Saint Michael is pleased to announce the addition of several new staff members! The Reverend Amy Heller will soon join us on Sunday mornings as a Priest Associate for Worship. Christi Morrow has been named Mission and Outreach Coordinator and begins her ministry in August.
The Reverend Amy Heller – Priest Associate for Worship
I am very pleased to announce that the Rev. Amy Heller will be joining the clergy staff at Saint Michael as the part-time Priest Associate for Worship. In this role, she will be serving at Saint Michael on Sundays, continuing in her position as Senior Chaplain at The Episcopal School of Dallas.
Ordained in 2004, Amy has served in the Diocese of Dallas in numerous roles, including as Associate Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, Chaplain to the School at Parish Episcopal School, and Associate for Adult Formation at Saint Michael and All Angels. Amy is a lifelong Episcopalian who strives to share her love of the Christian faith with others, embracing a holy curiosity about this abundant life we share. She grew up in New England, where she developed a love for the Red Sox, the beaches of Maine, and the pleasure of an afternoon spent reading. She earned her B.A. with Honors in Religious Studies from Colgate University and her M. Div. from Yale Divinity School. Amy and her husband, Dr. Roy L. Heller, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Perkins School of Theology, have two adult children, Noah and Annie. Please join me in welcoming Mother Amy back to Saint Michael!
The Reverend Dr. Christopher D. Girata
Christi Morrow – Mission and Outreach Coordinator
Christi Morrow has been a member at SMAA since 2004. Prior to working at SMAA, she taught and served as the Community Service Director at the Episcopal School of Dallas. While at ESD, she built and maintained a comprehensive Community Service Program for the school establishing relationships with more than 30 nonprofit organizations in the Dallas area. She currently serves on the VNA Meals on Wheels Volunteer Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee of the St. Mark’s School of Texas Parents’ Association. Christi writes, “I am eager to inspire members of our parish to learn and serve as they put their faith in action.” She and her husband, Cory, have 3 children: Rachel and Sarah who are 16 and were confirmed at SMAA and William who is 11. Christi will begin her ministry at Saint Michael in August. Please help me welcome her to our staff!
The Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Girata
Julia Giles, the Assistant for Adult Formation and Parish Life, recently announced her decision to move back to her beloved Chicago, after two and half years on staff. Her last day will be Friday, August 3rd. Many of you had the privilege of working with Julia over the years, whether it was coordinating plans for upcoming PrimeTimers or parish events, reserving rooms for weekly formation classes, sending her a Lenten or Advent meditation you penned, serving food and drinks with her at a parish-wide party or hearing her cheerful voice over the phone when you called with questions about the Distinguished Lecture Series or any number of other things. Julia has an amazing ability to juggle a myriad of tasks with grace and ease, and the most wonderful positive attitude. Her creativity and graphic design skills were a tremendous asset to our staff and parish. We are sad to say farewell to someone who has blessed us in so many ways, but we wish her the very best! Please join Rev. Dr. Eric Liles, Associate for Formation, and Tish Visinsky, Director of Parish Life Events, in thanking Julia for her great ministry at Saint Michael. We would be glad to pass along any notes of thanks or well wishes. Please either email them or leave your paper notes with the church receptionist.
Saint Michael is pleased to announce the addition of several new staff members! Dr. Meg Harper has been named Associate Director of Music and Organist and will join us in the fall. Owen Reid becomes our part-time Organ Scholar when his Master of Music in Organ studies commence at SMU in August. Allie Farmer, presently a Youth Ministry intern, expands her role to Youth Minister for Small Groups and Digital Media beginning July 9.
Dr. Meg Harper – Associate Director of Music and Organist
Owen Reid – Organ Scholar
We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Margaret (Meg) Harper as Associate Director of Music and Organist, and Owen Reid as Organ Scholar. Both will begin this fall.
