Who We Are

Clergy & Staff

The Reverend Canon Jonathan Huyck, Rector

Jonathan Huyck became the 21st rector of Grace Church on August 1, 2010. He holds degrees from Brown University, the University of Chicago Divinity School and the General Theological Seminary and is an honorary canon of the American Cathedral in Paris, where he served as canon pastor for six years before coming to Grace. He was born in New York City and raised in New York and Connecticut. Before his ordination to the priesthood in 2004, he was a comedy writer in New York and is still loyal to the American League baseball team of that city which shall remain nameless. He also loves the Beatles, cooking (Georgian food, especially), singing, and old buildings (Providence does very well on that score).

 

The Reverend Lavonne Seifert, Associate Rector

Lavonne SeifertThe Reverend Lavonne Seifert is delighted to serve the people of Grace Church as associate rector. She and her husband, Dave, were members of this congregation from 2006 until they returned to the Diocese of Kansas in 2012 for her ordination as a priest. She served for two years as priest-in-charge of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Clay Center, Kansas. Mother Lavonne answered God’s call to ordained ministry rather late in life, following a long career in the field of corporate communication (that’s writing, not technology!). She holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, with special focus on Theology and Pastoral Theology. She fervently believes that God’s beloved children are never too young (or too old) to respond to the urging of the Holy Spirit in their lives. She and Dave live in Uxbridge, MA. They are enthusiastic grandparents of four precious and lively children, ranging in age from 4 to 14 – and they also enjoy the company of their daughter and son-in-law.

The Reverend Jennifer West, Priest Associate

Jen West

The Rev. Jennifer West loves to preach and to welcome all to the Church. After retiring in June, 2013, having served parishes in Maryland, Rhode Island, and Ohio, the Wests returned to her native Rhode Island where they chose to worship at Grace because of its diversity and commitment to the city. She re-enters parish ministry with renewed energy and excitement about ministering in a downtown parish.

Mother Jennifer’s call to the priesthood followed an exciting 17 year career in sales and marketing in the intermodal railroad transportation industry. She has an M.S. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Maryland and a Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. She was ordained in Maryland in 1997. Since retiring, she has become a fan of spinning (stationary exercise bikes) and is developing an exercise program for women over 60. She and her husband Ben, live in the Edgewood neighborhood of Cranston. They share a love of the Episcopal Church, three grandchildren in Ohio, boating, and rescuing older dogs. Their current dog, Foster Glocester, survived a tornado in Missouri.

Vince Edwards, Director of Music

vince test

Vincent Edwards became the Director of Music at Grace Church in September 2015. Vince has served parishes in Connecticut and New York, most recently St. Paul’s on the Green in Norwalk, CT. His choirs have performed and sung services in New York City and throughout England and Scotland.

In addition to directing the Grace Church Choir, Vince will found and direct the Grace Church Choristers, a choir for boys and girls from grades 2 through 12. Vince holds degrees from Bethel College (Music and Religion) and Yale University (Choral Conducting and Organ Performance).

 

 

 

Christopher Barker, Parish Administrator

Profile CSBChris comes to Grace Church following varied careers as a small business owner, professional writer, yacht captain and anthropologist. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, RI.

Chris has traveled extensively and lived abroad, is fluent in Spanish, and worked with tribal communities in the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere. He is a sailor, vocal performer (1st Tenor), and fitness instructor. He is also an avid lay genealogist, curating one of the most extensive historical family archives known to exist in the Armenian diaspora.

 

Meredith “Champ” Cooley, Facilities Manager

Champ (as everyone calls him) was born in Skowhegan, Maine, and is married to Gail. His favorite hobby being a DJ at Riverbend Campgrounds in Connecticut.

 

Anthony Perez, Sexton

 

Vestry

Polly Daly, Senior Warden
Bill Galligan, Junior Warden
Laurie DiBattista, Treasurer

Melody Ennis         Jimps Jean-Louis         Joshua Klemp     Christine Pulciani

Bill Galligan            Marc Schrank               Polly Daly             Ryan Weimer

Sandra Reed          Dwayne Keys               Liz Wheeler

Diocese of Rhode Island
“Live in Christ, transform the world” is the mission statement of The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, which consists of approximately 60 Episcopal churches. The Bishop of the Diocese is the Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, who was consecrated as the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island on November 17, 2012.

Learn more about the diocese on its website and blog.

The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church is made up of between 2 million and 3 million worshipers in about 7,500 congregations across the United States and related dioceses outside the U.S. The Episcopal Church is based on New York City, and the current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is the Most Reverend Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Learn more about the Episcopal Church in the Visitor’s Center of the national church’s website.

The Anglican Communion
The Episcopal Church represents the United States in the Anglican Communion, which is made up of more than 85 million worshipers in 44 regional and national member churches around the globe in more than 160 countries. The center of international Anglicanism is Canterbury, England, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who current is the Most Reverend Justin Welby.