Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Claire Nevin-Field, Rector
Claire has had a lifelong fascination with Jesus and finds following him to be: joyful, puzzling, funny, frustrating, humbling, deeply engaging, and life giving. Believing that Anne Lamott was right when she called laughter “carbonated holiness,” Claire loves to laugh and finds much humor and joy in life—and in church.
A lifelong Episcopalian, Claire loves the beauty of worship at St. Peter’s (including the holy chaos that is the children’s and family service), and also loves the Episcopal emphasis on “seeking and serving Christ in all people” and on being the hands and heart of Jesus for the world. Claire is especially passionate about Creation theology, the idea that all that exists is an expression of God’s own life, that we were created to be in relationship with all of God’s Creation, and the implications that idea has for how we live in this world.
Claire is originally from the northeast of England, but spent most of her childhood in northern Delaware. Before becoming a priest, she worked as a nurse-midwife. Claire lives in Queen Village, Philadelphia, with her husband Andrew and her 3 cats (advisors): Shakespeare, Hero, and Little Bits. Her daughters, Rachel and Ellie, live in Rhode Island and Reston VA, respectively. Claire is delighted to be at St. Peter’s. Email Claire
Listen to the Rev. Nevin-Field’s most recent sermon:
Miracle Workers and Beggars
June 18, 2017
The Rev. Sean Lanigan, Associate Rector
Ever since childhood, as a Roman Catholic in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sean has been drawn to the images of radically inclusive community portrayed in the Gospels. In Jesus’ world, saints and sinners sit side-by-side, with the lost, the lonely and the least always receiving pride of place at God’s banquet table. As a gay kid in a not-so-gay-friendly place, Sean became acutely aware of what it means to be treated as an outsider, which has led him to focus his ministry on communicating God’s radical grace: the truth that no one — absolutely no one — can ever be beyond the love of God, and that God’s love comes to find us exactly where we are, in the very midst of the joy and pain of living a human life. And just as God welcomes us, we are called to welcome one another.
Sean explored many spiritual paths before landing in the Episcopal Church. A lifelong spiritual seeker, Sean spent time in a range of Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Quaker, and United Church of Christ communities, all of which have left a mark on his approach to faith and ministry. Sean was ultimately drawn to the Episcopal Church because it welcomes questions, doubt, and uncertainty, because it invites full participation of both the heart and the mind in the life of faith, and because it engages all five senses in pursuit of the Holy.
Sean has a varied educational background. He learned to milk cows and blacksmith at the Putney School in Vermont, studied the history of art and architecture at Brown University as an undergraduate, and received his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. Sean also received a Diploma of Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City. Before coming to St. Peter’s, Sean served in Long Beach, California, where he led an interfaith campus ministry and a start-up congregation called Holy Ground. Email Sean
Listen to the Rev. Lanigan’s most recent sermon:
On Not Building the Kingdom
July 30, 2017
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Schaller, Assisting Priest
Joe and his husband Phillip Bennett have been actively involved in the life of St. Peter’s for over 20 years. He has served on the Vestry and Adult Education Committee, and has designed and led numerous courses in Christian formation. A former Jesuit priest now an Episcopal priest, Joe is a psychologist in private practice. He currently serves at St. Gabriel’s, Philadelphia and St. Mary’s, Ardmore in a manner similar to his role here. Email Joe
Listen to the Rev. Dr. Schaller’s most recent sermon:
Do the Ten Commandments Need an Upgrade?
March 8, 2015
Dr. Darryl Roland, Director of Music Ministry
Dr. Roland received his doctorate from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester and his master’s in Organ Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He came to St. Peter’s from St. Mark’s Church, Philadelphia, where he started a Choir of Boys and Girls and from St. James School, Philadelphia, where he was a music instructor. Previously, Darryl was the Director of Music at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown, New Jersey, the Canon Precentor of the Cathedral Church of St. John, Wilmington, Delaware, and the Artistic Director of the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware. Throughout the course of his career he has focused on bringing children, youth, and adults from a wide demographic background together to grow spiritually and musically as a community. Email Darryl
Kate Randall, Parish Administrator
Kate has been a member of the St. Peter’s community since 1990 when her son Clint, then a third grader at St. Peter’s School, joined the church choir. Kate became parish administrator in 1997 and has served under rectors Tad Meyer, interim Paulette Schiff, Ledlie Laughlin and, since 2015, Claire Nevin-Field. She has a Masters in medieval history, most of which she has willfully forgotten in order to devote any remaining memory to church business. Her husband, Mark, is a local jazz pianist. Email Kate
Danielle Defassio, Children’s Ministry Assistant
Danielle grew up as a pastor’s kid in the Lutheran Church, where her love of music blossomed. She is an actor, primarily focusing on Theatre for Young Audiences, and has performed all over the United States and Canada. Danielle has taught early childhood development classes in New York City, and has also worked as a teaching artist in both NYC and Philadelphia. During our Children & Family Service each Sunday, Danielle leads the music, tells the Bible story, and plans the Faith in Action portion of the service.
Maryann Younger, Seminarian
Maryann Younger is a student at Lutheran Theological Seminary and is doing her Field Education with us at St. Peter’s through May 2017. She is a member of Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington, Delaware. Maryann brings years of experience owning and running a Montessori School. She helps lead our Children & Family Service and works with Darryl Roland, our music director, on developing a mentoring program for our Chorister Academy. Email Maryann
Lauri Cielo, Director of Communications and Development
Lauri has a Bachelors in journalism from the University of Richmond and worked as a newspaper reporter at the Burlington County Times and Press Enterprise. Before arriving at St. Peter’s, she worked as Director of Programs and Communications for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Lauri, her husband, Chris, and children, Eva, Benjamin and Claire, have been members of St. Peter’s Church since 2009. Email Lauri
Wayne Simms, Sexton
As sexton at St. Peter’s Church since 1979, Wayne Simms manages the upkeep of the church, its grounds, and the parish house. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wayne and his wife live in the Strawberry Mansion section of North Philadelphia. When he isn’t taking care of the churchyard and prepping the church for services, Wayne enjoys movies, music, photography, guitar, and is a proud uncle and godfather.
Colin Dill, Administrative Assistant
Colin joined the staff of St. Peter’s Church in 2009, preparing the weekly service bulletins and developing and maintaining the website. When not at the office he is a professional bass-baritone, singing with the St. Peter’s Choir and other Philadelphia area and national ensembles.
Mary Campbell, Accountant
Mary Campbell is a CPA who has had her own accounting practice in Philadelphia since January 2007. Prior to starting her own business, Mary worked in both public accounting and private industry. A native Delawarean, she received her B.S. in accounting from the University of Delaware. Mary provides her clients, primarily non-profits, with accounting, financial reporting and bookkeeping services. St. Mark’s and St. Clement’s are among her clients. Mary attends St. Luke & the Epiphany where she just completed two terms on the Vestry and served as Accounting Warden for two years. She lives in Center City and has one son who lives near Atlanta.
Benjamin Bookman, Food Cupboard Manager
Ben moved to Philadelphia in 2006 to serve as a mentor and tutor in a Frankford neighborhood middle school. He went on to manage teams of volunteers through their own service years, and returned to graduate school for a Masters Degree in Education/Lifespan Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to Philly, Ben served with the National Civilian Community Corps.
He currently lives in Wayne, PA with his wife (a Special Education teacher in West Philadelphia) and, when not working for the Food Cupboard, teaches English as a second language to international adults.