Staff

Staff

St. Peter's Leadership

Bishop  

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas

Bishop Suffragan

The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens

Rector

The Rev. Matthew J. Lindeman

Assisting Priest

Assisting Priest   

The Rev. Angela Rowley

The Rev. Julie Kelsey

Parish Administrator  

 

Organist & Choirmaster

Frederick Backhaus

Youth Minister  

Maureen Lucas

Sexton

Andy Thomas

Infant  & Toddler Care Provider

Megan Czuba

The Reverend Matt Lindeman

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Rev. Matt is our Rector, or senior pastor He began his ministry among us in 2017, and has a profound love of parish ministry. Having grown up in the Episcopal Church, Matt is grounded in the best of our tradition, and always eager to explore new ways to love and serve the Lord, and God's People. Matt seeks to create communities of faith for all people where the love of God is expressed through prayer, study, and action. To get connected, don't hesitate to reach out. 

Matt graduated with a BA in psychology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.  At Earlham he met his soon-to-be wife, Anna Einstein.  After being married for a year, Matt and Anna served as Peace Corps volunteers in El Salvador for two years, where Matt felt a call to purusue discernment for Holy Orders and theological training. In 2009, they returned to Connecticut, and Anna began teaching at East Shore Middle School here in Milford while Matt matriculated at Yale Divinity School, and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. After Graduating in 2012 with a a Master's in Divinity, a Diploma in Anglican Studies, and a Certificate in Educational Leadership in Schools and Colleges, Matt Served as an interim Camp director for the diocese of Massachusetts. Following the conclusion of that ministry, He served as a youth minister and associate rector at Trinity Church in Southport until being called to serve as our Rector. 

Matt enjoys being on the water, whether  surfing in Rhode Island, sailing his Sunfish off of Gulf Beach, or fly fishing here in Connecticut. Matt and Anna join us with their children Jonah and Ruth. 

To connect, and for pastoral care, e-mail The Rev. Matt Lindeman, or call (203) 874-8562.

Reverend Angela H. Rowley, Assisting Priest

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The QEII, The English Patient, Mitten Hill Nursery School, the Ford Motor Company. These are but a few of the subjects that develop into fascinating detours you take when walking through Angela's life history with her.

That Angela became a priest is a miracle in its own right.  Or maybe her courage is the miracle. The story starts with her running a nursery school in Wilton, called Mitten Hill (named after the mitten shaped leaves of the Sassafras tree on the property).  Angela established the school in 1986, and, not surprisingly it quickly attracted scores of families.  In 1999, one of her students became seriously ill. Angela visited the boy frequently in hospital, and mercifully he eventually recovered.  Sitting down with his seemingly stoic mother after the ordeal, Angela asked her "how she made it through."  The mother broke down saying that she wished there had been someone to support her spiritually in those moments of despair at the hospital.  And at that moment, Angela realized she wanted to be that person.

With no qualifications (on paper) other than being a nursery school teacher, Angela looked into hospital chaplaincy and met with a woman at Bridgeport hospital who essentially told her she was crazy, but gave her an application for a training program.  Feeling called, but fraught with doubt, Angela consulted a Catholic priest friend for guidance.  He pointed to the sign on his wall reading "God does not call the qualified.  God qualifies the called."  "Now call Yale!" he told her.

It was the summer of 1999.  Two Yale chaplains interviewed Angela and said the same thing everyone else had.  "You have no qualifications or experience to do this."  However, after an hour interview, they decided to take her on and accepted her into a nine month chaplaincy internship program. After finishing her Clinical Pastoral Education degree, her chaplain mentors prodded her to go further.  "Now you are going to seminary!" She audited one class at Yale Divinity School and, sure she was getting in way over her head, announced there was no way she would do this.  More prodding from another mentor, and she applied.  Yale Divinity School accepted Angela with no undergraduate degree.  And after three years of commuting from Wilton, she earned a Master of Divinity in 2005.   Angela was ordained to the priesthood in January 2006 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Branford.

Angela initially worked at Trinity Branford.  After about three years, Yale asked if she would return to the hospital in the newly created position of Yale Emergency Department Chaplain.  Once again, courage transcended doubt and Angela made the move.  It is a full time job, with responsibility for providing spiritual care to the patients, family and staff of the ER.  The impact she is having is perhaps best exemplified by the award she just received -- the first ever Yale "Nurse's Choice Award," for the Yale staff member who has provided them with the most support in carrying out their duties.

