's in Salem (1983-1988). He was ordained in the Diocese of Albany in 1983. Father Darius is married to Stephanie. They have four children and four grandchildren. He has played the violin for 56 years and guitar for 52 years. Since his ordination, he has led contemporary praise and worship music in the diocese in various ways.
Rev. Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Workshop: Shining as a Dad: For Fathers and the Women and Children Who Love Them

The Rev. Dr. Michael O'Donnell, Ph.D., is Rector of Saint John's, Ogdensburg. He and Rachel, a school administrator with BOCES of NY, have been married 30 years. They have two married children and a granddaughter.†Fr. Michael is the best-selling author of What a Son Needs from His Dad (Baker), as well as a series of books, including Home from Oz (Word Publishing Group), written following the death of the O'Donnells' two-month-old daughter in 1991. Before coming to the Diocese of Albany, Fr. Michael was Priest-in-Charge of a cardinal parish in the Diocese of Colorado, where he was also named Senior Fellow of the Focus on the Family Institute. Prior to his ordination in the Episcopal Church in 2000, he pastored a large seeker church in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
The Rt. Rev. David Parsons
Workshop: Discipleship Jesus' Way: The 3 - 12 - 70 Plan

Bishop Parsons is the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Arctic in northern Canada, where he has served since 2012. He previously served as the regional dean of the Mackenzie Delta, and as a priest at Inuvik and Tulita in the Northwest Territories. He was commissioned as an Evangelist in 1989 in the Church Army in Canada, now known as Threshold Ministries.
Donna Rogers
Workshop: Prayer Shawl Ministry - Knitting into the Mystery

Donna attends St. Luke's on the Hill in Mechanicville. About 12 years ago, she became aware of the impact of blessed shawls on the people who receive them. She believes shawls are an immediate connection of prayer and comfort, and that the knitters also have been blessed in this ministry. She learned to knit during high school and concentrated on afghans, primarily Irish knit patterns which tell a 'story' with the choice of stitches. Knitting is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time for her. As retired high school teachers from Central New York, she and her husband Paul moved to this area 15 years ago and came to St. Luke's on the Hill in 2014, helping in choir, shawls, and vestry. She and Carol Dorn 'refreshed' the shawl ministry program in 2015, concentrating on both shawls and pocket prayers. She is a graduate of SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cortland, and UAlbany. She and her husband have two grown daughters and four delightful grandchildren.
Mr. Alex Rohr
Workshop: Taizé: Worship in Community

Alex Rohr thoroughly enjoys traveling and any creative activity, and has no idea what's going on in his life currently. He graduated from RPI with a bachelor's degree in Architecture. Since graduating in 2013, he has worked as a taxi driver, Beaver Cross counselor and intern, as well as a Chipotle restaurant crew member, all of which have taught him different facets of faith in Christ. He is capable and finds worth in visual arts, music composition and performance, writing and also providing balanced, constructive critique of creative works. Lately he has been a volunteer at Christ Church, Ballston Spa, for weekly high school and middle school youth groups, as well as with Oaks of Righteousness, where he helps with weekly Bible studies and monthly Taizé services.
The Rt. Rev. John T. Tarrant, Bishop of South Dakota
Workshop: The Light Shines in the Darkness

Bishop Tarrant was consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of South Dakota on October 31, 2009, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He became Diocesan Bishop on February 2, 2010. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1952 and raised in rural Michigan. He is a lifelong Episcopalian, nurtured in the faith at St. John the Baptist Church in Otter Lake, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1974 with a B.A. degree and received his Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1983. He has served congregations in Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, and South Dakota. He has spent most of his baptized and ordained ministry serving in small Episcopal churches. He and his wife Pat have been married since 1990. Combined they have eleven grown children. Their daughter Jessica lives with them in Pierre, South Dakota.
The Rev. Kino Vitet
Workshop: The Ministry of Educating

Father Vitet is a priest of the Diocese of Albany and is Priest-in-Charge of St. Mark's Church, Brooklyn, New York, and Headmaster of Saint Mark's Day School. Fr.†Vitet holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, an MSc. in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics, an M.A. Economics from Fordham University, and an M.Div. from Yale University.
The Rev. Sue Waldron
Workshop: The Call to Forgive

Mother Sue joined St. Peter's Church in Albany in 2008 and now serves as Associate Rector there. Earlier in life, she earned a B.S. from SUNY Empire State College. While working as a Computer Programmer/Analyst for the state of New York, she discerned a call to ministry and graduated in May, 2008 from Nashotah House with a Master of Divinity. Mother Sue is a long-time member of the Daughters of the King, a world-wide Anglican Prayer order. She also acts as a spiritual director and serves the Diocese of Albany as the Chair of the Commission on Ministry, and also a Homiletics Instructor in the Diocesan Deacon school. In her spare time, Mother Sue enjoys reading, music, and spending time with her grown daughter, Victoria, and their pets.
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