Staff

The Rev. Mia Kano

Priest-in-Charge

Rev. Mia Kano began serving St. Mark's as Priest-in-Charge in 2022. She was ordained an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts in 2020. She previously served Grace Church, Medford through the Episcopal Service Corps program, Life Together, and as Assistant Rector at St. Andrew's, Wellesley. Mia grew up in Connecticut, but her family and spouse hail from Eastern Massachusetts. She earned her B.A. in Religion (Islam) from Middlebury College in Vermont and her M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. She lives in the rectory in East Longmeadow with her spouse, offspring, and dog.

The Rev. Eric Elley, Deacon

Deacon

Deacon Eric joined St. Mark's on Sunday, January 19, 2020. He brings a passion for worship, and outreach. His special ministerial focus continues to be with the homeless and disenfranchised at the Church Without Walls and Big Blue ministries in Springfield that are supported by multiple Episcopal and UCC congregations in the area. He is also excited to work with St. Mark's youth program.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Eric and his husband Graham are happy to call Somers, Connecticut their home. They, along with their son Jeffrey, and very pampered pooch Chester, live in the parsonage (or rectory in Episcopal-speak) next to the Congregational Church of Somersville (UCC) where Graham has served as pastor since 2005.

Sue Aveyard

Office Secretary

Sue happily joined the staff at St. Mark’s in 2021 after working various roles locally in office administration, clerical and secretarial, and as a legal assistant, payroll administrator and computer help desk support at the STCC library and at Warren Elementary School, where she was the sole Tech Support Specialist for the school and other district schools as well. Sue is a published (on-line) writer and was a Massachusetts Relay Operator.

Sue holds two Associate Degrees in Legal Secretarial Science and Computer Information Technology and Security as well as several software specialist certifications.

Her outside-of-work interests include spiritual, enlightening and self-help reading and studies, some political activism, meditation, tapping and music. She enjoys being a spectator at live sporting events, as well as watching football, hockey, baseball and golf. Sue is active in candlepin bowling, tennis, walking, hiking and bike riding; and is working at learning to play the guitar.

Sue Matsui

Minister of Music

Sue is an organist/choir director, school music teacher, composer, and author of Japanese children's books. Her calling is to collaborate with singers and instrumentalists to praise God through music.

Sue directs the St. Mark's choir, which is full of beautiful voices, and is one of the friendliest groups of people anywhere. The choir is taking a break from gathering as a group during the pandemic, but individual choir members and instrumentalists have continued to provide music for St. Mark's every week, both live and through collaborative recordings. The choir has created a Devotional Book of prayers and artwork during our time of separation. A second volume is in the works. We can't wait to be back together again, and are always ready to welcome new members.

Sue leads the St. Mark's children's choir and directs two pageants each year - a Nativity pageant at Christmas time and an Old Testament pageant for the Great Vigil of Easter. All are welcome to join either of these productions.

Jeff Benson

Sexton

Jeff Benson has worked as the parish Sexton for over five years. He and his wife both deeply care for St. Mark's and give their time and energy to help maintain and beautify this space. Although most people do not know him by sight his work makes our gathering on Sunday possible.

Vestry

Dan Tapper

Co-Senior Warden

Dan has been attending services at St. Mark’s Church since 1991 and has been a parishioner since 1999. He and his wife, Doreen, were married here in 1992, making this June of 2022 their 30th wedding anniversary. Their son Sam was baptized as an infant in 1999 and Dan, himself, was baptized at St. Mark’s in August of 2002 after being raised Jewish. He lives with his family in Suffield, CT.


Dan has served in numerous leadership capacities at St. Mark’s through the years. He served on Vestry from 2003-2010, including three years as Senior Warden from 2007-2010, and later served as Vestry Clerk from 2011-2016. He taught Sunday school for many years, helped lead numerous Vacation Bible School adventures, and served as a co-leader of the Journey 2 Adulthood group from 2009-2011, which culminated in our group’s Pilgrimage to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Most recently he served again as a J2A co-leader from 2018-2021 and also helped to coordinate the annual Art & Craft Fair.

Chris Whitehead

Co-Senior Warden

Believe it or not Christine has been attending services as an active member of St. Mark’s Church since she was just 5 years old. She started her spiritual journey in the halls of the original building during Sunday School. Her love for God has flourished over the years. Being raised by her parents in the Epsicopal church she knew this is where she would someday raise her family as well.

Chris and her recently deceased husband Jim raised two beautiful children at St Mark’s Church-Isabella and Michael-Anthony. Chris has served in numerous roles at St. Mark’s throughout her time here. She served on Vestry, taught Sunday School, led many Vacation Bible School groups, is an active member on Stewardship and has had a hand in many other ministry efforts at St Marks. She is often reported saying that St. Mark’s is her home and she holds many parishioners in her heart as she does her own family.

