Leadership & Staff

Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo

Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo

General Presbyter

Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo serves the Presbytery of Southern New England as General Presbyter. Previous to this call Shannan served as the Transitional Presbyter for Albany Presbytery in New York, Pastor/Head of Staff at Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church in North Plainfield, NJ, and as the Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, NJ. Shannan serves the national church as an Elected Member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, where she is chair-elect. Previously she served as co-moderator of the Activist Council of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship following her extensive volunteer work on their accompaniment program for human rights in Colombia, South America in partnership with the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia.

She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies (honors) from The College of Wooster and a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. She spent an undergraduate semester at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary in the Land, Food and Faith Formation program.

Her passions are for organizational change, prophetic leadership and congregational transformation. At home she is an avid gardener, with a gaggle of chickens, fish and frogs living in her yard-habitat alongside many plants, flowers and vegetables. Her husband, Juan Gabriel Ocampo Valle, is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, and they are the proud parents of one daughter, Sofia Elena.

Shannan’s work-from-home pandemic assistant is Mila.

Rev. David Baer

Rev. David Baer

Stated Clerk


I grew up a cradle Presbyterian, the son of two active ruling elders who wove their faith in Christ into a daily life of discipleship. I set off to college to study computer science, but there I found a campus ministry with friends who loved me through young adulthood’s challenges and helped me discover a call to ordered ministry in the church.

After a brief and giddy year of work as a software developer during the dot-com boom, I made my way to Yale Divinity School, where I received my Master of Divinity degree. The Presbytery of Southern New England and its members cared for and shaped me during my preparation for ministry—especially the Fish Church in Stamford, and its co-pastors, Blair Moffett, Mary Thies, and David Van Dyke, who served as mentors for my supervised ministry. This presbytery received me as a candidate, nurtured me in my growth as a minister, and finally ordained me. I am grateful and honored to be returning to a community where I found such wisdom and kindness.

I have served as the pastor of Highlands Presbyterian Church in Allendale, New Jersey, for over twelve years, and I will continue to be their pastor as I serve as your stated clerk. While there are bound to be challenges for me in balancing these two commitments, I know that my pastoral ministry and my service as clerk inform and enrich one another.

As stated clerk, I look forward to helping you pursue the faithful work to which the Spirit calls you as a presbytery, as congregations, and as individuals. I believe our polity is a tool for the church to use in accomplishing God’s mission, nurturing relationships, and building up Christ’s body, always subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit.

I share a home with my wife, Amy, our two children, Johanna and Timothy, and a lively beagle mix named Baxter. Our life together is sometimes hectic, sometimes noisy, but always richly blessed!

Meet Baxter, David’s office assistant.

Elder Nicole Aronson Champagne

Elder Nicole Aronson Champagne

Moderator

I am a graduate of Connecticut College with BA (honors) in Psychology and certification to teach PK-8.  After graduation I moved from my childhood home in NH to CT to pursue a teaching career and my relationship with my future husband.  We joined Westminster Presbyterian Church and the PC(USA) after we married 25 years ago.  We knew that Westminster would be a place that we could grow spiritually as well as raise our anticipated family.
 
I come from a very religious family and was raised Catholic.  But it was at Westminster that I was finally able to pursue my passions for service with, and for, others as well as deepen my faith and beliefs about what it means to be Christian.  Our beliefs that worship involves active participation and not passive observation as well as meaningful, original liturgy have been transformational for me.  Westminster was also the place where I found space, affirmation and confidence to advocate for my LGBTQIA siblings.
 
At Westminster I helped create our LIFT (Living In Faith Together) program that emphasizes intergenerational faith formation.  From that process I came to understand a calling for relationship building and caring of our members.  I currently organize volunteers and lead a team that cares for our members in the midst of their joys, sorrows, and isolation.  I also lead our Youth Ministry Team.  Additionally, I am a Westminster Core Team member for the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA) a community organizing group of approximately forty faith organizations that works to take action on social justice issues most of which stem from systemic racism.
 
