Rector, Staff and Vestry

" For we are co-workers in God’s service" 1 Corinthians 3:9


Father Gary Parker was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St. Stephen’s Church in January 2015. In his letter to the parish, Father Gary quoted author George Herbert in proclaiming, “In age, we bud again.” He sees his role for the next three years as working together with members of the parish and community to bring a spirit of renewal and spiritual growth.

A New York native, Father Parker spent most of his career as a US Navy Chaplain serving on ships, in Marine Corps units, and various posts overseas. At one point, he was Chaplain to the Marines that protect the US Embassies abroad, and carried a black diplomatic passport. “One of the most interesting things about being a Navy Chaplain was the diversity of the people. It is a Chaplain’s responsibility to minister to people of all faiths, whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian or Wiccan, as their constitutional right to freedom of religion. Plus, they are a ‘captive audience,’ and you live with them 24/7 and really get to know them and they in turn, you.” He says that this experience stretched him as a priest, and he learned a great deal from all the variety of people and missions.

Upon retiring from the military, he became Director of Veteran’s Affairs, Healthcare, Prisons and First Responders chaplaincies for the Episcopal Church until 2006. In this role, he visited Ground Zero in 2002, and met with first responders there to help develop lessons learned to aid in future disaster zones. Since then he has served in parishes on Long Island, in Colorado and North Carolina as interim priest.

He is impressed with Port Washington’s diversity, storied history and waterfront beauty. Most recently he was struck by the incredible caring and compassionate nature of our community. Shortly after he arrived, the tragic houseboat fire occurred. He witnessed first hand how the Clergy Association in town ministered to those in need through channeling donations, fundraising and reaching out “under the radar” to provide for the needs of those effected.

He believes that St. Stephen’s Church is open to all people, just as Jesus was in his gospel ministry. “Whether they are hurting in some way, marginalized, or just seeking a closer relationship with God and a connection to the community, all are welcome—just come!” he exclaims.
Mark van Schenkhof, Minister of Music

Mark first played as an organist at The First Reformed Church in Ridgewood, NJ, at the age of 11. Before coming to St. Stephen’s in 2000, he had been the music director at several other Long Island churches and the Community Synagogue in Sands Point.

Mark studied at Glassboro State College, Manhattan School of Music, City University of New York - Queens College, and Five Towns College. He also works as a teacher at Manhasset High School. His choirs have been recognized as the finest in the state and were selected to perform for NYSSMA, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street, the United Nations, the White House, and most recently in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Mark has sung, directed, and produced opera, been a music director of numerous musicals and has served as music director with Bayside Men’s Glee Club and Cathedral Preparatory Seminary.

Mark is the husband of the renowned opera singer and voice teacher Carol Dòvan.
bernadette-reyesBernadette Reyes, Parish Administrator

Bernadette is from Dix Hills, and has extensive background in data management. Bernadette is currently administrator at the American Bolero Dance Company, Long Island City and Historian for the Huntington Choral Society

Erika Skoblow, Sexton
In 1999, Erika met a woman she refers to as her “angel”, Jennifer Wilson-Pines, former Facilities Manager of St. Stephen’s, who hired her to work with the Parish. Initially Erika worked at major annual events held in the facility and over time took on more responsibility cleaning our rental properties. She joined St. Stephen’s as our full-time Sexton in 2009. Over the years she has become an integral part of the communal family. She considers herself grateful to know the wonderful and generous people of St. Stephen’s.
Erika moved from Chile to the North Shore of Long Island with her family in 1984. Since 2003 she has lived in Port Washington, where she enjoys living on the Bay and the uniquely diverse community. Today Erika loves spending time with her long-term partner, Rafael, her daughter and two beautiful grandchildren.
Rhonda Fay, Children & Youth Minister
Rhonda leads this most important part of our ministry, overseeing the Sunday School and Youth groups. Rhonda has many years of experience of working in the Sunday School, leading the plays, dramas and classes. Rhonda brings fantastic life, energy and enthusiasm to this ministry and will act as a catalyst for supporting our existing wonderful Sunday School and Youth leaders.
caren-salkin-head-shotCaren Salkin, St. Stephen's Consignment Shop Supervisor
Caren Salkin has worked in wholesale and retail fashion for over 30 years. She is originally from Port Washington, spent time in Connecticut and then New York City in the fashion business, and now lives once again in Port Washington. A Drexel graduate, she was a buyer, has managed departments at major department stores, and has had her own business selling fashion items for several years. She enjoys spending time with her two daughters, her granddaughter and her shih tzu, Bailey. She appreciates the Shop's mission of doing good deals, and good works at the same time for our community.
    VestryOur Vestry consists of two Wardens and nine Vestry members. The Wardens and Vestry members are elected at the annual parish meeting. At the first Vestry meeting following the annual meeting, the Vestry elects a Clerk and a Treasurer (who do not have to be Vestry members) to a one-year term.

