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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 Co-Moderator of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and as an Elected Member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board.

She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies (honors) from The College of Wooster, a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, and coursework towards a Masters in Public Policy at Monmouth College. She also spent an undergraduate semester at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. For the last ten years, she has co-supervised a program of human rights accompaniment in Colombia, South America through Presbyterian World Mission, the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. She is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry at Hartford Theological Seminary.

Her passions are for organizational change, prophetic leadership and congregational transformation. Her husband, Juan Gabriel Ocampo Valle, is a native of Bogotá, Colombia, and their daughter, Sofia Elena, is an artist and “mom” to Pepsi the House Rabbit.

Rev. Jim Glenn

Rev. Jim Glenn

Chaplain to the Clergy

BA William and Mary, History and Education
Union Presbyterian Seminary Richmond, VA
D.Min., Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Center, MA

Pastoral Counseling Training Consortium in Pastoral Psychotherapy at United Pastoral Counseling Centers, Inc. at Andover Newton Theo. School

12 years Miami Shores Presbyterian Church – Youth and Education Ministry
6 years First Presbyterian Libertyville, IL – Evangelism and Church Development
25 years Dunn’s Corners Community Church, Presbyterian – Pastor
2 years Counselor/Pastor to the Student Body and Faculty at Andover Newton Theological School

43 years as an ordained minister with 45 years of professional ministry

For the past 20 years, I have averaged 10-15 hours of counseling per week – all volunteer – often to the community and to fellow members of the clergy from various denominations. Because I volunteer and there is no money or insurance involved, I choose not to be licensed. I am a pastor more than a therapist.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord, Savior, and Friend, and I choose to be connected within the Presbyterian Family of the Christian Community.

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!

Rev. Dr. Ruth Herron Smalt

Rev. Dr. Ruth Herron Smalt


Rev. Dr. Ruth Herron Smalt, PSNE’s Vice-Moderator, joyfully serves as Associate Minister at the First Congregational Church on the island of Nantucket (MA), 30 miles out to sea. A Master of Divinity graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, she holds a Ph.D. from Fordham University in Educational Administration. Ruth has served God at The Brick Presbyterian Church in Manhattan as seminarian minister, as chaplain at Greenwich Hospital (CT), and as chaplain in the Rocky Mountains of Estes Park, Colorado with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Prior to ordained ministry in the PC(USA), Ruth enjoyed careers in education (adjunct professor, teacher and coach), and as an Executive Director for non-profits.

A cradle Presbyterian, Ruth was blessed to grow up in the vibrant faith community of The Rye Presbyterian Church (NY). She is active in volunteer work, community life, and all things outdoors. Ruth serves as the President of Nantucket Interfaith Council, sits on the National Board of Camps Farthest Out Christian Camps & Conferences, Habitat Nantucket and Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention boards, and convenes Nantucket Women in Ministry. Ruth’s three grown daughters and their families, including her delightful baby granddaughter, love to visit Ruth on the windy and beautiful beaches of Nantucket.

Rev. Ruth’s contagious passion for knowing and serving Jesus in community is evidenced in her life theme, “Alive, Alert, Awake, Enthusiastic!” illustrating her belief that we are all called to be active participants in Christ’s kingdom.

Rev. Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery

Rev. Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery

Interim Pastor Martin Luther King Community Church

Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery is a licensed psychologist and the founder of Sacred Intelligence, LLC, a private practice located in New London, CT, where she merges spirituality and psychology in her treatment of individuals with psychological and emotional problems. Dr. Curry Avery guides individuals, couples, families and groups as they recognize their divine power to make intelligent choices that will transform their lives–mind, body and soul.

Dr. Curry Avery conducts workshops with groups, institutions, service providers, parents, and faith based organizations, helping participants to improve their own well-being, to interact more positively with colleagues and family, and/or to improve their delivery of services to clients with whom they work. Dr. Curry Avery has traveled throughout the United States working with both public and private schools as well as other institutions conducting workshops that heighten the awareness of participants on the issues of race and how it impacts one’s interactions with others from different races as well as the level of care one provides to those in need or to those whom they serve. She also has developed a model for working with disenfranchised populations designed to support service providers as they recognize their own implicit biases, discover how to take the perspective of those whom they serve, and help individuals navigate life’s journey.

Dr. Curry Avery also facilitates women’s retreats that are designed to encourage participants to take time to focus on the self; to explore their relationship with the Sacred; and to examine how their relationship with others might be influenced by their relationships and experiences with the Sacred, the self and others, particularly when these relationships have been hurtful, in some way.

Dr. Curry Avery is the author of Sacred Intelligence: The Essence of Sacred, Selfish and Shared Relationships. She is also was the host of the Public Access Show: Sacred Intelligence TV with Your Host Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery.

Dr. Curry Avery served as the interim pastor at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Presbyterian Church in Springfield, MA and is an adjunct professor at Connecticut College in New London, CT. She was previously on staff at an inner city public high school in Connecticut.  Prior to that she worked for two facilities within the Department of Children and Families: one for psychiatric Dr. Curry Avery has a Ph.D. in Clinical/School Psychology from Hofstra University, a Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University, a Masters of Arts in psychology from American University and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Howard University.

