Nominees for Diocesan Leadership Positions

Thank you to the individuals who have accepted nomination for diocesan leadership positions. Elections will take place at the 2019 Diocesan Convention.

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order by position. Photos are used where provided; if not provided, a file photo was used if available.

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 2019 will elect:

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

The Rev. Julie Calhoun-Bryant (Nominee 1 of 2 for Diocesan Board, Clergy)


Ordained a priest at the age of 28, I have now served as a priest in this diocese for 30 years, the last 13 at St. Alban’s, Syracuse. Over the years I have served on the Commission on Ministry, as the Episcopal Relief & Development coordinator, on the Cathedral Chapter, Music and Liturgy, Youth Commission, and Disciplinary Board. I am passionate about serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and hope to serve the Diocese as a member of the Diocesan Board.

My husband Brian and I have been married for 33 years and have two sons. Russell and his wife live in Florida. Christopher is physically disabled and lives at home with us.

The Very Rev. Christine J. Day (Nominee 2 of 2 for Diocesan Board, Clergy)


The Very Rev. Christine J. Day is the Dean of the Southern Tier East District and rector of All Saints’ Church in Johnson City. Prior to All Saints’, she was Episcopal Chaplain at Syracuse University and served on the Bishop’s staff. She has served two previous terms on both the Diocesan Board and Standing Committee. She is active in ministry to nursing homes and is a team captain of All Saints’ Soup & Sandwiches lunch program. She is a member of All Saints’ Learning Communities Initiative team. She is a “lay member” of Upstate’s IACUC, enjoys writing icons and shares the rectory with two Silky Terrier episcopets, Alphege and Thomas Cranmer and fancy goldfish.

Ms. Debra L. Barker (Nominee 1 of 1 for Diocesan Board, Lay)


Deb resides in the Town of Lebanon and is an active parishioner at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Hamilton. In her secular life she is a bank executive. Deb has served as a lector and Lay Eucharistic Minister at St. Thomas’ for 20 years in addition to a Sunday School teacher and working with the acolytes. She served on the Vestry (6 years), Jr. Warden (1 year) and Sr Warden (1 yr). She sits on the board of a United Way (8 years), board of a local arts organization (4 years) and previous board member of Sherburne Optimist Club (6 years). She has participated in a variety of outreach initiatives/activities through the parish and boards she participates in.

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 2019 will elect:

  • One clergyperson for a three-year term;
  • One layperson for a three-year term.

Ms. Courtenay McKeon (Nominee 1 of 1 for Disciplinary Board, Lay)


She has attended St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Liverpool since 2008. She was confirmed on the Day of Pentecost 2009 at St. Paul’s, Syracuse, by Bishop Adams, sponsored by the Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent. She serves as a Junior Warden, Licensed Lay Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, member of the Altar Guild, and as a substitute Sunday School teacher. She is a licensed attorney in both New York and California and currently works as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of New York. She has been happily married for almost 21 years to the amazing Aaron McKeon. They are the parents of two fascinating teenage boys.

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 2019 will elect:

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

The Rev. J. Brad Benson (Nominee 1 of 2 for Standing Committee, Clergy)


I am a recently-retired priest now serving Trinity Church in Seneca Falls. I lived in the Diocese of Rochester next door for twenty years and was very involved in diocesan affairs serving from general convention deputy to commission on ministry, from district dean to diocesan council. During the last six years, I served on the Standing Committee and was President for one of those years. My considerable experience benefits the diocese in giving me a variety of perspectives through which to view just about any issue that might come before the Committee. I am so very impressed with the vitality and potential apparent in this diocese and its bishop. It would be an honor to serve in this capacity.

The Rev. Jennifer A. Kenna (Nominee 2 of 2 for Standing Committee, Clergy)


The Rev. Jennifer A. Kenna resides in Clayton, NY where she attends Christ Church. A retired priest licensed to officiate in the Diocese of Central New York, she serves as a Supply Priest. A member of the Standing Committee since 2013, she has served as its liaison to the Diocesan Board, a coach for the Learning Communities Initiative, a member of the Worship Committee and is presently a member of the Visioning Team. A six-time delegate to the Triennial Meeting of Episcopal Church Women, she is presently a member of the National ECW Board. Mother to three and grandmother to five, she has worked in banking. retail sales and as a public school aide for developmentally disabled children and adults.

Ms. Cynthia Hopp Adamowsky (Nominee 1 of 1 for Standing Committee, Lay)


Cindy has lived in Syracuse since 1980 and currently resides in Fayetteville, NY. She is a member of St. Matthew’s, Liverpool. Cindy was confirmed in the Episcopal Church on May 25, 2000. She currently works Per Diem for St. Joseph’s Health and Hospice of Central New York as a medical social worker. Cindy serves as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and substitute Sunday School teacher at St. Matthew’s. She is a member of the Parish Life Committee. Additionally, she was chair of the Rector Search Committee from August 2017-January 2018. Cindy served as a member of the Bishop Search Committee from May 2015-August 2016. She served on the Standing Committee from 2008-2011. Cindy currently serves on the Companion Diocese Committee.

