The Rev. Dr. Richard M. Simpson
Canon to the Ordinary
“Ordinary” is a fancy word for “the Bishop.” Rich serves to support the ministry of Bishop Doug Fisher in a variety of pastoral and administrative ways. At the moment this includes not only the many clergy transitions our congregations are facing across our diocese (mainly due to retirements) but also helping the Church of the 20th Century transition to a Church that can serve and follow Jesus in the 21st Century. The work is about coaching, prodding, supporting, loving, trusting, and encouraging God’s people through this season of change.
Ext. #117 or (413) 417-2415
Email Rich: rsimpson (at) diocesewma.org
Canon for Administration
Contact for clergy payroll and benefits questions; Consult/assist congregations/clergy with clergy compensation and clergy tax questions; HR related matters; Ensure compliance with changing tax laws and employer requirements such as Affordable Care Act reporting, etc.; Property Insurance Matters.
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Email Susan: solbon (at) diocesewma.org
The Rev. Vicki Ix
Canon for Communications
Managing Editor of ABUNDANT Times magazine & Mission Matters; social media; consult/assist congregations with communications issues; provide a website audit; consult/assist website builds; internal announcements & external press.
Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413
Email Vicki: communications (at) diocesewma.org
Chief Financial Officer
Directs the day-to-day financial operations of the diocese; builds and monitors a balanced diocesan annual, operating budget; responsible for assuring the accuracy of budget to actual financial reports; manages the performance of the annual audit activity and timely preparation of audited financial statements; ensures compliance with procedures, controls and accounting policies; identifies and implements financial process improvements; and oversees cash flow and Treasury functions. Committee requirements include staff liaison to the Budget and Financial Planning Committee and to the Audit Committee.
Ext. #116 or (413) 417-2337
Email Kimberly: kfoster (at) diocesewma.org
Bishop’s Executive Assistant
Clergy and Lay Licensing, Bishop’s Calendar, Ordination Officer, clergy Personal Reports, COM liaison, clergy Days, Renewal of Vows and conferences, Bishop’s Reports and Reports for CPG, Canonical changes of clergy.
Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Email Lainey: lhurlbut (at) diocesewma.org
Norman “Mick” Kalber
Executive Director of the Trustees
Communicate with parish treasurers and meet with vestries and finance committees to respond to questions regarding their invested funds; Process expenses from vendors and execute initiated deposit and withdrawal requests from shareholders; Interact on a regular basis with Mercer, our investment consultant, and serve as a liaison between Mercer and the finance committee; Oversee the activities of all the Trustees committees; Produce the quarterly valuation of the Fund and calculate and distribute the quarterly disbursement; Plan and organize the quarterly Trustees meetings.
Ext. #114 or (413) 417-2339
Processes accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash receipts; reconciles payroll & benefits; prepares monthly statements to congregations; reconciles credit card and PEX card charges; processes expense and mileage reimbursement requests; maintains excel schedules and reconciles to assigned GL accounts; produces annual 1099’s; organizes work-papers for the annual audit.
Ext. #115 or (413) 417-2338
Email Kristina: kcincotta (at) diocesewma.org
Administrative Assistant to the Canon to the Ordinary & to the Executive Director of the Trustees
- In support of Clergy: Process Sabbatical Grants, Clergy Children Education Grants, Continuing Education grants
- Transition Ministry: Process clergy background checks; support Fresh Start ministry
- Congregational Support: Process and administer Ministry Development grants and Bement-Waterfield grants Support Safe Church Officer: Communicate workshop information; workshop registrations, record keeping
- Support of the Trustees for the Diocese: process deposits/withdrawals for congregational funds; administer quarterly distribution; archive Trustees fund records
- Support of Archives: Collect, classify and preserve materials of historic value related to the Diocese; research and respond to inquiries.
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Melanie is the contact for submitting payroll hours. She is also the contact if you are hiring a new lay employee or for any termination or other changes to the payroll for lay employees.
Ext. #110 or (413) 417-2346
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
Missioner for Creation Care
Margaret represents the diocese at environmental conferences and other gatherings so the Church has a seat at the table for one of the most crucial issues of our time. She speaks and preaches on our call to protect God’s Creation, leads retreats on spiritual resilience and resistance, and provides resources for the diocese to learn, pray, act and advocate on behalf of God’s Creation. She reports on climate action opportunities and builds ecumenical, interfaith and secular partnerships. She also serves as Missioner for Creation Care in the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ. She says, “I hope to inspire and support the Diocese of Western Massachusetts as we seek to honor the sacredness of Creation and to make a robust, faithful and coordinated response to climate change. I am very interested in the ways that religious faith can move us beyond fear, hopelessness or despair as we face the reality of climate change. I also believe that religious communities and leaders have an important role to play in shaping this country’s growing climate movement.” The Rev. Dr. Bullitt-Jonas was a parish priest for 25 years, including nine years as Priest Associate at Grace Church, Amherst, MA. She received a B.A. in 1974 from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1984 from Harvard University, and a Masters of Divinity in 1988 from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Visit her website: RevivingCreation.org.
