Clergy & Staff
Rector, The Rev. Tim Schenck
The Rev. Tim Schenck has been Rector of St. John’s since 2009. Ordained in 2000, he previously served parishes in New York and Baltimore.
Prior to attending Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, where he served as student body president, Father Tim had a varied professional life. After graduating from Tufts University in 1991 he spent four years as a political campaign consultant, working across the country on the federal, state, and local levels. He also served as the Public Affairs Officer for an Army Reserve unit stationed in Baltimore after being trained as an Armor Officer and paratrooper.
Father Tim is the author of four books including, most recently, Father Tim’s Church Survival Guide (Morehouse 2015). He writes a syndicated monthly column titled “In Good Faith” and blogs regularly at Clergy Confidential. Passionate about digital ministry, feel free to friend him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter or Instagram.
Father Tim is the creator of the wildly popular online devotion Lent Madness. A unique, engaging Christian formation experience, Lent Madness has been featured in such media outlets as USA TODAY, the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, network television, and National Public Radio.
When not spending time on church business or family activities, you can usually find Father Tim running on the streets of Hingham, drinking coffee at the local coffee shop, or practicing blues guitar on his beloved Fender Stratocaster.
Father Tim’s wife Bryna is program director of the Quincy Family Resource Center, a state-funded program that assists local families in need. The Schencks live in the St. John’s rectory with their two teenage children, Benedict and Zachary; Delilah, the family dog; and Mimi the ferret.
Assistant Rector, The Rev. Noah Van Niel
Fr. Noah Van Niel, our Assistant Rector, is originally from Newton, MA. Noah is a life-long Episcopalian and graduated from Harvard College in 2008 where he played fullback on the Crimson's Ivy League champion football team. He received his Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 2015. Before pursuing his call to ordained ministry, he trained and worked as an opera singer in Philadelphia.
Noah has worked at Old North Church in Boston's historic North End, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Cambridge, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Newton and the Church of the Holy Trinity in downtown Philadelphia, PA, as well as having spent a summer working as a chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Noah and his wife Melinda, a manager of Patient Safety Programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and their two sons, Vincent and Arthur, reside in the Curate's residence on Water Street. His sermons and writing can be found on his blog thevicarsview.com.
Priest Associate, Sr. Adele Marie Ryan SSM
Our Priest Associate, Sister Adele Marie Ryan, SSM was born and raised in New York City where she and her family were active members of the Church of the Intercession in Washington Heights.
Prior to college she worked in data processing at the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. Shortly after graduation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, she entered the Society of Saint Margaret in Boston, making her profession in life vows in 1964. She was Director of Saint Margaret’s Camp for Girls in Duxbury, served on the staff of Grace Church, Newark, New Jersey, Saint Christopher’s Chapel, Lower East Side, NYC, and Saint Luke’s Church, Germantown, Philadelphia, where, in 1981 she was ordained to the priesthood after graduation from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. During her years in the Diocese of Pennsylvania Sister Adele Marie chaired the Diocesan Committee on Spiritual Growth, served on the Liturgical Commission, and was Dean of the Wissahickon Deanery.
Sister Adele Marie is the Superior of the Society of Saint Margaret. As such she exercises oversight for the life and mission of the Society in Duxbury, Dorchester, New York City and Haiti. During her terms as Superior she has learned more about real estate and construction than she ever wanted to know. She lives at Saint Margaret’s Convent in Duxbury, with eight Sisters of the Community.
Rector Emeritus, Fr. Robert Edson
The Rev. Robert Edson was born at U.S. M. A. at West Point, New York, and was raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated with a B.A. from Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tennessee in 1963 and an M. Div. from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA. In 1966. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1966 and to the priesthood in 1967 in the Washington National Cathedral. He served as Assistant in Saint John's Church, Chevy Chase, Maryland, 1966 – 1970; Rector of Saint John's Church in Cornwall, New York, 1970-1976; Rector of Trinity Church in Washington, D.C., 1976-1981; and Rector of Saint John's Church, Hingham, MA 1981- 2007 when he retired. Father Robert served as Interim at Saint John’s Church in Franklin, MA. and is currently Parish Priest at Emmanuel Church in West Roxbury, MA.
His wife, the late Rev. Diane M. Edson, was a priest and Rector of St. Andrew's Church in Hanover for five years. She was the founding director of Wellspring Multi-Service Center in Hull, MA. They have two children. Their son David and his wife Rachel live in Brooklyn N.Y. and are the parents of a daughter, Fiona. Sarah and her husband Nic live in Simsbury, Ct.