Regular meetings of the Vestry are generally held monthly, and special meetings can be held (in person, or on-line) as required to deal with issues that require Vestry action.
Roopali Gupta John, Warden

Roopali grew up in Southern California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A in Economics. In 2000 she moved to New York City to work in investment banking structured finance for Morgan Stanley. She spent 9 Years on Wall Street, first with Morgan Stanley and then Barclays Capital, in structured finance banking and trading. After having her first son she made the decision to stay home and raise her family. She and her husband, Gareth, moved to Port Washington in 2005. She is now a stay at home mom of 2 boys and a full-time Yoga Instructor for Adults and children specializing in special needs students. The John family have been Parishioners at St. Stephen’s since 2013.
John LongmireJohn Longmire, Warden
John and his family have lived in Port Washington and been members of St. Stephen’s for over 15 years. John has served portions of three terms on the Vestry, and is also a past Warden. He also served as Chair of the Discernment Committee in 2010-11. John’s wife Eva Turel has served as a Youth Group and Rite-13 leader, and their son William is an Acolyte and Crucifer. John grew up in the Episcopal Church, received a B.S. degree from NYU in 1987, served as a school counselor in New York City for several years, and then attended law school. John is now a partner in a large international law firm based in New York. He looks forward to continued involvement in the life and work of St. Stephen’s.
John DayJohn Day, Treasurer

John serves as the Treasurer on the Vestry. John and his wife, Lucy, and their three children William, Megan and Thomas, have lived in Port Washington since 2000. Of English origin, he was in fact, born in Penang, Malaysia, and has in the course of his career moved and lived all over the world including spells in London, England; Sydney, Australia; Memphis, TN; and Hong Kong.

John works for a technology company that provides advice to, in particular, owners of semiconductor intellectual property. It is a role that takes him to Ottawa, in Canada, frequently.
Elisa DelaneyElisa Delaney
Elisa Delaney discovered St. Stephen's Church shortly after moving to Port Washington in the summer of 2013. She was quickly drawn in by the warm community of members and fantastic music. Elisa has volunteered at the Fair for the past two years and also serves as a Lector and at Coffee Hour. Officially received into The Episcopal Church this past autumn, Elisa looks forward to contributing in a meaningful way as a member of the Vestry. A career Executive Assistant for various investment companies located in Manhattan and Greenwich, Elisa has worked at Blackstone for the past nine years, first in Private Equity and now with the GSO Capital division. Elisa's other volunteer pursuits include service at The Cow Neck Historical Society, as a mentor with Year Up, and as past President of the St. Francis Preparatory School's Mothers Guild. Elisa attended Queens College (CUNY) and lives in nearby Dolphin Green with her daughter and their pets.
Alan Dinn, Clerk

Alan is a native of Port Washington and a lifelong member of St. Stephen’s. He is a graduate of Schreiber High School and holds a Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering from RPI and a Master’s in Applied Math from Stony Brook. He retired in 2012 after a 43-year career with Northrop Grumman. He is also the author of two books on nautical history and serves on the Nautical Advisory Council of the Port Washington Public Library.

In addition to serving as Clerk of the Vestry (Secretary of the Parish Corporation), Alan is a Eucharistic Minister, coordinator of Lay Ministry scheduling, and Parish Historian. He also helps his wife, Sue, on Altar Guild.
Catherine Fish

Catherine has been a member of St. Stephen's Church for 22 years, since she was 5 years old! She went through the Sunday School program, participated in the Youth Group, served as an acolyte, and became a confirmed Episcopalian. From the time she was 7 years old until present day though, you can always find her singing in the choir. Catherine and her family absolutely cherish St. Stephen's incredible music program. It is what first drew her parents to this parish, and enabled her family to benefit from the many other wonderful aspects of this church community.
Catherine is in her 6th year of teaching music and currently works as the Director of Orchestras at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park. She also plays violin professionally in a number of symphony orchestras and opera companies in the New York-metropolitan area. It is a great privilege for her to be able to return to the church she grew up in as an adult and continue to reap the benefits of this loving community. The people of St. Stephen's have acted as a supportive family for her entire life, and she looks forward to being able to pay this blessing forward. Catherine hopes that she will be able to offer a valuable perspective as a younger adult member of the parish, and looks forward to the opportunity to serve the people and church she loves.
Kathy FormanKathy Forman

