With the recent retirement of Director of Communications Melodie Woerman and Executive Assistant to the Bishop Jeanne Atha, there have been a number of questions about, “Who is doing what?” in the diocese office. The Executive Committee of the Council of Trustees worked closely with Bishop Bascom on plans for staffing. Great care was taken to review with these two incredibly valued and seasoned staff leaders their responsibilities and the gifts needed for the work; to listen to current staff about their gifts and aspirations; and to consider priorities of Bishop Bascom’s episcopacy and the needs of the diocese in the decade to come.
Here is a run-down of all current diocesan staff positions: (scroll to the bottom for an alphabetical list of who to contact)
Bishop, The Right Reverend Cathleen Chittenden Bascom
Canon to the Ordinary, The Rev. A. Patrick K. Funston
The Rev. Patrick Funston, as canon to the ordinary, is the chief administrative counselor to the bishop, with oversight of all diocesan administrative functions, and with the bishop he shares support for active clergy and for parishes. Patrick is also co-chair of the Justice & Racial Reconciliation Task Force.
Mobile Phone: 785-706-1223
Canon for Spiritual Life and Clergy Care, The Rev. Lisa Senuta (beginning Sept. 1, 2021).
“I believe that our call to nourish the faithful of our parishes and to create beloved community in our towns and neighborhoods will only truly bear fruit when deeply rooted in prayer and worship,” ~Bishop Bascom. The new canon will work to fully utilize the Upton Hall Conference Center in Topeka with opportunities for spiritual retreats for clergy and lay leaders across the diocese. She will also continue and expand the pastoral care of clergy done by the Rev. George Wiley, especially priests and deacons new to their work and retired clergy. While Canon to the Ordinary Patrick Funston, Canon for Congregational Mission Gar Demo, and I are engaged fully with active clergy and parishes in most aspects of congregational and clergy life, this new canon will take special, personal care of our clergy living with medical or family issues.
Comptroller, Mr. C. Jay Currie
Jay Currie, comptroller, handles all financial oversight and management of diocesan accounts. He has the lead role in preparing the first draft of the diocesan mission plan (budget). He also manages accounts payable and receivable, investments, health insurance, and payroll.
Diocesan Missioner, The Rev. Jennifer Allen
Jenn Allen continues her responsibility for missional leadership as assigned by the bishop, including the planting of a New Episcopal Community at Bethany House and Garden, a community drawn together through gardening and creation care, neighborhood empowerment, and worship. She also will be deeply involved in the creation of the new Bethany Gardens. Jenn is also involved with Kansas2Kenya and the Care of Creation Task Force.
Mobile Phone: 913-620-7773
Director of Operations, Mrs. Michele Moss
Michele Moss assumes oversight of all diocesan information technology needs, as well as audio-visual equipment and needs, across staff and programs in the three diocesan buildings. She continues her responsibility for major diocesan events, including Diocesan Convention, as well as oversight of all diocesan facilities. Michele also provides administrative support for the Commission on Ministry.
Director of Young Adult and Communication Ministries, Mr. Chad Senuta (beginning Sept. 1, 2021)
This new position combines communication and young adult ministry responsibilities. This includes the responsibility for The Harvest, the magazine that reaches every household in every parish throughout our diocese, as well as other aspects of written communication. This person also will oversee campus and young adult ministry and will have a special responsibility for the formation of a new community of young adults in urban Wichita, as well as establishment of a new community of young adults at Bethany House and Gardens in Topeka. This position also will include aiding the staff in implementing diocesan goals and plans.
Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Ms. Michael J. Knoll Funston
Michael Funston will become the new executive assistant to the bishop, with responsibility for scheduling, correspondence, travel arrangements and other items affecting the office of the bishop. She also will greet those coming to our offices and will be the first voice most hear when calling. She retains her responsibilities for online Safeguarding training, background checks for volunteers, and serves as the staff liaison for the Children’s Ministry task force.
Youth, Campus & Digital Missioner, The Rev. Karen Schlabach
Karen Schlabach adds oversight of the diocesan website and serving as editor of DioLog, the diocesan e-newsletter, to her position. She also will assume responsibility for the annual diocesan Directory and Journal, and she will take over the diocesan social media accounts. She continues her years of leadership of diocesan ministries with youth and campus students, including Summer Camp, Miqra, and Happening.
