Phillip Schwartz, Senior Warden, 2022, grew up in metro New York and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, which awarded him one of the prestigious traveling scholarships for winners of the Fifth Year Competition along with a show at the museum. He has shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and at galleries in Boston, Provincetown and New York. He continues to produce and exhibit work and has been affiliated with artist groups that promote causes such as social justice and HIV awareness in local, national and international venues. His work throughout his career has spoken to human suffering, whether in an ancient medium such as egg tempera with gilding or something more contemporary like a paper cutout.
Jamison Teale, Junior Warden, 2023. A native son of Virginia, Jamison has been a resident of Hudson and an actively involved member of Christ Church since 1999. In that time he has served as a lay reader, vestry member, a convention delegate, and senior warden for nine years. He oversaw the design, construction and dedication of the Mac Giffert meditation room, was chairman of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Christ Church celebration in 2007, and has worked with the acolytes, the altar guild, the floral guild, and the hospitality committee. He was installed as the sub-deacon of the parish by Mother Eileen soon after her arrival. Jamison and his husband James are antique dealers and share their lives with their four schnauzers and a blue and gold macaw.
Winnie Thorn, Clerk of Vestry, 2024, grew up in Peekskill and graduated from St. Lawrence University, where she met her husband Craig (now deceased). She moved to Hudson, where he had his business, and joined Christ Church in 1963. Her oldest son Greg, who passed away in 2006, was an altar boy at Christ Church. She raised three children and has eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A past member of the Columbia Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, she currently serves on the hospital foundation board. She is past president of Friends of Olana, past chair of the Columbia County Council on the Arts and past president of the Hudson Junior Service League. She served on the Jayncees board and the Boys’ Club Auxiliary board. She spent many years as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society, serving as president of the Columbia County ACS and president of the NY State division of ACS and holding a national ACS office. She has served on the board of Columbia-Greene Community College and volunteers with Hospice.
Peggy Gearity, Treasurer and Vestry 2024, has been a vestry member and treasurer of Christ Church since 2018. Born in NYC and raised in the Bronx, she is the youngest and only girl of four children. She attended Catholic school for twelve years. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College in 1977 and is currently the controller at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield MA. Her previous work experience includes accounting positions in both profit and nonprofit organizations. She lives in Ghent with her wife Sara and two kitties, Cleo and Kaylee.
Philip F. Abitabile, Vestry, 2022, has lived his entire life in Hudson. A 1967 graduate of Hudson High School and of SUNY-Albany in 1971, he remained in the area as a business teacher at Germantown Central School and a counselor at Hudson Correctional Facility. Though semi-retired, he owns and operates two small businesses, Taconic Driving School and Antonio’s Fried Dough, and is active in the Sons and Daughters of Italy, Columbia Golf and Country Club and Sean’s Run. He served as Hudson’s Commissioner of Youth, was a member of the N.Y. State Bridge Authority and currently serves as a trustee of Columbia-Greene Community College. His wife is Christine (Canape); they have four children and six great-grandchildren. Phil credits his parents for teaching him the meaning of love, family, respect and tradition and devotes himself to passing these on to his family.
Leonard Behr, Vestry, 2023. Len grew up in Orangeburg, NY, after an early start in the South Bronx and Trinidad, British West Indies. A degree in science education led to fieldwork in the rain forests, deserts, and jungles of Mexico, Belize, and the US Southwest, then to teaching biology and earth science at Taconic Hills High School (1970-99). In 1994, he began teaching one of the only two high school science research courses in the country. He worked with Dr. Robert Pavlica of Byram Hills High School, Armonk, NY, and Prof. Daniel Wulff of SUNY-Albany in writing two National Science Foundation grants for advancing high school science research, leading to the addition of Science Research in the High School to the SUNY-Albany curriculum in 1997. In 1999 SUNY asked him to retire and direct the SUNY Science Research in the High School program, where he still works. He also directs SUNY’s Upstate NY Chapter of the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and runs summer teacher training in science research. His other passions are nature observation, gardening, technical rock climbing, reading, world travel, and his marriage of more than 50 years.
Susanna Grannis, Vestry, 2023. My husband Joe and I have been at Christ Church since 2015, when we moved to this area. I am a “cradle Episcopalian” who has worshiped in several churches as my work has taken me to many places in the US and Africa. I am a retired elementary teacher and was the dean at three universities. After retirement, with friends and family we initiated a program to support children in Rwanda, Burundi, and South Africa whose lives had been severely compromised by their parents’ AIDS. Now, some years later, I have been able to complete online the third year of four in the program Education for Ministry that comes out of the theological seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. This program is excellent and because of it, I feel strengthened in my faith and far more knowledgeable. Ask me about it.
Tracey Jennings, Vestry, 2022 now on her second term on the Vestry, began attending Mass at Christ Church regularly in 2011. She and her husband Aaron were married at Christ Church in August 2012. She is a greeter at the 10:30 Mass and she and her daughter Madison are on the Altar Guild. She loves shopping at the Christ Church thrift store and attending Sacred Sites and book sale events.
Marilyn Marbrook, Vestry, 2022, worked in Washington DC for 30 years, briefly at the National Endowment for the Arts literature program and then for 25 years as publications manager for the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 1972 she left the Presbyterian Church of her youth and joined nearby St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in northwest DC, where she helped Del with the church newsletter and did hospital and nursing home visiting. Later at St. Paul's K Street she and Del joined the Grate Patrol, preparing and delivering breakfasts to the homeless living on the street. She made removeable magnetic Grate Patrol signs for the delivery cars. She and Del lived on a sailboat on the DC waterfront for ten years, then in Arlington, Virginia, for another ten before retiring to the Catskills in 1999. In retirement she edits and promotes Del's writing and takes painting and writing classes to get away from the computer. At St. Gregory's in Woodstock she was clerk of the vestry for four years. She prepared and had printed quarterly bulletins incorporating the Prayer Book text for newcomers who found it difficult to find their place in the book. At Christ Church she revised the Directory, prepares updates, and delivers altar flowers to shut-ins. She has been serving on the vestry for the last year and has been working with Del on the new church website, soliciting and editing bios and photos from staff and vestry.
David W. Palmquist, Vestry, 2023. A vestry and choir member since 2018, David has served on Episcopal vestries in Kinderhook and Bridgeport, CT. A lifelong Episcopalian, he grew up in a Cleveland suburb as a choirboy and acolyte. He is chair of Friends of Historic Christ Church Conservancy, Inc., the Church programming and fundraising arm. A retiree from the New York State Museum, he teaches history at SUNY-Albany and is a liaison for University in the High School. A Syracuse graduate, he holds master’s degrees in history and library science. His wife Rosemary manages the church New to You Shop. They live in Kinderhook and have three grown children and two grandchildren.