Nominees for Diocesan Leadership Positions

Thank you to the individuals who have accepted nomination for diocesan leadership positions. Elections will take place at the 2018 Diocesan Convention.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by position and provided biographical statements have been edited to fit the 120-word limit. Photos are used where provided.

Diocesan Board

The Diocesan Board is the policy-making body of the Diocese and is responsible for articulating and formulating its mission strategy. It has responsibility for all programmatic activities including the preparation, administration, and oversight of the diocesan budget. This group also serves as the Board of Trustees for all Diocesan Corporations.

The Diocesan Board has ten members: the Bishop, four elected members, three appointed members, a Standing Committee representative, and the treasurer. Members must be at least 20 years of age and confirmed communicants of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Central New York. The Diocesan Board typically meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. at the diocesan office.

Convention 2018 will elect:

  • One clergyperson for a three-year term.

The Rev. Lisa Busby (Nominee 1 of 1 for Diocesan Board, Clergy)


The Rev. Lisa Busby, resident of Clayton, is the rector of the River Parishes—Christ Church, Clayton and St. John’s Church, Cape Vincent.  A native of Central New York, she has served in local and diocesan youth and Cursillo ministries as youth group leader, Happening committee co-chair, chair of the Diocesan Youth Council and as a parish vestry member. She returns to the diocese after serving as rector of St. Luke’s Church in Scottsboro, Alabama. There she served as a member of the diocesan Commission for Race Relations. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Busby has served the communities of Central New York for several years, working with individuals, groups and families struggling with mental health and addiction issues.

Disciplinary Board

The Disciplinary Board is the body that deals with all matters regarding the ecclesiastical discipline of members of the clergy (other than the bishop diocesan). The Disciplinary Board is governed by the relevant provisions of Title IV of the Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and detailed in Diocesan Canon XXVII.

The Board consists of five clergy members and four lay members. Clergy members must be canonically and geographically resident in the Diocese, and can be either active or retired. Lay members must be adult communicants in good standing and geographically resident in the Diocese.

The term for Disciplinary Board members is three years. The Disciplinary Board meets as needed.

Convention 2018 will elect:

  • One clergyperson for a three-year term.

The Rev. Shelly Banner (Nominee 1 of 1 for Disciplinary Board, Clergy)


I am a bi-vocational Deacon, residing near Oswego. Ordained at Diocesan Convention in 2005, I have served the parishes of St. John’s, Marcellus, the Church of the Resurrection, Oswego, and now serve St. Matthew’s, Liverpool.

Beyond parish functions, I serve our diocese in these ways: Interim Ministry team, Commission on Ministry, the Diocesan Disciplinary Board. I loved serving as an alternate deputy for General Conventions 78 & 79. I am passionate about examining systems, believing that knowing how they function and interface develops innovative ideas and strength within that structure.

It would be my pleasure to serve a second term as a part of the Diocesan Disciplinary Board.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee consists of eight members: four clergypersons and four laypersons.

Members must be at least 20 years of age and confirmed communicants of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Central New York. The Standing Committee usually meets five times per year, typically on the second Tuesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at the diocesan office, and one meeting immediately following Convention.

Responsibilities include:

  • Review and consent to all transactions involving the sale, mortgage or lease of church-owned real estate.
  • Approval of the election of bishops anywhere in The Episcopal Church, which leads to a concern for the structure and distribution of authority in the Church.
  • Approval of persons for ordination to the diaconate and priesthood, which leads to a concern for ministry throughout the Church.
  • Acting as a council of advice for the bishop in such matters as she may choose to bring before the Committee; and on matters which the Diocese, through the Standing Committee, wishes to bring before the bishop.
  • Acting as the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in the case of prolonged absence, disability, or resignation of the diocesan bishop, if there be no other bishop to whom authority has been temporarily given.
  • Acting as the investigative body in the process of ecclesiastical discipline as specified in the Canons of The Episcopal Church.

Convention 2018 will elect:

  • One clergyperson for a four-year term;
  • One clergyperson for a two-year term;
  • One layperson for a four-year term;
  • One layperson for a one-year term.

Ms. Charlene Fix (Nominee 1 of 2 for Standing Committee, Lay)


Charlie (Charlene) Fix traveled both domestically and abroad during her husband’s 26-year military career, attending services in the military chapel system.

I served as president of Protestant Women of the Chapel at many different duty stations. After 21 years as a Public Health Nurse for the Department of Defense I retired from Fort Drum. I also served as the Sexual Assault Care Coordinator for 8 years.

I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 2005. As a member of St. John’s, Cape Vincent I have served as the Junior Warden, Senior Warden, vestry member and member of the search committee for our present priest. I volunteer with the Child Advocacy Center of NNY and St. John’s prayer shawl ministry.

Ms. Ruthie Koerts (Nominee 2 of 2 for Standing Committee, Lay)


Ruthie Koerts attends St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Endicott. My passion for St. Paul’s ministries includes: lay eucharistic minister, eucharistic visitor, lay assistant, acolyte leader, vestry, Women of the Church, and Learning Communities Initiative Guiding Team member.  My passion for diocesan ministries includes: member of the Commission on Ministry (Training & Resources Team, Ordination for Ministry Team), Episcopal Fund for Human Needs Committee, and most recently, Learning Communities Initiative coach.

The Very Rev. Joell B. Szachara (Nominee 1 of 2 for Standing Committee, Clergy)


I currently am rector at St. Stephen’s Church in New Hartford. I am also the chaplain at St. Margaret’s House in New Hartford and serve as dean to the Utica/Rome District. For the Diocese, I have served on the Standing Committee, Diocesan Board, Christian Formation, Liturgy & Music, Youth Formation and presenter at diocesan events. I have been blessed to be elected to General Conventions 2012, 2015, and 2018 and served as chair of the deputation for 2018. At General Convention, I was Secretary and a committee member for the confirmation of the Presiding Bishop in 2015 and was a committee member for “Privilege & Courtesy” for this past General Convention. I have served parishes in Virginia, Texas, Maryland, and Central New York.

The Rev. Jon White (Nominee 2 of 2 for Standing Committee, Clergy)


Jon White is rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Camillus, New York and was formerly rector at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beckley, WV. In West Virginia he was a member of the Diocesan Council, a regional dean, and chair of the diocesan Evangelism Committee. He is also the managing editor of the Episcopal Café, an online news and commentary magazine covering the Episcopal Church. He is a graduate of Portland State University in Oregon and Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Jon’s passions in the Church are evangelism and formation. Besides the Church, Jon also has interests in urban planning, American cultural history, geology and anything created by Joss Whedon.

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