CONVENORS & ASSISTANT CONVENORS OF THE CONVOCATIONS
(Elected by members of the Convocations for a two-year term)
The Rev. Grant Ambrose (2021)
List updated 12/5/2019.
Altoona Convenor and Assistant Convenor
The Rev. Gene Tucker (2021)
Fr. Gene Tucker describes himself as being a “late bloomer” where ordained ministry is concerned. A retired U. S. Army Sergeant Major, he entered seminary following his retirement from the military and was ordained as deacon in 2004, and as priest in 2005. His first assignment was as the Assisting Priest in the Hale Team Ministry of the Diocese of Springfield (Illinois). He was Rector of Trinity Church, Mt. Vernon, Illinois, for seven years, and served as Interim Provost at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Springfield, Illinois for eight-and-a-half months.
Fr. Tucker came to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania in March, 2015, and currently serves as Rector of St. John’s Church in Huntingdon. He also serves the Diocese as a member of the Council of Trustees.
He is married to the former Deborah Kinney, and enjoys spending time with his two daughters and their four children, all of whom live in the Baltimore, Maryland, area. His hobbies include bicycle riding, old fire engines, and trains (pray for his wife, please!).
Marilyn Pyeatt (2020)
Marilyn Pyeatt, along with husband, Woody, and younger son, Nathaniel, joined St. Luke’s Altoona after moving to Blair County from Dallas, Texas, in August of 2016, to be closer to their elder son, Nick, and his family. She and Woody were raised as Presbyterians, but in high school Marilyn felt a strong need for a different worship style that would help her grow closer to God, which she found in the Episcopal Church. They were both confirmed in 1978 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, one of a number of places they have lived to pursue their mutual love of theatre. Currently, they are working together to produce plays in St. Luke’s Auditorium, embracing the opportunity to use their gifts to raise money for the parish and provide a creative way to show God’s love. Marilyn also enjoys writing and adapting plays, watching indoor soccer, playing word games, and especially spending time with her grandchildren, Gavin and Josephine.
Harrisburg Convenor and Assistant Convenor
Mr. Anthony Alexander (2021)
On four occasions I had the opportunity to serve as a delegate for General and Jurisdictional Conferences in the United Methodist Church. I served at the pleasure of those who elected me and I took that responsibility seriously. I have been called to a ministry of reconciliation – to sensitize and to be a presence among people who have had virtually no contact with racial ethics.
I saw myself in the role of Pastor as one who empowered laity to obtain the vision in ministry that God has given them. I view myself as a laid back individual that has gone through tremendous changes from being a gang member to becoming a real captive of the Lord. I struggle daily to give up my ego to the will of God … being pastor meant that I must become a servant leader.
I have been attending St. Stephen’s Cathedral for about ten years; I was confirmed as a member of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Episcopal Church about two and a half years ago. I serve on the Vestry and as Chalice Bearer. I also serve on the Council of Trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania as well as the Union of Black Episcopalians, Bishop Nathan D. Baxter Chapter.
My encouragement and endorsement in the role of servant leader was gained through my understanding and interpretation of the first part of the book of Acts. In the book of Acts, Christians were a truly inclusive community empowering and strengthening one another to follow the leadership and movement of the Holy Spirit.
As part of my spiritual journey, I served as an adjunct at Messiah College teaching a course on the Spirituality of African Americans, and I taught for three years as adjunct at Lancaster Theological Seminary teaching a course on Homiletics.
My wife, Lenore, former director of the United Methodist Neighborhood Center in Harrisburg, is the founder of Grace Unlimited, a ministry to ex-offenders. Since the death of our daughter Maria, in October of 1995, Lenore and I adopted her three children, Shalamar, Darun, and Ciara. And upon the death of Shalamar in 2015 we have gained custody of her two children. Family is important to me and I make time for family, especially because of the role I feel led to play in the lives of our chosen family.
The Rev. Rebecca Myers (2021)
The Rev. Rebecca S. Myers has lived most of her life in Central Pennsylvania. She grew up in Mechanicsburg and lived in Harrisburg for many years. She served on the Harrisburg School Board.
She was received into The Episcopal Church when she lived in Washington DC. She was a member of the Washington National Cathedral Congregation and sang in a volunteer choir there. She attended The General Seminary in New York City and was ordained to the priesthood from The Diocese of Washington in July of 2013. Her first position was with the Diocese of Lexington (Kentucky).