Meg was instantly liked by all who encountered her in her interview/audition here, and impressed us from the beginning with her exceptional credentials and background. She comes to us having most recently served as Director of Music and Liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH. During her four years at the state’s largest Episcopal church, her remarkable accomplishments include founding the Choir School, including the Choir School Board, at St. John’s. This Choir School is an after-school chorister program based on the Royal School of Church Music that brought many new children, especially under-privileged children, to that church. Her experience also includes initiating Choral Evensong and an annual All Souls Requiem at St. John’s, teaching as faculty at the University of Southern Maine, and serving as choir director/organist in Episcopal services at the Lake Delaware Boys Camp. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ from the Eastman School of Music, and graduated summa cum laude with a BM in Organ from the College Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College.
About coming to Saint Michael, Meg says, “I am thrilled to join the music staff at Saint Michael and All Angels this coming fall. The interview and audition process impressed on me what an energized and dedicated group of people make up this program, and I am honored to be able to join Jonathan in building toward the future. My husband Michael and I are looking forward to settling in Dallas with our dog Tabitha and our cat Attila. We are also looking forward to being closer to my parents, who live in San Antonio. I am excited to get to know all of you and to make music together!”
Additionally, joining us for the upcoming program year is Owen Reid, who will serve in a new role called Organ Scholar. Taking its name from parallel positions in English collegiate chapels, Organ Scholar is a part-time appointment for the program year designed to go hand-in-hand with a degree program. As Organ Scholar at Saint Michael, Owen will assist in organ playing, conducting, working with our choirs, and helping us realize our music program’s continued growth. A native of Oklahoma, Owen earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. He is currently finishing a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Cambridge (UK), St. John’s College, where he has worked with some of the most renowned English choral conductors. While in Cambridge, he also served as Graduate Organ Scholar at St. Catherine’s College where his experience includes working with the only school-aged girls choir in a Cambridge college. This fall, he will begin a Master of Music degree in Organ at Southern Methodist University.
I’d like to thank our wonderful Associate Director of Music Search Committee for their dedication, wisdom, and time during the search process: Wendy Finley (coordinator), Eleanor Wroath, Arnold Spencer, and Rev. Lisa Musser.
I’m very excited about these new staff members and all they will bring to our music ministry!
Director of Music and Organist
Allie Farmer – Youth Minister for Small Groups and Digital Media
Allie Farmer graduated from the University of North Texas this past May with a BA in Media Arts. She grew up in Lubbock, but currently lives in Denton. She grew up going to Episcopal church camp, Camp Quarterman, with the Diocese of Northwest Texas, and has spent time the last two summers working as a counselor there. After volunteering on the Bolivia mission trip in summer 2017, she was hired on as a youth intern here at Saint Michael and All Angels. In her free time, Allie enjoys working on her photography, reading, and spending time with her dog Comet.
We are thrilled Allie will be joining us in a new capacity on the youth ministry staff working as one of our youth ministers focusing on our small group ministries and digital communications. Since serving as one of our youth interns, she has developed many wonderful relationships with our youth and we are excited for her to continue on in this new role beginning on July 9.
Director of Youth Ministry
We will soon bid farewell to Glenn Stroh, who served as Interim Director of Music and, for the 2017-2018 year, as Interim Assistant Director of Music. He has decided to focus on his full-time work at St. Mark’s School, and step away from his church work here at Saint Michael.
Writes Director of Music Jonathan Ryan, “I’m profoundly grateful to Glenn for his excellent and important work at Saint Michael. His role in helping this music program to grow, including the reestablishment of our chorister program, has been invaluable. He will be missed!”
About his time here at Saint Michael Glenn says, “Since arriving to serve Saint Michael and All Angels in my interim role last April, I have been richly blessed through your friendship, grace, dedication, and contributions of time and talent during our shared ministry in this special place. My heart is heavy thinking of leaving to focus on my role at St. Mark’s School, but I could not be more excited for the possibilities ahead for the church under the fantastic leadership of Meg and Jonathan. I look forward to amazing things to come from the SMAA choir and choristers, and will think of and pray for you often.”
The Rev. Rich Towers, Priest Associate for Student Ministries at Saint Michael and Chaplain to the Lower School of the Episcopal School of Dallas, has announced that he will begin a new role this fall as Chaplain at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida. We are so grateful for his three years of ministry among us and wish him all God’s blessings as he begins a new chapter in his ministry.