in New York
Meet the Staff
The Reverend J. Donald Waring, Rector
The Reverend J. Donald Waring has been the Rector of Grace Church since July, 2004. Previously he served as the Rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Terrace Park, Ohio for nine years. Prior to his rectorate at St. Thomas, Don served as Associate Rector and then Interim Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Don earned his M. Div. from the General Theological Seminary in New York in 1989, and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Sioux Falls in 1984. He has won numerous preaching awards during his career. Complementing his ministry at Grace Church, Don also serves as Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at General Seminary, and teaches 5th Grade Bible at Grace Church School. Don is married to Stacie Soule Waring and they have two sons, James and Luke.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 127
The Reverend Chase Danford, Associate Rector
The Rev. Chase Danford serves as the Associate Rector, having first joined the staff in August 2015 as Assistant Rector for Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. In his current role, Chase oversees the church’s outreach ministries and community partnerships, directs programs for newcomers, and coordinates the pastoral care ministry. He also guides the Sunday evening service and leads various small group ministries, including Bible studies, book clubs, and the 20’s and 30’s group. Chase is an adjunct faculty member of Grace Church School, where he teaches third grade Bible and leads Early Childhood Chapel. Chase previously served as Assisting Priest at Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights, Curate at St. John’s Church in Larchmont, and as a major gifts officer at the International Rescue Committee. He earned his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2011 and his B.A. in Sociology from Rice University in 2004. Chase is married to Giuliano Argenziano; they live in Queens.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 114
The Reverend Julia Macy Offinger, Assistant Rector for Children, Youth and Family Ministry
The Rev. Julia Macy Offinger leads programs for children, youth, and families, and oversees the baptismal process at Grace. Previously, she served as associate priest at All Saints’ Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn and as community coordinator at St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Julia earned her M. Div from Union Theological Seminary in 2014 where she won the Karen Ziegler prize for preaching. She earned her B.A. in English from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2007. Julia is married to Caitlin Offinger; they reside in Brooklyn.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 113
Dr. Patrick Allen, Organist and Master of Choristers
Patrick Allen, Conductor, Harpsichordist, and Organist is a native of Tallahassee, Florida. He has served as Organist and Master of Choristers at Grace Church in New York since March of 2000. In addition to his work training the choristers, conducting the Choir of Men and Boys, Girls’ Choir, Parish Choir and Adult Choir, and supporting the liturgies of Grace Church, he founded and plays the “Bach at Noon” and “Weekend Organ Meditation” series at the Church. Combined, live organ music is offered to the community as meditation six days a week from September through May. Since the fall of 2015, Allen also serves as organist for the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at The General Theological Seminary.
Prior to his current appointment he has served churches and synagogues in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New York and Texas. Previous appointments include Director of Music and Fine Arts at Independent Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, The Cathedral Church of Saint John and Congregation Beth Emeth in Wilmington, Delaware, and as Associate Organist under Gerre Hancock, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. For two decades he was on the faculty of the legendary Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Allen has received degrees from the University of North Texas and The Florida State University. He was awarded the degree Doctor of Musical Arts and The Performer’s Certificate in Organ from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Russell Saunders. In Amsterdam, Allen worked with Gustav Leonhardt, Max van Egmond, and Veronika Hampe.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 110
Jacob Reed, Organ Scholar
Jacob Reed is a Master’s student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he studies organ with Martin Jean. Born in Oxford, England, and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, he recently became the first student ever to receive a simultaneous BA/MA in musicology from Yale University (double-major in mathematics), studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas and organ with Thomas Murray. Jacob was a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar, and was selected as a 2013 YoungArts National Finalist by the National YoungArts Foundation – one of 152 finalists out of nearly 10,000 applicants, and the only organist among the 19 classical musicians. Since matriculating at Yale, he has been a member of the Yale Temperament Viol Consort, instrumentalist and vocalist for the Yale Collegium Musicum, and first harpsichordist for the Yale Baroque Opera Project. Jacob was artist-in-residence as organist and pianist at the 2016 and 2017 iterations of the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska.
