Clergy & staff


The Rev. Shelley McDade, Associate RectorThe Rev. Shelley D. McDade, Interim Pastor

The Reverend Shelley D. McDade was born and raised in Claymont, Delaware, as a member of the Atonement United Methodist Church. She earned her B.A. degree in Radio/Television and Marketing at Ashland College in Ashland, Ohio, in 1983 and spent the next 24 years working in the marketing and advertising fields while living throughout the United States and the Pacific. In 1996, Mother Shelley moved to New York to continue her career but also found herself growing more spiritually in the richness of all God has to offer in this amazing city. She found a special call to worship in the Episcopal Church and after serving for several years in homeless outreach and other lay and healing ministries, she entered the process for ordination in the Diocese of New York. Mother Shelley earned her Master of Divinity in 2010 from The General Theological Seminary here in Chelsea. She serves as a member of the Eastern Orthodox Committee through the Ecumenical Commission of the Diocese and will continue in her call to serve the city of New York through her work on Ascension Outreach as Executive Director. Mother Shelley has three sisters and extended family and friends who reside (mostly) on the East Coast.

Father Edwin Chinery

The Rev. Edwin Chinery, Assisting Priest

The Reverend Edwin Chinery was ordained to the priesthood in June 2010. Most recently, Father Chinery served as half-time Priest-in-Charge with St. Mark’s Keansburg in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. In addition to this work, he also served part-time with Grace Episcopal Church in Plainfield, NJ, the town where he was born and raised. Prior to his seminary studies, Father Chinery had a career as Benefits Administrator for Middlesex County, NJ where he was a volunteer with a variety of social service programs including mental health and chemical dependency, homelessness prevention, and AIDS care and treatment. In the course of this work, Father Chinery is grateful to have held leadership roles in the areas of board governance, program planning and policy development; the related skills both helpful in understanding the nature of public advocacy, as well as being readily transferable to any brand of parish ministry that seeks to blend secular social service with community of faith experience. Father Chinery attended the General Theological Seminary where his studies focused on spirituality, scripture and preaching. In addition to a Masters in Divinity, he graduated with certification as a Spiritual Director.

Parish Staff

Dr. Dennis Keene, Organist and ChoirmasterDennis Keene, D.M.A., Organist & Choirmaster
Dennis Keene is Artistic Director and Conductor of New York’s Voices of Ascension Chorus &
Orchestra. He is also Organist and Choirmaster of Church of the Ascension. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America and has served on the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, he has given numerous workshops and master classes on conducting and on choral music.

Vince Amodei, Parish Bookkeeper

Carolyn Braden, Choir Assistant

G. Jan Jones, Choir Librarian

Andrew P. Jones, Parish Administrator

Lenford Bowman, Sexton

Julian Lewis, Assistant Sexton

Pernol Blugh, Assistant Sexton

Keishan Ramnauth, Assistant Sexton

Jennifer Passard, Nursery Caregiver

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