Angela also finds the time to be an active member of the St. Andrews Society of Connecticut (serving as its chaplain), and opens and closes the group's annual fair in Goshen.

When looking for a new place to worship after having to leave Trinity Branford (when she stepped down as a minister there to work at Yale), Angela began serving as supply clergy at St. Peter's.  It was the perfect fit, and Angela soon approached Andrew about both joining St. Peter's as a member, and "helping out once in a while."  Andrew was delighted to have her, and Angela has contributed to the St. Peter's community beyond anyone's expectations. But the gifts go both ways.  Angela expects her role at Yale to soon expand to include pediatrics (a daunting prospect), and that only increases her desire to ground herself at St. Peter's where she can both give and receive spiritual support.

 

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Reverend Julie Kelsey, Assisting Priest

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The Rev. Julie Kelsey is an Episcopal priest ordained in 1997. She has served churches in urban and suburban settings, most recently as Rector of Grace and St. Peter's Church in Hamden and currently as Associated Clergy at St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church on Whitney Ave. in New Haven.  From 2008 through May of 2017 she served as Assistant Dean of Students at Yale Divinity School where she is also a 

lecturer in the Practices and Principles of Preaching course. 

Julie has been a mentor with the Annand Program and a spiritual director for years. She has a special interest in translating psychological language into theological language, and connecting Sunday worship with daily life. Julie is one of the originators of Chapel on the Green in New Haven, a ministry designed especially for those who are temporarily displaced and/or without a job or home.  She has led bereavement groups for adults and for children ages 6-12. She is a mother and grandmother who loves hiking, reading, writing, theatre and music. 

Julie joins our community with her husband David, the Luther Weigle Professor Emeritus of Theology at Yale Divinity School. 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

David Rivera, Interim-Parish Administrator

David has always felt a call to serve in the church  in many different roles from a young age.  he has a passion for young adults to be involved in the church; serving,
leading and doing the work God calls us to do. As a member of St. Paul & St. James in New Haven, he has been serving as a Liturgical Assistant. David is also a member
of the South Central Region Leadership Team. Previously, he worked as Sexton at Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford and Office Assistant at the Episcopal Church at Yale. 
In addition to his work among us at St. Peter's, David is currently  a Part Time Customer Service Representative at CT Transit.  In his free time David enjoys traveling by train
and attending events, festivals, and fairs. He is excited about joining the team at St. Peter!

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Frederick Backhaus, Organist & Choirmaster

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Fred came to St. Peter’s in August of 2016 after a 30-year career as a full-time Organist & Choirmaster in the Episcopal Church. He has served major parishes in the Northeast including five years as Organist & Master of Choristers at the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont (Boston), and sixteen years as Director of Music at Christ Church, Oyster Bay, Long Island. He has held faculty positions at Hofstra University, and at the George Mercer School Of Theology, where he taught courses in choral rehearsal techniques for church musicians.  In the summer of 2004, he was a guest lecturer for the Hutton House Lectures at C.W. Post, Long Island University.

He graduated with Distinction in Performance from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, and earned a Masters of Music in Organ Performance and the coveted Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with David Craighead. He has performed in the United States, Great Britain, and Eastern Europe, and is a past Dean of the Nassau (Long Island) chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

As the Assistant Director and Organist of the Long Island professional vocal ensemble Voci da Camera  from 1999 to 2014, he accompanied them on tours of Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom, and served as organist when they spent a week as choir-in-residence at Gloucester Cathedral.

Mr. Backhaus appears on several recordings, including In Time of Softest Snow, They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships, A Voci Christmas, Reincarnations, and The Church of Music of William Byrd.

He is married to Kathleen Blixt, who for twenty-seven years was on the Vocal and Choral Conducting faculty of Hofstra University. They have four grown children and five grandchildren.

 

Click on the links below to listen to some of Fred’s work.

This joyful Eastertide  arranged by Charles Wood

Ubi caritas by Maurice Duruflé

Lo, in the time appointed by Healey Willan

Psalm 47 Anglican Chant by John Turle

 

 

 

 

Andy Thomas, Sexton