Kathy Forman has been a member of St. Stephen's Church since 1986. She and her husband Guy have raised three children here. All are confirmed Episcopalians and served as acolytes. Kathy has been active in parish activities, chairing the Boutique at the Fair since 1987. She is a former president of Guggenheim elementary school's PTA, and a former trustee of the Cow Neck Historical Society. She currently works as a Principal Law Clerk to a Supreme Court Judge.
Jessica GriffinJessica Griffin
I grew up in a large Presbyterian church in Virginia, sang in the choir and was active in the youth group. While in college at William and Mary, I often attended my grandparents' Episcopal church, becoming familiar with the more challenging hymnal and the Book of Common Prayer.

At St. Stephen's, my husband Dan and I appreciated the opportunities for children to participate in the life of the church. Our 4rd grader is not just willing but eager to attend Sunday School, and our 7th and 9th graders enjoy Youth Group. They all especially love the camaraderie of working with their church community at the Fall Fair.

As a Sunday School teacher, I have been leading our class in acting out Bible stories and learning songs to go with them. I find that the stories and their deeper meanings really hit home for the kids when they become one of the characters. In our wider community, I volunteer for Port Washington Soccer Club and the Girl Scouts. For recreation, I like sailing, running and traveling with our family.

I'm honored to serve on the Vestry in order to give back to St. Stephen's, which has given our family a warm welcome, new friendships, and a spiritual home.
Rachel Golder
Rachel is an 18-year member of St Stephen's with her husband and three teenage children. She was a Sunday School teacher when the children were young, and has been a member of the choir for eight years. She served on the Vestry for four years, leading the Stewardship effort. She is also an active participant in many of the Church's community activities, including the Fall Fair, and helps to make the Miracle of Christmas Orchestra happen. Rachel has a B.A. in Music (magna cum laude) from Yale. When she is not working for the parish, Rachel is a manager of bond portfolios for Goldman Sachs.
Jamie PinesJamie Pines

Jamie is a native of Port Washington and a long time member of St. Stephen's. He is a graduate of Schreiber High School and holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University and an MBA from New York Institute of Technology. He is currently employed at Queens College as an Assistant Bursar.

He is the father of Lela and Lian and husband to Jennifer. He is a former Choir member and Vestry member (Co-chair of the B&G committee), participant in the lawn mowing and handyman activities.
Colin SchroederColin Schroeder
Colin Schroeder, a life-long member of St. Stephen's, is a junior in high school. He has served as a vestry member for three years, as an advocate for outreach and children's ministries. He attended the 2014 EYE convention.

Colin, a varsity soccer goalkeeper, enjoys music, sports and hanging out with his friends.
Jon ShieldsJonathan Shields

Born and raised in Port Washington, where he currently resides with his wife and two young children, Jonathan has been a member of St. Stephen's for over 40 years. In that time, he uniquely has experienced all facets of St. Stephen's - from its Sunday school and Youth Group programs to weddings, Baptisms and the Beachside Lobster Bake hosted by Jonathan and his brother annually.

A graduate of Schreiber High School ('92) and Lafayette University ('96), Jonathan currently is the U.S. Director of Business Development of a multi-national, publicly-traded technology company with more than 20 years of experience.

Please introduce yourselves to Jonathan if you have not done so already - he usually can be found chasing his children around the church, nursery and at coffee hour.
Stephen Silvester

Stephen was born in Greenpoint, raised in Flushing. He moved to Port Washington in 1996. He has been a construction worker since 1985. He has been attending St. Stephen’s since 1997 or 1998. Both of his kids were baptized here. He also taught Sunday School for a long time.
Diana VonRoeshlaubDiana von Roeschlaub

Diana vonRoeschlaub has been a member of St. Stephen’s Church since she was a teenager, and known as Diana Bandfield. The Bandfield family have been members of St. Stephens for several generations, and Diana’s parents were each a Lector and Choir member, and were, in fact married there. 19 years ago Diana married Kurt vonRoeschlaub, Jr, and became part of the family of the then Rector, Kurt vonRoeschlaub. She loves the music, the welcoming atmosphere, and the support of the of the Parish family. She cherishes the history and liturgy of St. Stephen’s and the opportunity to deepen her faith with thoughtful services and programs the Church offers. She has enjoyed many years of service in the Parish including running the youth group, and participating in many fellowship and community events. She recently became a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and is serving a 3 year term on the Vestry. She hopes to further engage the Parish in community and volunteer activities, and promoting the church and it’s mission throughout the community.