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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 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.

Rev. Jocelyn (J.C.) Cadwallader

Rev. Jocelyn (J.C.) Cadwallader

Moderator

pastorjc@fpcnh.org

Rev. Jocelyn (J.C.) Cadwallader is the Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church and has been serving in this capacity since September of 2017.

J.C. came to New Haven after four years in ministry in theWashington, D.C. area. She served two different congregations as interim pastor in the National Capital Presbytery (Western Presbyterian Church and Takoma Park Presbyterian Church) and served the Presbytery as chair of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry. Prior to her time in D.C., Pastor J.C. lived in Chicago,  where she served as the Director of Masters Level Recruitment and Admissions at McCormick Theological Seminary. Her first call in ministry was to the Pastoral Residency program sponsored by the Lilly Foundation at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. It was here where she discovered her love of parish ministry and was ordained in March 2009.

J.C. earned her Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and did her undergraduate work at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.   She is a native of Pennsylvania, though spent formative years in South Windsor, CT and Cary, NC.  She is married to Heather Renwick, a lawyer, who currently serves as the Legal and Advocacy Director of the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, based in Washington, D.C. They live in the manse along with their toddling and clever daughter Lou and beloved and ball-loving dog, Charlie.

In her free time, Pastor J.C. enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, baking, playing board games, traveling near and far, and of course, trying new things!

Meet Charlie, office assistant and babysitter extraordinaire.

Elder Nicole Aronson Champagne

Elder Nicole Aronson Champagne

Vice-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. 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.

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.

Erika Plank Hagan

Erika Plank Hagan

Communications Manager

Erika Plank Hagan, a native of Oberlin, OH, lives in Ridgefield, CT, with her husband and two boys. A daughter of church musicians, she grew up in and around churches and has gravitated to church work as an adult, working for the office of accreditation for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, as church school administrator for St Stephens Episcopal in Ridgefield, and most recently as an administrative assistant for children and youth ministries at First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan.

She is a student at Hartford Seminary, pursuing a masters in inter-religious studies, she teaches Jazzercise classes and also does freelance social media marketing and administration. She is inspired by the possibilities for Christian communities with 21st century technology and perspectives, 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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