Who We Are
A quick guide to who’s who:
Young Adult Episcopalians
Board of Governors
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ecclesiastical Authority
The Rt. Rev. Laura Ahrens, Ecclesiastical Authority Representative
The Rev. Ryan Fleenor, Board Chair, Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee
Matthew T. Leaycraft, Board Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee
The Rev. Edwin Lewis, Board Vice Chair
Patricia Kincaid Thurston, Board Assistant Treasurer, Chair of 150th Anniversary Committee
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Franklin, Chair, Development Committee
Andrew C. Homan, BK’02, Emeritus Board Member
The Rev. Alice H. Courtright, Board Member since 2016
Jere A. Wells, Board Member since 2017
Valarie Stanley, Board Member since 2019
Lisa Brandes, Board Member since 2019
Lily Olsler, Board Member since 2019
Jocelyn Wickersham, Board Member
Andrew J. Smyth, Board Member
John Seibyl, Board Member
Sarah Woodford, Board Member
Waddell Stillman, Board Member
Hal Rourke, Board Member
Nolan Crawford, Board Member
Partners in Ministry
ECY is a worshipping community within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT). Bishop Diocesan Ian Douglas, through his representative, Suffragen Bishop Laura Ahrens, serves on our Board of Governors as ECY’s Ecclesiastical Authority. ECCT also supports the YAE (Young Adult Episcopalian) ministry network, ECY’s collaboration with Episcopal parishes in the South Central Region as well as across the entire diocese. Finally, ECCT convenes regular meetings of ECY with other Episcopal chaplains in the diocese (University of Connecticut at Storrs and Trinity College in Hartford, and supports multi-campus retreats for college students.
Berkeley Divinity School, part of the Yale Divinity School, is the Episcopal seminary at Yale. Through a long term partnership agreement, ECY serves as the training site for Berkeley seminarians to acquire the skills needed to work with college students and young adults. In 2019-2020, 13 Berkeley students are working directly with college students as Mentors (8), Interns (2), Theologians in Residence (2) and a Program Director. In addition, Berkeley and ECY are engaged in continuous planning, through Berkeley’s Education in Leadership and Ministry (ELM) Program to explore integrating ECY’s training activities into the academic curriculum. ECY and Berkeley are engaged in collaborative conversations with other campus ministries across the country (see TEC / YACM below), and an endowment fund at Berkeley, created through a generous donor, promotes continuing collaboration between the two organizations.
The Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM), affiliated with the Yale Divinity School and Berkeley, has long supported the excellent music program at ECY through providing partial funding and staff to serve as Music Directors, Organists and Choristers at ECY. ECY’s excellence in music is a major source of joy and spiritual nurture for our students. Currently, ECY uses an octet model choir and employs a Music Director who both conducts and accompanies the choir.
The Yale University Chaplain’s Office through Yale Religious Ministries (YRM), supports and coordinates the work of over 30 separate campus ministries, including ECY. YRM meets monthly during the academic year for Chaplain development and rich conversations with university officials whose work affects the lives of our students. The Chaplain’s Office, through Sharon Kugler, Chaplain, and Ian Oliver, Associate Chaplain) also promotes multiple ecumenical and interfaith events during the year, providing a rich set of collaborators as well as opportunities for our students to broaden their own spiritual formation.
ECY collaborates with the Slifka Center and Rabbi Jason Rubenstein through encouraging student attendance at Shabbat services and Bagel brunches, as well as joining together for various events, such as meeting with high school students from Israel, Palestine and the US through Jerusalem Peace Builders. In 2016, Slifka’s Senior Rabbi and the ECY Chaplain co-led a seminar “Profiles in Moral Courage,” in which selected Jewish and Christian students studied resistance heroes in the Holocaust, then travelled together to East Berlin and Poland, including Auschwitz).
ECY also enjoys a close relationship with Imam Omer Bajwa, leader of the Muslim Life at Yale, in joint celebrations as well as events such as meeting with Jerusalem Peace Builders.
Other Christian Chaplaincies
ECY shares a variety of campus events with other Christian chaplaincies, especially the University Church in Yale (the Rev. Ian Oliver, and Luther House Campus Ministry (the Rev. Kari Henkelmann-Keyl) including apple picking, an annual Lessons and Carols service modeled after Kings College in Cambridge, weekly Taize services, and Good Friday services. With the St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center (Fr. Ryan Lerner), we are planning a joint pilgrimage to Taize France this year, as well as participation in STM’s lunch program for those who are challenges with food insecurity.
New Haven Area Parishes
ECY and Trinity on the Green Episcopal Church (Rev. Luk DeVolder & Rev. Heidi Thorsen Oxford) have formed a Shared Ministry Team to develop multi-generational activities between ECY students and Trinity parishioners. ECY shares worship several times a year at Trinity, and has a monthly presence at Chapel on the Green, a worshipping community for those without housing or who face other challenges.
ECY also shares worship annually with the local Episcopal Service Corps site, St. Hilda’s House (Angela Shelley) located at Christ Church, which also hosts a weekly Compline service popular with students.
ECY also collaborates with other Episcopal churches (Trinity on the Green, Christ Church and St. Thomas) on several multi-choir Choral Evensong services each year, and has worked with St. Thomas Church on the development of an Integrity chapter for the local area. Each year, ECY sponsors, with Trinity on the Green, an Easter Vigil at which parishioners from many of the local Episcopal parishes, which includes confirmations, reaffirmations of faith and receptions into the Episcopal Church.
ECY works closely with The Episcopal Church’s Young Adult and Campus Ministry program (Shannon Kelly). ECY was the recipient in 2016 of a National Leadership Grant which strengthened the ministry and assisted TEC / YACM in identifying the characteristics of Episcopal campus ministries across the United States. ECY leaders also attend and present at provincial and national gatherings of Episcopal and Lutheran campus ministries, and are continuously looking for opportunities to build networks among these ministries focused on sustainability.