The Very Rev. Dr. Amy Welin, Dean
The Very Rev. Dr. Amy Welin has been serving as the Dean of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral since August 2017.
Prior to her priestly ordination, Amy worked as an instructor of medieval and world history, an insurance claims processor, and a pastoral associate in a large mid-western church. Before accepting the call of St. Stephen’s in Harrisburg, she served a variety of parishes in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, as a member of the Standing Committee and the Chapter of Christ Church Cathedral.
One of the founding members of the Episcopal Clergy Association in Connecticut (ConnECA), and a prior board member of the Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations (NECA), Amy devotes her energy to issues of clergy and parish wellness.
Married to Greg Welin, who is also an Episcopal priest, and mother of four young adults, Amy likes to garden and practice yoga in her free time.
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The Rev. Shayna Watson was born and raised in Lancaster, PA, to parents who migrated from South Carolina, Shayna has strong work ethics, family values, and faithfulness to the Church. Her father was the first African American in his local union and her mother was a steward. Conversations about safety, bargaining, and discriminatory grievances were part of daily life. Shayna, too, wanted to make a difference in the lives of the underrepresented and under served, and her path to ministry began at the age of 9. Shayna has seven siblings, most of whom serve in the field of human services and community activism. The youngest are 7 and 14.
Transitioning from the Church of God in Christ to the Episcopal Church has been an enriching experience. Shayna’s experience in the Episcopal Church USA has been one filled with warm hospitality, and she is happy to be in a place where healing through mission and justice is a priority. Shayna believes that wherever the Church is, the people and the land will flourish and have basic needs addressed. In other words, the Church reflects its community, and the community reflects the Church. What matters most to Shayna when preaching is that the message should always address the spiritual needs of hearers, offering comfort, encouragement, love, reflection, through highlighting the legacy of Jesus Christ.
Shayna graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 with a dual major in Political Science and African Diasporic Studies. She later earned her Master of Divinity with honors from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and an Anglican Studies Diploma from Virginia Theological Seminary. Shayna is a board certified chaplain, having served in hospital and hospice settings in Hershey and Lancaster. She is also a community activist, with a track record of organizing community events and fundraisers, offering anti-racism and cultural sensitivity platforms, and developing innovative ways to converse about challenging topics. One of her pastoral passions is to work with veterans and populations who experience post-traumatic stress. At her core is her capacity to network, collaborate and form partnerships with community members, and interfaith groups as well as with audiences who do not find the church safe. Shayna is the Creator and founder of ΘeoCon (pronounced Thee-Oh-Con): Where Theology Meets Pop Culture Convention, one day comic convention-style event, a first of its kind, scheduled for September 29 at Virginia Theological Seminary. Rev. Watson was ordained a deacon at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in 2018.
Email Address: swatson
The Rev. W. Michael Nailor, Deacon
Michael was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, PA as a member of First Evangelical United Brethren (United Methodist) Church where he was active throughout childhood and as a young adult. He came to the Episcopal Church when he was studying at the University of Pennsylvania. The pioneering women of the “Philadelphia Eleven” had just been irregularly ordained and the church was struggling with the role of women in leadership.
Michael was drawn to a church that was willing to deal with – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – the important social justice issues of the day. Agreeing to disagree but still staying in communion around the Holy Table appealed to this English teacher, debate coach, and school librarian throughout his 41-year career in public education. At Shikellamy High School, the Central Susuquehanna Intermediate Unit, Danville High School and Susquehanna University he found students who were eager to think about social issues and incorporate them into teaching and learning.
Through a discernment process at St. Matthew’s Church in Sunbury and with the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, Michael heard God calling him to the iconic role of a deacon in today’s church. Teachers and mentors at the Stevenson School for Ministry, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and Jefferson Hospital contributed to his mission to encourage the church to consider the ways that it communicates God’s message of loving-kindness to all.
A fieldwork placement at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral provided him not only a spiritual home for the last few years, but a testing ground for many ideas about our church, its mission and its communications. Michael is currently serving Bishop Audrey Scanlan on assignment to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Harrisburg and the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. He currently serves on the Standing Committee and the Undoing Racism Task Force of our diocese and the Board of the Stevenson School for Ministry.
Cindy Coombs Harbert joined the St. Stephen’s staff in 2017. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan College where she earned her degree in Social Work and Education and has completed graduate coursework in Counseling at Messiah College. Over the course of her career, her focus has been in the area of non-profit administration and management.
Cindy has two daughters; Megan, a graduate of Messiah College and a Med Surg ICU nurse at Harrisburg Hospital and Becca, a student at the University of Delaware. In her spare time, Cindy enjoys traveling, reading, walking her dog, Mollie, and attending theater and concert events. She currently serves as a volunteer with Downtown Daily Bread, Open Stage of Harrisburg, and serves as an Elder at the Camp Hill Presbyterian Church where she has been a member for 27 years. She is an active volunteer and fundraiser with the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) after losing her husband to bladder cancer in 2014.
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Alex Ashman, Director of Music
Upon receiving his Undergraduate Degree in Music Education at Messiah College in 2017, Alex entered the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University to study with Renée Anne Louprette, where he graduated in 2019 with a Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance. Before being called to St. Stephen’s, Alex served as Director of Music at St. Saviour Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY in conjunction with serving as the Assistant Director of Liturgical Music at Fordham University, Bronx, NY.
Outside of church music, Alex is a rehearsal pianist for the Pennsylvania Regional Ballet. He was a rehearsal pianist with the American Repertory Ballet, the Princeton Ballet School, and Rutgers University during his time in NJ. Since returning to the Harrisburg Area, Alex is in demand as an accompanist at local Universities and schools for choral programs, concerts, and recitals.
Alex is a member of the American Guild of Organists, the Organ Historical Society, the American Choral Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.
Gene Schofield, Parish Nurse
Gene was confirmed in the Lutheran Church in Minnesota where she grew up and was received as an Episcopalian when she married Mike in 1962. After graduating with a BS in Nursing, she served in the Navy at hospitals in Philadelphia and Newport, RI. , worked as the Director of Nursing at nursing homes in MN and PA, and did home care and hospice for 17 years before she retired in 2008. She joined Helen Hendrickson in 2008 in the Health Ministry and also volunteers at the Beacon Clinic, American Red Cross, Hospice of Central PA and serves on the Board of the Episcopal Home at Shippensburg.