Rev. Alonso DaCunha

Rev. Alonso DaCunha

Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry

The Rev. Alonso DaCunha is part of a family of seven brothers who all grew up in a Christian family. All his training was within the Presbyterian Church in Brazil and he graduated with a Bachelor in Theology with a specialization in Hebrew in 1993 through the SPS Presbyterian Seminary of the South in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was ordained the same year by the Presbytery of Norte of Governador Valadares MG Brazil going to work in the missionary fields of Amazonas where he stayed for 14 years.

He returned to his mother church in Governador Valadares MG to be pastor 4 years later and then again returned to the Missionary field of the Amazon. In 2002, he was invited by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to work in the Cape Cod region to begin work with Portugues-speaking immigrants. In 2007, through the Rev. Angel Soarez of the Office of Hispanic/Latino Interculture of the General Assembly of the PCUSA, he became part of this presbytery with the purpose of working with the Portuguese-speaking community on Cape Cod.

Today, Alonso and his wife, Katia, have the opportunity to also serve in support of incarcerated immigrants bringing consolation and hope through Bible study by Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry (PIM) in two different locations, Boston Suffolk Jail and Plymouth Jail, where they serve more than 120 different people weekly.

Katia Regina Dacunha

Katia Regina Dacunha

Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry

Katia Regina Dacunha Is a passionate woman who is energized by endeavoring to be the best wife, mother, and lovely servant to the families around her as she can be. Her life’s goal is to a healthy life, which translates to be healthy spirituality, mentally, emotionally, and physically in a way that pleases God.

She serves the immigrant community as well to the Brazilian Presbyterian Church in Hyannis alongside her husband, Alonso Dacunha. Their children are Klark and Tirza. Her experiences cover a diverse background which includes elementary education teacher, nurse
Brazil), teen counselor, tri-lingual domestic/sexual violence and homicide survive advocate/counselor.

Since 2012, after graduating from the Lay Pastor training that PCUSA offered to immigrant leaders through Rev. Angel Soares’ Hispanic/Latino office at Stony Point, she began to serve incarcerated immigrant women at the Suffolk Jail once a week for Bible study. With joy she is an active volunteer for the Cape Cod Council of Churches and the Island Commission on the Status of Women.

Katia’s passion is to empower women to speak up, to really be what God has designed for them to be in a world filled with inequality, oppression, and corrupted by evil yet so thirsty for God’s wisdom. In Katia’s down time, you will find her gardening, cooking, crocheting, and knitting.

Rev. Paulo Tarso Ribeiro

Rev. Paulo Tarso Ribeiro

Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry

In 1976 Paulo graduated from the Rio de Janeiro University, (B.A. in Law), and got his Master’s degree (Academic Didactics) in 1981, which qualified him to teach Constitutional Law for many years. After immigrating to California, he was called by God to be in ministry. After a remarkable cross-cultural ministry experience in Canada, he was ordained by the San Fernando Presbytery in 2006.

Paulo went on to serve 2 churches in Southern California, five years in Homestead Presbytery, and then at Christ is Life, Fall River, MA, until 2012 when the congregation decided to leave our denomination and join the PCA.

From 2013-15 he served as the interim re-development pastor at Calvin Presbyterian Church, Cumberland, RI, and in 2014 at the Woodbury Presbyterian Church, Warwick, RI, as their interim pastor. Currently, he serves as the part-time pastor of the Portuguese American Baptist Church in Fall River, MA, developing a mission in Africa, where they organized a church named “Restoring Lives Baptist Church”, located in Dondo, Province of Sofala, Mozambique. His role as their mentor pastor is to provide all the necessary material and videos for the training of evangelists, and church leaders, as well as pastoral counseling to the leaders.

In addition to his position at the Baptist church, he now provides Bible studies through our Presbytery’s Presbyterian Immigrant Ministry (PIM) at Dartmouth Prison, Dartmouth, MA. There he provides ministry to incarcerated immigrants on a weekly basis.

Paulo feels privileged to be called serving the Lord as a missionary pastor to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus. His passion is equipping lay leaders and providing training to planting churches, using his cross-cultural experience.

Paulo is married to Angela. They have two grown children and 3 grandsons.

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.

Pam Garner

Pam Garner

Office Administrator


Pam has been described as ‘Presbytery’s corporate knowledge base’ having joined PSNE in 1995. Over the past 24 years, Pam has adapted to change while serving with 3 interims, 3 installed executives, 3 stated clerks, and 3 financial secretaries, providing continuity, collegial management, and administrative support.

She orchestrated moves from two different rental properties to committee-structured office space providing an investment opportunity rather than rental expense. In 2011, Pam championed the opportunity to capture $25,000 in office expenses and move the staff to virtual offices. Pam’s natural strengths are organization, hospitality, and discernment of God’s call in her life.

Working with the large number of volunteers it takes to run a Presbytery, Pam makes others feel comfortable and welcome, whether it’s a seasoned committee member, a new clergy person, or a stranger.

On a journey living out her faith with God, Pam is deeply and faithfully involved in a 700+ member UCC congregation where her church experience covers the gamut from staff member as Director of Christian Education, Church Moderator, Stephen Ministry Leader/Trainer, Bible Study Leader, and Retreat Organizer to multiple committee leadership roles within the church in Stewardship, Trustees, Deacons, Christian Education, Christian Service, and Mission Outreach and Practice.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

Contact Us

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

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