General Convention

The legislative days of the 80th General Convention will be June 30, 2021 through July 9, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Canon XIII Canons of the Diocese of CNY

Sec. 1. The Convention shall elect by the concurrent ballot of the clerical and lay members present and voting, four members of the clergy and four laypersons, who shall be confirmed communicants of full age and residents of the Diocese, to act as Deputies from this diocese to the General Convention.  The Deputies and Alternate Deputies shall hold office during the term of three years and until Deputies and Alternate Deputies shall next be elected.

Convention 2019 will elect:  

  • Four clergy Deputies and four clergy Alternate Deputies;
  • Four lay Deputies and four lay Alternate Deputies.

The Rev. Deacon Shelly Banner (Nominee 1 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)

Headshot Banner Shelly

Her passion is to serve the Episcopal Church at all levels, enjoying participation in and working within all the systems that entail doing so. As resident of Oswego, she is bi-vocational, serving as deacon at St. Matthew’s, Liverpool, and as a vocal music teacher in Oswego. Having been an alternate to convention twice, each time she received greater understanding of the inner structures of the Church and how they play out for individual congregants through the national level. It would be a privilege and honor for her to serve as one of the Diocesan representatives in Baltimore. Currently she serves the Diocese as a trainer for CCD, the Diocesan Visioning group for Development and until recently, the COM.

The Rev. Dr. Gerard F. Beritela (Nominee 2 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


Fr. Beritela resides in Syracuse and is Vicar of Emmanuel, East Syracuse and Saviour, Syracuse. As a bi-vocational priest, he is also Adjunct Professor at Le Moyne teaching the Religions of Asia and Interfaith Dialogue. He has chaired the Program and Jubilee Grant committees (4 years), served on the Diocesan Liturgy Commission (10 years), and on the Vision Grant Committee (4 years). For a number of years he was a board member and professor for the “Leadership Program for Musicians;” an ecumenically recognized teaching ministry giving musicians an increased sense of vocational awareness, along with tools and resources to enable congregations to sing well and participate actively in worship. He is also a certified trainer for the Safe Church program.

The Rev. Megan Castellan (Nominee 3 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


Megan has been the rector of St. John’s, Ithaca since March of 2018. She has been a priest for over ten years, and served in Southern Virginia, Arizona, and West Missouri, in parishes large and small, and with people of all ages. She has served as a deputy to General Convention once, and twice as an alternate. She has also served on the churchwide Standing Committee for Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons from 2012-2018, and on the legislative committees for Constitution and Canons, and for Resolution Review.

Here in the Diocese, she serves on the Commission on Ministry, and on the diocesan Visioning Team. She is always thrilled to see what Jesus has in store for the church next.

The Rev. Brooks A. Cato (Nominee 4 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


The Rev. Brooks Cato is the rector of St. Thomas’ and lives in Hamilton. He is the Convener of the Area Clergy and helped create the Hamilton Ecumenical Youth Group and the Hamilton Area Anti-Racism Coalition. He has worked on the Standing Committee of the Diocese since 2017 and has served as its President since 2018. He filled one-year terms on the Ministry Support Committee, Diocesan Liturgy Committee, and Coordinating Team of the Learning Communities Initiative. He attended General Convention in 2015 as a Deputy from Arkansas and in 2018 as a Member of the Secretariat. He served on the Joint Standing Committee for Nominations from 2015-2018 and is on the Task Force to Study Sexism in the Church.

The Rev. Wanda R. Copeland (Nominee 5 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)

Headshot Copeland Wanda

Wanda, a priest for nearly 25 years, came to Central New York to serve as rector of St. Matthew’s Horseheads in 2012; and, since 2016, has served as rector of both Trinity, Elmira and St. Matthews. She has served on the Diocesan Foundation Board; and is currently a member of the Diocesan Board. She continues to serve on the Diocesan Finance Committee, and has been seen the past four years presenting the budget at regional pre-convention meetings and the Diocesan Convention. She finds joy exploring life with her spouse, Melody, seeking and sharing a deeper understanding of our common history, long walks with new pup, Louie, and cherishing the wonder of God’s creation.

The Rev. Paul Frolick (Nominee 6 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


Paul lives in Liverpool, and has been the rector at St. Matthew’s, Liverpool since April, 2018. Previously, he served as rector at St. George’s, Hilton in the Diocese of Rochester from 2012. He has been the director of the College for Congregational Development since 2016. He has been a member of the Commission on Ministry since 2018, and currently serves as chair. While in Rochester, he served as the vice chair of Diocesan Council (equivalent to our Board) in 2014-15, and attended General Convention as an alternate deputy in 2015.

The Rev. Daniel Handschy (Nominee 7 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


St. David’s Episcopal Church in DeWitt called the Rev. Daniel Handschy to serve as priest-in-charge beginning August 11, 2019.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1987, Handschy has recently concluded a tenure of over 26 years as rector of the Church of the Advent in Crestwood Missouri. He has also served parishes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Handschy holds a PhD in Historical Theology from Saint Louis University. During his time as rector of the Church of the Advent, he taught ethics as an adjunct professor at Eden Theological Seminary, and served as the dean and instructor of theology at the Episcopal School for Ministry in the Diocese of Missouri. Prior to ordination, Hansdschy was an engineer.