Open Seat

Junior Warden

If you are interested in this position, please contact Rev. Sandi or Dan Tapper or Chris Whitehead

Melinda De Cesare

Treasurer

As a lifelong Episcopalian, Melinda has wonderful memories of growing up in the church life at St. Andrew’s in Longmeadow. Being a camper and a counselor at Bement Camp and Conference Center during the summers and later participating in parish life at St. Barnabas and All Saints Church in Springfield. She has been attending St. Mark’s now for 15 years. She is looking forward to serving on the vestry and being a more active participant in parish life.

After teaching for 27 years in the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield, Melinda retired from teaching in 2020, but continues to work part-time at her husband’s business, Felix’s Auto Repair and Towing in Springfield. Melinda and Felix enjoy spending time at his family’s home in Italy and traveling in the United States. They also love spending time with their grandchildren.

Claire Sygiel

Clerk

Claire has been attending St. Mark's with her husband Cliff Kerr since 1983. This will be her seventh year on vestry and she has a deep passion for helping those in need in our church and the surrounding community. She serves as co-chair of the Outreach Ministry Team and has worked with Loaves & Fishes, Church Without Walls, and the Big Blue Drop-In Center. Claire serves on the board of Greyhound Options, an adoption group for retired racing Greyhounds, and was a photographer by profession. Her love of nature can be seen in her Facebook wildlife shots.

Hannah Fitzpatrick

Hannah Fitzpatrick has been attending St. Mark’s for a little over 6 years with her husband Rob.She has been an acolyte, a lector, livestreamer, a Rite 13 leader, has led Compline and attended conventions. She is a Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for Embracing the Creative Child in East Longmeadow. She is hoping to be a useful addition to the vestry as we navigate this difficult time in our church and hope her insight and love for this church will be a great resource.

Karen Flygare

Karen has lived in East Longmeadow for the past 42 years. She has 2 grown children who attended East Longmeadow schools, and 3 grandchildren. Prior to moving to western Ma, she lived in Holden MA. Now that she's retired, it is her goal to participate more fully in the activities, needs and challenges of St Marks.

Karen has been a member of St Marks since 1990. Her children were baptized here. Her daughter and herself were confirmed at St Marks. Currently she serves with the usher worship ministry, and outreach ministry. As a vestry member, she will work to have St Marks continue to serve the community. She believe's we can find creative ways to welcome in the community, increase membership and provide opportunities for member involvement.

Carlos Dias

As well as being a Vestry member, Carlos is an usher, on the mowing team, on the fundraising committee, helps with the Big Blue Ministry and on the livestream team. He lives in Hampden with his wife Tara and 2 kids.

Michelle Stallworth

Michelle Stallworth, a cradle Episcopalian, grew up in the Episcopal church. After moving from Mississippi to Massachusetts, Michelle started attending St. Marks in 2018, with her fiancé, Jess. She was heavily involved in the Episcopal Cursillo movement in Mississippi, and is known statewide for her artistic contributions. She has also been involved with youth programs and worked as a camp councilor at Camp Kanuga in North Carolina.

Michelle is a Photographer, Author and Illustrator. She also works as an Area Manager for Amazon Logistics. She has three spoiled dogs and a cat. Outside of work, She and Jess love to explore and find new experiences, be it a new dinning experience, camping, or hiking!

Meg Galbreath

Meg has been a member of St. Mark’s since spring of 2012. She first served on Vestry from 2015-2017. Currently she is the Adult Formation Team leader and librarian of the Families of Faith Library. She is a graduate of Education for Ministry, and is a Deputy for General Convention ‘22, representing the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. She has participated in several church plays, taught Rite 13, and was a member of the Welcoming Committee. Beginning at Pentecost 2018 through Pentecost 2019 Meg was the admin for a Facebook group based on the book “The Bible Challenge'' by Marek P. Zabriskie, with over 100 participants. In 2018 the Adult Formation ministry ran a seven part series on The Way of Love, funded by the gift of a Diocene congregational development grant. Over 60 parishioners participated over several months.

Meg lives in East Longmeadow with her two sons, a daughter in law and her 7 year old grandson, and two very noisy parakeets. She is a Youth Services librarian in the Springfield City Library, and works with patrons ages 0-18 at the Indian Orchard branch. Her passions are teaching and sharing her faith, traveling, reading, the Red Sox, and swimming (ocean preferably).

Open Seat

At Large Seat

If you are interested in this position, please contact Rev. Sandi or Dan Tapper or Chris Whitehead