People of Grace
The Rev. Rowena J. Kemp, Priest-in-Charge
cell phone: 203-209-4178
The Rev. Rowena J. Kemp, Priest-in-Charge
The Rev. Dr. Wayne D. Pokorny, Associate Priest, received his M.Div from the General Theological Seminary in 1967 and his D.Min from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 1986. He is former Dean of the Bridgeport Deanery, a former member of the Executive Council of the Diocese of Connecticut, and served as a staff associate of Episcopal Social Services. Fr. Pokorny served parishes in Central New York and Connecticut before becoming a chaplain in the Department of Veteranís Affairs Medical Center at West Haven in 1980. Subsequently, he served as Chief of Chaplain Services at Charleston, South Carolina and Tomah, Wisconsin before his retirement in 2000. He was elected to Societas Liturgica in 1977 and is a life member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.
A native of Washington, D.C., The Rev. Canon John L. C. Mitman, Associate Priest, began his ordained ministry as curate at St. Thomasí Parish in Hanover, NH and then served a parish in Sussex in the UK after which he join the staff of St. Johnís Cathedral in Hong Kong. Mitman then spent fifteen years in campus ministry, at Dartmouth and Michigan State. He returned to parish ministry as rector of St. Paulís, Des Moines, IA. In 1990 Canon Mitman returned to CT where he was called as rector of St. Jamesí, West Hartford, where he served for eleven years. Lastly, Mitman became Executive Director of the Society for the Increase of the Ministry (SIM) raising money for and administering scholarships for Episcopal Seminarians across the USA. During his time with SIM he served as a Priest Associate at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford where he was made Canon in 2004. Canon Mitman retired three years ago and has since been helping out at Grace Church.
Canon Mitman is married to the former Ruth Hemingway. Ruth holds a doctors degree in Education and Gerontology and has spent most of her career working that field. The Mitmans have two grown children and four college-age grand children.
The Rev. Molly F. James, Associate Priest, holds a PhD in Theology from the University of Exeter (UK). She holds a Masterís of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Tufts University. She was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2005. She has served as a hospital chaplain and a parish priest. She currently serves on the Bishop's Staff for as the Dean of Formation. Molly has also been involved in the diocesan witness to challenge violence and assists in maintaining a website of resources on violence (http://www.challengingviolence.org/) that came to the diocese in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. She is also a member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and its working group on gun violence. She is an adjunct professor at Hartford Seminary and the University of St. Joseph, focusing on ethics and pastoral care. Her doctoral research focused on suffering and grief. Her work, With Joyful Acceptance, Maybe was published in 2013 by Wipf and Stock. Molly has served as a deputy to General Convention. She serves as co-chair of The Young Clergy Women Project (an ecumenical organization of clergy women under 40) and on the board of the Society of Scholar Priests. As Molly is often elsewhere on Sundays, she is most regularly at Grace for weekday Masses, and is usually joined by family on Tuesday evenings. Molly is married to Reade James who is a mechanical engineer at Pratt & Whitney. They live in West Hartford with their daughter Katherine (born in 2010), son Halsted (born in 2014), and black lab Lars.
Mr. Kyle Swann, Choirmaster and Organist, has conducted orchestral, operatic and choral repertoire throughout the eastern United States and abroad. In 1993, he made his professional debut conducting Company One Theaterís world premiere of James Sellarsís opera The World is Round at the Wadsworth Athenaeum's Aetna Theater. More recently he appeared on short notice to conduct Donizettiís Maria Stuarda in Bostonís Jordan Hall with the Boston Academy of Music. He has appeared in Brazil with the Orquestra Sinfonica de Estado de S„o Paulo, Alice Tully Hall and St. Patrickís Cathedral in New York, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh and the Rathaus in Vienna. Mr. Swann conducted BAMOperaís The Beggarís Opera, which was named ďBest of Boston,Ē and returned to conduct LíElisir díamore.
Mr. Swann served as the Resident Conductor of The Connecticut Opera, as well as the Music Director of Opera Express, its nationally recognized touring and educational program. He is the Choirmaster and Organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford, where he conducts a select choir in traditional a capella repertory. In addition, he has conducted Hartford performances of such works as Mephistofele, Rigoletto, Lucrezia Borgia, and La fille du rťgiment. He has performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the South Florida Opera Company, and the Opera Theater of Connecticut.
At the Hartt School of Music, Mr. Swann was the Karl BŲhm International Fellow of Orchestral Conducting. While there, he conducted performances of the symphony, choruses, and the opera theater. He recently conducted Mozartís Impresario and La nozze di Figaro for Intermezzo Young Artists. In addition to having a love of opera and chamber music, he is an avid dressage rider and equine devotee.
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