Fr. Robert has served as Dean of the South Shore Clergy and was Director of the Recently Ordained Clergy of the Diocese for 11 years. He presently serves as a Chaplain to Retired Clergy and Surviving Spouses, the Board of the Society of the Relief of Aged or Disabled Episcopal Clergy and the Society for the Relief of Widows and Orphans of Episcopal Clergy. He is an Associate of the Society of Saint Margaret, Vice-President of the Margaret Coffin Prayer Book Society, Chair of the Board of Wellspring Multi-Service Center in Hull and is on the Boards of Blue Hills Healthy Families in Weymouth and the Coastal Area Board of the Department of Children and Families.
Fr. Robert continues to serve St. John's as a Pastoral Care Associate.
Organist/Choirmaster, Elisabeth "Buffy" Gray
Elisabeth "Buffy" Gray has been serving as the Organist-Choirmaster at St. John's, since 2015.
Originally from New Jersey, Buffy is the daughter of a church organist and has had a lifelong interest in church music. She has a degree in Church Music and Organ from Westminster Choir College and has been serving in Episcopal churches in the Boston area since 1996.
Buffy has been Organist and Choir Director at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, served as interim Music Director at Christ Church, Cambridge and All Saints, Ashmont, and most recently was Director of Music at St. Anne's in-the-Fields in Lincoln.
Buffy lives in Milton with her husband, Nick, sons John and Andrew and their dog, Abbie.
Buffy is a skilled liturgist and outstanding choral director who focuses on enabling volunteer singers to perform music of the Anglican choral repertoire to a high standard. She is also passionate about teaching children to sing and has led successful youth choirs.
Buffy feels very strongly about carrying on and building upon the tradition of musical excellence at St. John's.
S.W.5 Musician, Jeremiah Cossa
The S.W.5 (Sunday Worship at 5 pm) is Jeremiah Cossa, a versatile pianist with experience performing as a soloist, with orchestra, and as a chamber musician, along with extensive experience in choral accompanying, church music, music for film, choral Gospel music, Jazz, and Pop. He received a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from Azusa Pacific University in California and his Master’s Degree in Performance at the Boston Conservatory. He has performed with the school’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, and his solo repertoire reflects a focus on Contemporary and avant-garde music.
Jeremiah served as keyboardist and music director for St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Pomona, California from summer of 2014 to fall of 2015 and is happy to have found another Episcopal church home in St. John's since coming to Boston.
Sunday School Director, Alexis MacElhiney
Alexis has been Director of St. John's Sunday School since August, 2015. Her goal is to maximize our ministry to children and nurture the faith lives of our youngest parishioners. Alexis works closely with Father Tim, the Sunday School Leadership Team, and volunteer teachers, to insure the Sunday School program is running smoothly and thriving.
Alexis grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and received her undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Tennessee. After three years of working in commercial lending in Nashville, she decided to embark on a new adventure and move to Boston. She continued a career in commercial lending, working for Fleet Bank and then Bank of America. She met her husband Rob there and in 2005, they moved to Crow Point.
Alexis and Rob have two sons, Matthew and Danny. Alexis enjoys living in Hingham tremendously and taking advantage of everything the town has to offer. She is an active volunteer at Foster School, member of Saint Paul's Church, enjoys all forms of exercise, travel, and cooking. In addition, she has a second part-time job as a bookkeeper for Holly Hill Farm.
Administrative Assistant, Evelyn Sophia Czaja
Evelyn is originally from Chicago, IL. She has worked as an Admin Assistant for the Episcopal Church in Oak Park, IL and here in Hingham, for a total of 21 years. She has worked with 13 priests during that time, including the current St. John’s staff. Evelyn has produced literally hundreds of bulletins, newsletters and other such church office fare. Besides her “church life,” Evelyn has another life as a professional musician. She holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in vocal music and pedagogy. Evelyn is a trained opera singer, voice and piano teacher (which she does after church hours), and a choir director in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Boston. Besides music, one of her favorite things to do is build stuff. She has built numerous pieces of furniture, all of which remain standing.
Accountant, Amsale Faye
Amsale has been St. John's part-time Accountant since April, 2013. Amsale (pronounced Am-sall-ee) has over 30 years of experience with accounting and finance in the non-profit and private sectors. She holds a BS in Management and MBA in Accounting & Finance from Suffolk University. In addition, Amsale has worked at the Society of St. Margaret in Duxbury and currently at St. Stephen's Church/Youth Programs in Boston. She has two children and is a proud grandmother of three. Amsale is one of the founders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Boston and is an active board member.
Sexton, Dorothy Manley
Our Sexton, Dorothy is a long time resident of Hingham. In her travels before coming to St. John's, she has worked as a Real Estate Broker, para professional, and custodian at Foster School, from which she recently retired. Dorothy has been at St. John's for 20 years. She is the behind-the-scenes person for setting up events, buying supplies and helping parishioners with their projects. She is also our gourmet cook for the Community of St. John's Breakfasts several times throughout the year. Dorothy continues to serve St. John's with her many talents and always with a smile.