Staff

 

CLERGY

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Rev. Becca Stevens

Episcopal Chaplain

To contact Becca, please email her assistant, Kristin McWilliams.

Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, social entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms. She has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, and was recently named a 2016 CNN Hero. In 2011, the White House named Becca a “Champion of Change”. She was featured in the PBS documentary, “ A Path Appears, ” named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America as well as the TJ Martell Foundation, and inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. She has been conferred honorary doctorates from The University of the South, Sewanee and General Theological Seminary, New York. Her newest book is, “ Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life.” She lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons.

For Becca's complete bio, click here.

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Rev. Lissa Smith

Associate Priest

The Reverend Lissa Smith is Associate Priest at St. Augustine's Episcopal Chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining St. Augustine's in 2010, Lissa served on the staff at Christ Church, New Haven, serving Yale University, Yale Divinity School, and greater New Haven. Lissa is married to Edwin Williamson. They have three boys, Ted, Van and Gilbert.

 

Rev. Dr. Scott Owings

Scott is on the Volunteer Pastoral Team, co-leading the bi-weekly Contemplative Eucharist services. He serves on the CCJ board as point person for Holy Cross Hospice in Botswana. Scott is a Hospice Chaplain and Adjunct Professor of Theology at Lipscomb Univ. Scott and Lisa have three children, Alex, Eric, and Joy.

Rev. Ali Lutz

Ali is pursuing a PhD in Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Division of Religion. Ali was ordained as a priest in 2012 through the Diocese of New York. She worked for many years for global health equity in rural Haiti. Ali has served churches as a lay minister and priest in New York, Haiti, Arizona, and now Tennessee! 

STAFF

Susan Sluser

Director of Community Life and Education

Susan joined the staff at St. Augustine’s in the summer of 2002. Formerly a Metro schools teacher, she oversees all of our children's programs including Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Vacation Bible School, and children's church. Susan also works with students on Vanderbilt and Belmont campuses. Additionally, she plans chapel events  such as the annual baseball outing, Easter egg hunt and reception, and church retreat. She is the mother of two beautiful daughters, Lizzie and Cate.

Christy Beesley

Christy assists with liturgical duties, coordinates the Journey to Adulthood classes, youth programming, young adult activities, communications, social media, and other responsibilities at St. A's. Christy grew up in the Episcopal Church and is involved with DuBose Conference Center, the Diocese, and Province IV.

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Jes Williams

Jes is responsible for scheduling and coordinating events at the Chapel, as well as assisting Susan with some of the children and family programming.​ She is married to Shannon Williams and has a son, Elijah.

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Claire Brown 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Davis

 

 

 

Claire is a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School and a postulant for ordination to the priesthood. She coordinates Wednesday night services, assists with children’s Sunday school, and offers pastoral care support. Claire is partner to Austin Sauerbrei and parent to Sylvan Sauerbrei Brown.

 

Kelsey is a graduate student at Vanderbilt Divinity School. At the Chapel, Kelsey is our Field Education Intern and helps coordinate social justice education and initiatives, and assists with various Chapel duties. In addition, she helps to scribe for the Center for Contemplative Justice. Kelsey is married to Heather and they have a dog, Nicks.

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Lara Wiggins

Lara serves as Chaplain Assistant to St. Augustine's Canterbury Circle, our college and graduate student ministry. Lara is in her fourth year of pursuing a Maters of Divinity degree at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She has been with us since Fall 2014. She also works part-time as a relief staff for Oasis Center and is enrolled in a Spring CPE program at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.
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Don Welch

 

Don has served as Treasurer at the Chapel since 2011. He is the liaison from CCJ and Larkspur to the St. A's staff, and he fills his days volunteering in a variety of administrative areas.

 

 

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Peggy McMurray

Peggy serves as the Staff Director of Finance. In 2013, she was elected to serve on the Bishop and Council for the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee. Peggy is the proud grandmother of Anna Simpson.

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Andrew Suitter

 

Andrew is a graduate of Vanderbilt's Divinity School. At the Chapel, Andrew helps coordinate Sunday morning worship podcasts and the online worship community. Stay tuned as this community develops and evolves!

 

Mary Murphy

Presently a VDS graduate student pursuing a Masters of Divinity, Mary has worked at the chapel in various capacities for over 10 years. Mary is the point person for the Recovery Eucharist and also assists Lissa and Scott with Adult education. She directs and coordinates volunteers for the chapel's social justice initiatives as well as organizes the Altar Guild.

 

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Kay Barry

Kay manages the prayer request ministry, supervises a Divinity School intern for Magdalene, and teaches a class at Thistle Farms. Kay also helps with real estate questions at Magdalene/Thistle Farms.

Sarah Yandell

 

Sarah has been taking care of St. A’s children for over 15 years. She and her daughter, Bella, currently oversee the nursery for children ages 3 years and under during the Sunday service. Sarah is also certified in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and teaches in the level 1 atrium.

MUSIC

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Chris Roberts

Chris is our Music Director. He works with the music staff to determine song choices for worship services and coordinates guest performances. He also directs Choir rehearsals and performances for special services throughout the year such as Lessons and Carols. Chris is an accomplished singer and songwriter who performed on Broadway before moving to Nashville.

Michael Kelsh

Steve Earle once said that "Michael Kelsh sings in a whisper that makes you want to listen more closely, so you can divine the secret - his songs." For more than a decade, Michael and the Ramblers have provided the  soundtrack for worship at St. Augustine's.

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Greg Bieck

 

Greg is the organist and occasional piano accompanist on Sunday mornings. He is an accomplished producer and recording engineer. Greg regularly joins his wife, Alisa, when the Ramblers play at the Chapel.