in New York
Meet the Staff
The Reverend J. Donald Waring, Rector
The Reverend J. Donald Waring has been the Rector of Grace Church since July, 2004. Previously he served as the Rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio for nine years. Prior to his rectorate at St. Thomas, Don served as Associate Rector and then Interim Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Don earned his M. Div. from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1989, and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Sioux Falls in 1984. He has won numerous preaching awards during his career. Complementing his ministry at Grace Church, Don also serves as Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at General Seminary, and teaches 5th Grade Bible at Grace Church School. Don is married to Stacie Soule Waring and they have two sons, James and Luke.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 127
The Reverend Martha S. Korienek, Associate Rector
The Rev. Martha S. Korienek joined the staff of Grace Church in September 2016. Previously she has served at St. Michael & All Angels in Corona del Mar, CA, Church of Our Saviour in Chicago, IL, and she came to us from St. Paul’s in Burlingame, CA (near San Francisco). She earned her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and a Certificate in Anglican Studies from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in 2006. Before seminary, she was part of the Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Los Angeles, CA, which is one of the Episcopal Service Corps sites. She earned a B.A. from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, where she double majored in education and French. She is originally from the Chicagoland area, and is a Cubs fan, however, she has attended more Yankees games than any other team, and considers herself a Yankees fan, as well.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 114
The Reverend Chase Danford, Assistant Rector for Youth and Family Ministry
The Rev. Chase Danford guides the Sunday evening service, oversees baptismal preparation, and leads programs for children, youth, and young adults. He also enjoys teaching about contemplative spiritual practices, such as centering prayer and meditating with scripture. Chase is an adjunct faculty member of Grace Church School, where he teaches third grade Bible and leads Early Childhood Chapel. Chase previously served as Assisting Priest at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, Curate at St. John’s Church in Larchmont, and as a major gifts officer at the International Rescue Committee. He earned his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary and his B.A. in Sociology from Rice University.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 113
Dr. Patrick Allen, Organist and Master of Choristers
Dr. Patrick Allen, Organist and Master of Choristers at Grace Church in New York, previously served as Director of Music and Fine Arts at Independent Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to that appointment he served as Associate Organist at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York, Director of Music and Organist at both The Cathedral Church of Saint John and Congregation Beth Emeth, in Wilmington, Delaware. In the summer he is on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute held at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio. With Catherine Rodland, he co-authored The Chorister Training Program of The Royal School of Church Music in America, an American adaptation of the English Model SING ALOUD. Dr. Allen has received degrees from the University of North Texas and The Florida State University.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 110
Jennifer S. Metz, Parish Administrator
Jennifer is a “Cradle Episcopalian” who has served as Parish Administrator at Grace Church since September of 2010. Previously she worked as Director of the Annual Fund (and volunteer Sunday school teacher!) at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York and freelanced at St. Thomas Church and the Communications Department of the Episcopal Church Center. Prior to her crossover to the non-profit sector, she had over 10 years of marketing and communications experience in the corporate world including agency account management and direct marketing for a major publisher. Jennifer, who enjoys volunteering at the nearby Merchant’s House Museum, was drawn to Grace Church partly due to the beautiful 19th century gothic architecture and its place as a landmark of New York City history.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 100
Jacob Reed, Organ Scholar
Jacob Reed is a Master’s student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he studies organ with Martin Jean. Born in Oxford, England, and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he recently became the first student ever to receive a simultaneous BA/MA in musicology from Yale University (double-major in mathematics), studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas and organ with Thomas Murray. Jacob was a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar, and was selected as a 2013 YoungArts National Finalist by the National YoungArts Foundation – one of 152 finalists out of nearly 10,000 applicants, and the only organist among the 19 classical musicians. Since matriculating at Yale, he has been a member of the Yale Temperament Viol Consort, instrumentalist and vocalist for the Yale Collegium Musicum, and first harpsichordist for the Yale Baroque Opera Project. Jacob was artist-in-residence as organist and pianist at the 2016 and 2017 iterations of the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska.
Sandy Chu, Staff Accountant
Sandy Chu joined Grace Church as the Staff Accountant in August 2007. Prior to Grace Church, she had an extensive background in accounting. At the Chinese-American Planning Council Inc., Sandy prepared and submitted monthly reports of four day care centers to the Administration for Children’s Services and monthly reports of seven after school programs to the Department of Youth and Community Development. Before this, Sandy served as the Senior Accountant for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, where she prepared and maintained the personnel budget for approximately 200 employees and assisted in auditing annual budgets for 17 regional offices. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and Economics from Queens College.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 117
Rhianna L. Murphy, Director of Finance and Administration
Rhianna L. Murphy is Director of Finance and Administration and oversees business operations. Rhianna came to Grace Church from The Tibet Fund, an international humanitarian aid organization, where as the Director of Finance and Administration she provided oversight of organization-wide financial activities, USDOS/USAID funded grants, and the daily operations of the New York headquarters. Prior to working for the Tibet Fund, Rhianna served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the French Heritage Society, a Franco-American architectural and cultural preservation organization, and as the Director of Administration for Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), Lower Manhattan’s center for dance education, creation and performance, where she led the logistics of transitioning the organization to its new home and the settlement of a $5 million capital campaign. Rhianna began her career in the development department of the New York Public Library and holds a B.A. from Hunter College.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 116
James V. Romanik, Assistant Director of Membership & Communications
James V. Romanik oversees all aspects relating to membership and external communications at Grace Church, including strategic marketing and fundraising initiatives. Before coming to Grace, James was the Development and Communications Coordinator at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the oldest child protective agency in the world. He has also worked for a variety of other causes, ranging from special needs children to public broadcasting. James received his Bachelors from Ithaca College in Arts Management. He is thrilled to be a part of the Grace community.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 119
Daniel Benchimol, Director of Facilities
Daniel Benchimol has served as the Director of Facilities since August of 2016; he also oversees the Grace Church School campus. Before coming to Grace, he held mulitple positions in facilities at Bank Street School for over 20 years.
Bally Bharathsingh, Church Sexton and Chief Engineer
Bally is a fixture on the Grace Church campus, with nearly 40 years of service to the institution. He knows the church like the back of his hand – from the depths of the undercroft to the spire’s towering heights. As the Chief Engineer, he’s responsible for maintaining the campus, monitoring and repairing critical infrastructure, and generally keeping the train on the tracks.
Marvin Boozer, Engineering Team
Marvin has experience working in Engineering at both Grace Church and Grace Church School. Always ready to greet you with a smile and laugh, Marvin works with the rest of the Engineering team, keeping the church and chantry clean and maintaining the church’s beautiful grounds.
Johnson Lambert, Engineering Team
Johnson has worked with Grace Church for nearly 10 years. As a member of the Engineering team, he is an integral part of keeping the church moving. Johnson also serves a porter at 80 Fourth Avenue, one of Grace Church’s apartment buildings.
Veronica McDowell, Engineering Team
Veronica has served with Grace Church for over 30 years. As a member of the Engineering Team, she is responsible for the care of the church’s sacramental linens and silver, meticulously maintaining our sacred objects for use throughout the week.
Paul Sealy, Engineering Team
Paul has worked with Grace Church and Grace Church School for over ten years. With a wealth of practical knowledge and experience, Paul is an asset to the campus. He also spearheads Grace Church’s special events for parishioners and newcomers, creating beautiful settings for festive fellowship.