Jennifer S. Metz, Parish Administrator
Jennifer is a “Cradle Episcopalian” who has served as Parish Administrator at Grace Church since September of 2010. Previously she worked as Director of the Annual Fund (and volunteer Sunday school teacher!) at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York and freelanced at St. Thomas Church and the Communications Department of the Episcopal Church Center. Prior to her crossover to the non-profit sector, she had over 10 years of marketing and communications experience in the corporate world including agency account management and direct marketing for a major publisher. Jennifer, who enjoys volunteering at the nearby Merchant’s House Museum, was drawn to Grace Church partly due to the beautiful 19th century gothic architecture and its place as a landmark of New York City history.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 100
Sandy Chu, Staff Accountant
Sandy Chu joined Grace Church as the Staff Accountant in August 2007. Prior to Grace Church, Sandy worked for the Chinese-American Planning Council Inc. where she was responsible for all aspects of the financial reporting and accounting procedures for the Council’s Administration of Children’s Services and Department of Youth and Community Development programming. Sandy has also served as the Senior Accountant for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, where she prepared and maintained the organization’s personnel budget for 200 employees and assisted in auditing the financial operations for 17 regional offices. Sandy has her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Economics from Queens College.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 117
Rhianna L. Murphy, Director of Finance and Administration
Rhianna L. Murphy is Director of Finance and Administration and oversees business operations. Rhianna came to Grace Church from The Tibet Fund, an international humanitarian aid organization, where as the Director of Finance and Administration she provided oversight of organization-wide financial activities, USDOS/USAID funded grants, and the daily operations of the New York headquarters. Prior to working for the Tibet Fund, Rhianna served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the French Heritage Society, a Franco-American architectural and cultural preservation organization, and as the Director of Administration for Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), Lower Manhattan’s center for dance education, creation and performance, where she led the logistics of transitioning the organization to its new home and the settlement of a $5 million capital campaign. Rhianna began her career in the development department of the New York Public Library and holds a B.A. from Hunter College.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 116
Cecily Millen, Manager of Membership & Communications
Cecily Millen oversees all aspects relating to membership and external communications at Grace Church, including strategic marketing and fundraising initiatives. Prior to her crossover to the non-profit sector, Cecily has over 5 years’ experience in advertising, marketing and communications in the corporate world, beginning her career in the Mayor of the City of New York’s office, and working in sales and account management at advertising agencies and at a cable network. Cecily grew up in White Memorial Church in Raleigh and received her BA from Sewanee: The University of the South. She is an active volunteer with the New York Junior League and the Central Park Conservancy. Despite her southern roots, Cecily is an avid New York area sports fan, and an art and music enthusiast, who spends her free time attending as many games, concerts and exhibits as possible.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 119
Duy Nguyen, Ministry Assistant for Youth and Outreach
Duy Nguyen is a fellow from the Episcopal Service Corps. He assists the clergy and staff in coordinating various community initiatives and youth programs at Grace Church. Prior to joining Grace, Duy worked for over a year as a Project Assistant in the Atlanta office of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, a large law firm with a national presence. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion from Emory University. Duy grew up in Vietnam and immigrated to Atlanta with his family in 2008. In his spare time, Duy enjoys exploring, reading, and finding new TV shows to watch on Netflix. As a new resident of New York, he is excited to learn more about what this vibrant city has to offer.
(212) 254-2000 ext. 121
Daniel Benchimol, Director of Facilities
Daniel Benchimol has served as the Director of Facilities since August of 2016; he also oversees the Grace Church School campus. Before coming to Grace, he held mulitple positions in facilities at Bank Street School for over 20 years.
Bally Bharathsingh, Church Sexton and Chief Engineer
Bally is a fixture on the Grace Church campus, with nearly 40 years of service to the institution. He knows the church like the back of his hand – from the depths of the undercroft to the spire’s towering heights. As the Chief Engineer, he’s responsible for maintaining the campus, monitoring and repairing critical infrastructure, and generally keeping the train on the tracks.
Marvin Boozer, Engineering Team
Marvin has experience working in Engineering at both Grace Church and Grace Church School. Always ready to greet you with a smile and laugh, Marvin works with the rest of the Engineering team, keeping the church and chantry clean and maintaining the church’s beautiful grounds.
Johnson Lambert, Engineering Team
Johnson has worked with Grace Church for nearly 10 years. As a member of the Engineering team, he is an integral part of keeping the church moving. Johnson also serves a porter at 80 Fourth Avenue, one of Grace Church’s apartment buildings.
Veronica McDowell, Engineering Team
Veronica has served with Grace Church for over 30 years. As a member of the Engineering Team, she is responsible for the care of the church’s sacramental linens and silver, meticulously maintaining our sacred objects for use throughout the week.
Paul Sealy, Engineering Team
Paul has worked with Grace Church and Grace Church School for over ten years. With a wealth of practical knowledge and experience, Paul is an asset to the campus. He also spearheads Grace Church’s special events for parishioners and newcomers, creating beautiful settings for festive fellowship.