My husband, Craig, and I live in Farmington, CT.  Our son, Michael, is a Mechanical Engineering student at Lafayette College and our daughter, Ashley, is a Religious Studies major at Hobart & William Smith Colleges.  We enjoy and foster a variety, of mostly large, rescue dogs that live with us until they find their forever homes.
Rev. Kevin White

Rev. Kevin White

Vice-Moderator

Rev. Kevin White has served as the pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Cumberland, RI since 2015. He currently serves on the PSNE Anti-Racism Task Force, and has served on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry. He is also the part-time Protestant Chaplain with the Campus Ministry department at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI.

He holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy and in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Kevin loves preaching, and is continually amazed that he has the honor and privilege to walk with so many through the ups and downs, questions and wrestlings of life. He hangs his hat on the fact that somehow and someway the life, death, and resurrection of Christ changes everything.

Prior to ordained ministry, Kevin has worked in the specialty outdoor retail industry, in non-ordained youth ministry, and as a group worker in a residential boys’ home.

Kevin is a self-avowed Star Wars geek and loves soccer (he practices the spiritual discipline of humility by being a fan of Everton FC). He enjoys being the number one fan of his wife, Rachel, a talented artist, and they are the proud parents of their son, Ezra, with whom Kevin enjoys riding bikes, playing board and card games, and (when his knees allow it) practicing karate. Kevin would much rather brag about Rachel and Ezra than write a bio about himself. They share their home with two cats, Albus and Jovi.  Kevin is no longer the tallest in his house.

Meet Albus and Jovi, who are probably up to something.

Dayle Larson

Dayle Larson

Financial Manager


Dayle Larson began her bookkeeping career 38 years ago at Edwards & Angell Law Firm in Providence, RI. Soon after beginning her career in her home state, a job transfer for her husband, Craig, sent them to Nashville, Tennessee. After four years, they moved back to New England to raise their family in Chester. Dayle and Craig have two daughters, Niki and Kara. Dayle, her husband, and their daughters are members of the First Congregational Church of Deep River in Deep River, CT.

In 1995, Dayle was asked to become the Treasurer of her church. She still enjoys this position and considers it a part of her contribution both to her church and the community.

In 1996, Dayle founded her own business, Chester Bookkeeping Service. At that time she also performed bookkeeping services for two construction companies in the area and one flower shop. Three years later, Dayle added Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, CT, to her list of local clients.

In 2003, Dayle accepted the contract position as Financial Secretary to the Presbytery of Southern New England. She feels that her experience with the other churches has been of mutual benefit to all.

In her spare time, Dayle enjoys spending time with her family, and long walks with her yellow Lab, Otis.

Meet Otis, Dayle’s office helper.

Rev. Erika Plank Hagan

Rev. Erika Plank Hagan

Communications Manager

Rev. Erika Plank Hagan is a transitional Deacon in the Episcopal Church, and (God willing) will be ordained to the priesthood through that denomination in the next year. She began working with the Presbytery of Southern New England while a student at Hartford Seminary, pursuing a masters in inter-religious studies and preparing for her call to bi-vocational ministry. Erika has a strong communications background through her work in non-profit arts organizations, for church communities, and through freelance social media marketing and administration. For 2022-2023, she will continue to work with PSNE alongside her curacy at Christ Episcopal Church, Trumbull, CT practicing her discerned call to have one foot in parish ministry and the other out in the broader ecumenical and interfaith world.

Erika lives in Ridgefield, CT with her husband and two sons (and office assistant, Mako the Dog), is a voracious reader, and teaches Jazzercise classes through local fitness studios. She is inspired by the possibilities of 21st-century technology and perspectives for communities of faith to communicate to and with the larger world of God’s creation, and is delighted to be working with the Presbytery of Southern New England.

Mako the Dog helps Erika get those newsletters out on time.

Contact Us

Presbytery of Southern New England
P.O. Box 388, Chester, CT 06412

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