Mobile phone: 913-708-5927
Youth & Campus Ministry Program Assistants
The program assistants live in residence at the Canterbury Houses, handling all maintenance and care for the property, overseeing the student peer ministers, and supporting diocesan youth and young adult events as needed.
- Canterbury House at K-State, Ms. Anastasia Cunningham
Mobile Phone: 920-267-0652
- Canterbury House of Lawrence, Ms. Clarke Mortensen
Mobile Phone: 937-919-3273
Part-Time Diocesan Staff
Canon for Congregational Mission, The Rev. Gar Demo
Gar Demo is the rector of St. Thomas the Apostle in Overland Park and serves the diocese as Canon for Congregational Mission, helping parishes find training and resources to advance their mission.
Mobile Phone: 913-904-8257
Canon Pastor, The Rev. George Wiley (part-time)
George Wiley continues as canon pastor in a voluntary capacity that fits with his current responsibilities at home, mentoring and assisting the new canon in the area of clergy care.
Curate for Campus Ministry, The Rev. Mary Donovan (part-time)
Mary Donovan provides liturgical support for the two Canterbury Houses as well as spiritual direction for the Campus Peer Ministers.
Mobile Phone: 917-880-3844
Missioner for Transitions, Mrs. Debbie Kremers (part-time)
Debbie Kremers is the diocese’s part-time missioner for transitions, assisting parishes searching for new clergy leadership.
Mobile Phone: 816-719-0132
Greg Bennett continues as our faithful sexton of many years.
The diocesan office is open every weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for holidays.
Who does what:
|Accounts payable and receivable||Jay Currie|
|Appointment with the bishop||Michael Funston|
|Background checks for clergy||Michele Moss|
|Background checks for volunteers||Michael Funston|
|Bethany Place facilities||Michele Moss|
|Bethany House and Garden||Jennifer Allen|
|Bishop’s schedule||Michael Funston|
|Campus ministry – new or existing||Chad Senuta|
|Campus Ministry parish grants||Chad Senuta|
|Canon to the Ordinary’s schedule||Michele Moss|
|Canterbury House at K-State||Anastasia Cunningham|
|Canterbury House of Lawrence||Clarke Mortensen|
|Church Canons||Patrick Funston|
|Clergy Gathering||Michael Funston|
|Clergy transitions||Debbie Kremers|
|Clergy licensing||Michael Funston|
|Commission on Ministry||Michele Moss|
|Common Trust Funds||Jay Currie|
|Contact information changes||Michele Moss|
|Council of Trustees||Michael Funston|
|Custodial financial accounts||Jay Currie|
|Diocesan Convention||Michele Moss|
|Diocesan website||Karen Schlabach|
|DioLog e-newsletter||Karen Schlabach|
|Garden Volunteers||Jennifer Allen|
|The Harvest (diocesan magazine)||Chad Senuta|
|Harvest mailing list updates||Michele Moss|
|Insurance – health and property||Jay Currie|
|Land Use Planning||Jennifer Allen|
|Lay ministry licensing||Michele Moss|
|Local media relations||Chad Senuta|
|Ordination process||Patrick Funston|
|Parish endowments||Jay Currie|
|Parish websites||Karen Schlabach|
|Parochial reports||Jay Currie|
|Public relations||Chad Senuta|
|Records management and retention||Jay Currie|
|Registrar records (dates of baptisms, confirmations, etc.)||Michele Moss|
|Retired clergy||Lisa Senuta or George Wiley|
|Safeguarding online training||Michael Funston|
|Safeguarding in-person training and policy||Karen Schlabach|
|Social media||Karen Schlabach|
|Spiritual Direction||Lisa Senuta|
|Summer camp||Karen Schlabach|
|Supply clergy||Michele Moss|
|Upton Hall Conference Center||Michele Moss|
|Youth Commission||Karen Schlabach|
|Youth events – diocese||Karen Schlabach|
|Youth programs – parish or diocese||Karen Schlabach|