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Staff and Lay Leadership

The Rev.
Robert Bergner

Rector

Bob has been at Grace and St John’s since 2018, first as Priest-in-Charge and now as Rector. He holds degrees from Harvard, McGill, Montreal Diocesan Theological College, and Middlebury College.  Bob has a passion for innovative outreach ministries and for creating community. He is an active member of the Greater New Haven performing arts scene as a musician and dancer. His wife, Pam, is a dancer, choreographer and educator.  

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Kim Clarke

Administrator

Kim Clarke brings to our office her skills, experience, and a deep familiarity with the Episcopal Church.  While working at Grace and St John's, she is currently Senior Warden at St Peter’s in Cheshire.  She grew up in Hamden, and has lived most of her adult life in Cheshire, with her husband John, and daughter Renee, who is newly employed with The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.  The family’s passions are boating and dogs. 

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Allison Batson

Lay Minister for Children and Youth

Allison is a Pre-K teacher for the Hamden Public Schools’ Early Learning Program and an advocate for quality preschool for all children. She has been in charge of our ministries for children and youth for more than 15 years.  She is also a community activist who serves on several non-profit boards, and is the founder and leader of our Dinner for a Dollar ministry.  Allison lives next door to the church with her daughter Whitney.   

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Richard Hagemann

Musician

Richard Hagemann has his master's from NYU, where he studied piano performance and pedagogy. He is now adding organ to his list of proficiencies. In addition to providing music at Sunday service, Richard is also a teacher at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven.

Renee Janes

Senior Warden

Renee was Senior Warden at St John’s, Yalesville, when that group began worshiping at Grace and St Peter’s in 2021, leading up to the merger in 2022.  She grew up in western Massachusetts and attended UMass. Despite that, she’s a devoted fan of UConn women’s basketball.  Renee worked in advertising at both the New Haven Register and Hartford Courant, and is now a part time church secretary at a Lutheran church.  She enjoys being part of the altar guild and doing the daily Spelling Bee puzzle on the New York Times website.

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Sue O'Connell

Junior Warden

Sue O’Connell came to Grace and St Peter’s (as it then was) in search of a small Christian based community to worship, learn and practice her faith.  She quickly became involved in most of our parish activities and a leader in many, and loves the way our missions not only include members of our parish but also other religious communities and the general public. Sue is retired from a career in radiation oncology. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their three children and four grandchildren.

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