The Rev. Molly Payne-Hardin (Nominee 8 of 8 for General Convention Delegate, Clergy)


New to Central New York, Molly has been active in Episcopal Church ministry her whole life. She serves as rector of Trinity Church in Watertown and previously served as associate rector and curate in Florida. Her ministries have varied over her lifetime as an Episcopalian but she gravitates toward ministries that educate, form, heal, and connect. In her former diocese, she helped reinvigorate local and diocesan ministry to children and youth, led church recovery efforts after a catastrophic hurricane, and engaged the next generation of members/ministers at a pastoral-sized parish. Ordained in 2017, she worked in the field of mass communications and public affairs before seminary serving the governor of Florida, state public health, and emergency management.

Ms. Karen Anderson (Nominee 1 of 5 for General Convention Delegate, Lay)

Headshot Anderson Karen

I am a retired educator who lives with my spouse Wendy in New Hartford. I have been a member of St. James’, Clinton for over 25 years. I have served St. James’ in most every capacity over that time including Lay Preacher, LCI, Outreach, Vestry and Warden. I am currently working with the Diocesan Visioning Group and am a member of the Anti-Racism group. I thoroughly enjoyed serving as a deputy to General Convention twice in the past and would be honored if you would elect me to do so again in 2021.

Mr. Adam A. Ferguson (Nominee 2 of 5 for General Convention Delegate, Lay)


Adam Hamilton-Ferguson lives in the city of Cortland, New York with his spouse and foster child, where he is a confirmed communicant at Grace and Holy Spirit Church. He teaches Rhetoric and Composition in the English Department at SUNY Cortland, and is completing a PhD in English at SUNY Binghamton. He has been a delegate at the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Conventions, and is presently a participant in the Diocesan Lay Preaching course. He has also completed the licensing course to become a lay worship leader, and was elected to the parish Vestry since 2016 and was elected Junior Warden in 2017. Additionally, he serves as a lector, cup bearer, and usher. He was confirmed by Bp. Adams in 2006.

Ms. Felicity Anne Hallanan (Nominee 3 of 5 for General Convention Delegate, Lay)

Headshot Hallanan Felicity

Representing the Diocese would expand on extraordinary opportunities offered at earlier conventions. In Indianapolis, first-time sense of “overwhelming” joining 10,000 addressing numerous concerns. In Salt Lake City, renewed acquaintanceships, strenuous routines, membership on Committee on Evangelism and Communication. In Austin, responsibilities as Deputy and meetings of Committee on Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation. Experience heightened by pilgrimage to detention center where mothers were held without children. A cradle Episcopalian, have attended numerous churches in U.S. and Europe; currently member of Trinity, Watertown, and of Standing Committee. On Board of Directors, Connextcare, with 6 clinics in Oswego County. For past 12 years, editor of “Blizzard” newsletter of National Association, 10th Mountain Division, from home in Sandy Pond.

Dr. Sandra D. Michael (Nominee 4 of 5 for General Convention Delegate, Lay)


A retired biology professor at Binghamton University, she lives in Vestal and attends Trinity Memorial Church in Binghamton. She has attended multiple Diocesan Conventions and has represented CNY at eight General Conventions. At GCs she has served on the Committee of the Church Pension Group (member, secretary, and vice-chair). Other national level service: Executive Council Committee on Science, Technology & Faith; Convener of the ST&F Network; General Board of Examining Chaplains. Former CNY Cathedral Chapter member. At Trinity: vestry and chair of several committees: Strategic Planning, Stafford Scholarship Fund, Columbarium, Frijia Library, among others. She enjoys giving sermons and forums on science and religion. She pledges to study the issues diligently and respond in the best interests of our Church.

Ms. Pamela Talbott (Nominee 5 of 5 for General Convention Delegate, Lay)


Pamela has been a member of St. John’s Ithaca for 20 years. She grew up attending Zion, in Windsor New York. A lay person, Pam has served on the Vestry and is currently Senior Warden. She is a graduate of Education for Ministry, and helped establish the parish Laundry Love program. She is chair of the Liturgy Committee and serves on the Hospitality and Personnel Committee. Pam is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice, working primarily with children.

Triennial Meeting of the Women of the Church

Sec. 6. Convention shall also elect by the concurrent ballot of the clerical and lay members present and voting, three persons who shall be confirmed adult communicants or members of the clergy of the Church and residents of the Diocese, to act, together with the Diocesan Custodian of the United Thank Offering, as Delegates from this diocese to the Triennial Meeting of the Women of the Church.

Convention 2019 will elect:  

  • Three Triennial Delegates, clergy or lay;
  • Two Triennial Alternate Delegates, clergy or lay.

No nominations have been received as of October 1, 2019. 

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