Call Margaret: (413) 341-3566
The Rev. Jennifer Gregg
Missioner for Servant Leadership
Jennifer has been the Director of the Berkshire Servant Leadership Center since its beginning in 2007 and founding Vice President of BIO, Berkshires Interfaith Organizing, in 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Elmira College, and a Masters in Divinity from Berkley Divinity School at Yale University. She currently lives in Pittsfield Massachusetts with her husband, her two daughters and her son.
The Rt. Rev. Mark M. Beckwith
Missioner for Spirituality & Leadership
Mark served as bishop diocesan of the Church in Newark, NJ from 2007 – 2019. Prior to that he served as rector of All Saints, Worcester from 1993 – 2006.
As Missioner for Spirituality and Leadership, Mark is working on a part-time basis with congregational leadership two Sundays each month and offering spiritual direction to clergy.
Contact Mark through the Bishop’s Office
The Rev. José Reyes
Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries
The Rev. José Reyes grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and received a BA from Williams College with a major in Psychology and a concentration in Latina/o Studies in 2007. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked as an Elder Protective Services Case Manager and later as a Case Manager for the Mental Health Association during which he decided to pursue ordination to the priesthood. He went to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia receiving his M. Div. degree in 2015. He has served as the Head Pastor of San Marcos Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia and Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester, MA. José loves the outdoors, is an avid runner and enjoys playing the guitar, piano, and drums.
The Rev. Meredyth Ward
Urban Missioner for Worcester
Meredyth was appointed in 2014 and began “Walking Together: A Ministry of Presence in South Main” with the help of a grant from The Episcopal Church. The storefront ministry is a non-judgmental place of welcome, a warming site, a place for mothers and children and a hub for 12-Step groups. “Walking Together” is a sponsor of Laundry Love – a monthly free laundry ministry at Suds Up Laundromat.
Officers & Directors
The Rev. Dr. Molly Scherm
Diocesan Intake Officer
Molly serves and the Diocesan Intake Officer for both concerns relating to suspected misconduct under our Safe Church Policy, and for any matter involving clergy misconduct. It is her responsibility in receiving reports of concern to listen respectfully, offer pastoral care and response, and ensure that appropriate processes for accountability are followed. Molly served as rector of Christ Church in Rochdale, priest-in-charge at St. Andrew’s, Turners Falls. Currently, Molly serves as associate rector at Saints James and Andrew, and lives in Greenfield. Before entering parochial ministry she spent over thirty years in independent school teaching and administration. Ordained in 1978 in the Diocese of New York, she holds both M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Rev. Tanya R. Wallace
Safe Church Officer
Tanya trains and certifies diocesan staff, clergy and volunteers in the Safe Church program. She serves as rector of All Saints’, South Hadley and as Director of the Lawrence House Service Corps.
The Rev. Jane Griesbach
Archdeacons are appointed to assist the bishop with canonical requirements of formation, academic training, deployment, supervision and support of those ordained to and preparing for ordination to the diaconate. Contact Jane for matters about deacons including identifying who in your faith community might be called to be ordained to the diaconate.
The Rev. Patrick Perkins
Diocesan Disaster Coordinator
The Diocesan Disaster Coordinator is our liaison with US Disaster Program, a branch of Episcopal Relief and Development. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program works in areas across the United States that have been affected by disasters. By offering resources and training to help communities prepare for disasters and providing emergency support, we help vulnerable groups of people to make a full and sustained recovery.
The Rev. Erik Karas
Officer for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Erik has served two interims with UCC congregations, one in Colorado and one on a coastal island in Maine. Before being called to Sheffield as priest-in-charge in 2017, he served as interim pastor for a Lutheran congregation and priest-in-charge for an Episcopal congregation in Augusta, Maine, bringing the two together to form one congregation.
Called as rector of Christ Trinity Church, Sheffield in 2020, Erik was received into The Episcopal Church. He has shepherded Christ Trinity to full federation as an Episcopal – Lutheran community of faith and forged ecumenical collaboration with the Appalachian Trail Ministry.
Mr. Todd Beckham
Cathedral Music Director, Organist & Director of the Bishop’s Choir School
Mr. Beckham has a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Youngstown State University and a Master of Music in Organ and Harpsichord Performance from Converse College. He has also done postgraduate studies in Choral Conducting and Sacred Music at Boston University. While serving as the Hawai’ian Cathedral’s Music Director and Organist, he was also an organist for the Bishop Memorial Chapel at Kamehameha School, Palama, chapel organist and choir accompanist for St. Andrew’s Priory and Preparatory School, and choral accompanist with Hawaii Pacific University.
Director of Young Adult Ministry Network
The Rev. Christopher Carlisle
Director of the Building Bridges Veterans Initiative
Chris is Special Assistant to the Bishop for Special Projects and Director of the veterans ministry initiative, “Building Bridges.” Having spent twenty-five years in campus ministry, Chris is now dedicated to veterans ministry initiatives, outdoor Christian communities, and the innovation of new expressions of “church” in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.
Mr. Chad Wright
Associate Director, Building Bridges
Chad Wright serves as the assistant director of Building Bridges and the site director for the luncheon in Greenfield. Chad is currently finishing up a bachelors in social work from Elms College. Chad is a veteran with a passion for community service.