Currently, she is Rector of The Church of the Nativity and St. Stephen. She is on the Board for The Episcopal Home. Her passion is eliminating racism and she is on the Eliminating Racism Task Group. She is a member of the Newport Anti-Racism League.
She has a Master of Social Work degree and her social work career involved managing nonprofit organizations. She has two children, Scot and Carrie. Scot is married to Leah and they have two children. Being a grandmother is the best!
Lancaster Convenor and Assistant Convenor
The Rev. J. Patrick Peters (2020)
Father Patrick Peters was ordained in 1975 and currently is Rector of Saint Paul Episcopal Church, Columbia. He is also the Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese. He is married to Danielle and has four grown children and four grandchildren.
Elain Austin (2020)
I am a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA., where I have served in many roles including as senior warden and as chair of the search committee for our present rector. I was also a member of the search committee for Bishop Scanlan. Professionally I was a teacher for 30 years in the Eastern Lancaster County School District.
Northern Tier Convenor and Assistant Convenor
The Rev. Janis Yskamp (2020)
Rector, All Saints Brookland and Christ Church Coudersport
Episcopal Congregations of Potter County
Janis and her husband, Wayne, live in Mansfield, PA. They have three grown sons, Wayne (Becky), James and Bradford (Michelle), and two grandchildren, Madison and William.
Ms. Beth Rowland (2020)
Photo and bio to follow.
Southern Assistant Convenor & Assistant Convenor
The Rev. Grant Ambrose (2021)
The gifts and skills I bring to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and this ministry include that I grew up in a very rural area of Eastern North Carolina in a yoked ministry of four Episcopal congregations and can relate to small-church life. As a priest, I served St. Mary’s, Arlington, VA, a large suburban parish. I bring a passion for listening to all voices and not rushing in to something “already knowing” the way forward. I bring a calm presence that encourages conversation. I bring a love of Jesus Christ that seeks to keep the faith and essential parts of our rich tradition relevant to today’s realities.
Assistant Convenor TBD
Susquehanna Interim Convenor and Assistant Convenor
The Rev. Canon Paul Donecker (2020)
The Rev. Canon Paul Donecker is the Priest-In-Charge at All Saints, Sellinsgrove and has a great love of Central Pennsylvania and the people of this diocese.
Sandy Elion (2020)
Photo and bio to follow.
West Branch Current Convenor and Assistant Convenor
Mr. Kyle Murphy (2021)
I am a Pennsylvania boy at heart. I was born and raised in Scranton, graduated from Lock Haven University in 2006 and moved to Williamsport that same year. I did my undergraduate work in Secondary Education and have taught high school French for nine years.
Currently, I serve as the Lay Pastor at Christ Episcopal Church. I am a candidate preparing for ordination to the Priesthood through the Stevenson School. I am humbled and grateful to serve in these capacities and work together to build the Kingdom of God in our diocese.
Brian is a native of Muncy, Pennsylvania and has been a member of St. James, Muncy, since 1991. Brian joined the Navy on active duty in 1991 and served as Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman and later as a Broadcast Journalist/Public Affairs Petty Officer on an aircraft carrier. During his tenure with Marines, he deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope, and during his carrier tour he deployed for Rim of the Pacific 1998, and a tour of the Western Pacific (Westpac) 98-99 during which the ship supported Operation Desert Fox.
Brian remained in Washington State for about 19 years until he returned to Muncy in 2016. A sailing enthusiast, while he lived onboard a 33’ Sailboat from 2014 to 2016, he alternated between WA and PA (staying in Muncy during the winter months) until making the permanent return to Muncy. Brian has been active with the music program, vestry, historian, public affairs, webmaster, and weekly church bulletin. During this time, he has begun studies of the pipe organ repertoire, transcribed well over 100 hymns from the 1982 Hymnal into a computer scoring program to facilitate arrangements for various instruments he plays as he accompanies the organist/chanter, also serving on the board of directors for the SonLight House Muncy, and now is in the initial exploration for discernment on the path to priesthood. Brian also serves as a Lay-person/minister leading in morning prayer services and liturgical readings. As a first-term co-convener for the West Branch Susquehanna Convocation, Brian is excited to serve the diocese and his small-town parish in an effort to help affect positive change for the much larger diocesan community.