Clergy & Staff

 

A number of devoted, skilled staff members provide daily support to the mission and ministry of Saint Peter’s Church.

The staff partners together, with leaders, the community and others to support the rich treasury of liturgical and musical gifts, vibrant programs and expressions of pastoral care enriching this “communion of diverse people and communities” that seeks to “creatively shape life in the city.”

 
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Amandus J. Derr

Senior Pastor

Pastor Amandus Derr has served as senior pastor at Saint Peter’s Church since 1997. From 1975 to 1997, Pastor Derr served as Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church and School, Teaneck, New Jersey.

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In his ministry at Saint Peter’s Church, Pastor Derr focuses on interaction with other religious communities and partners in business, government, the arts and civic society. Concerned for all the people of Saint Peter’s Church, he has a particular passion for the care and wellbeing of homeless people in the parish.

Pastor Derr is a graduate of Concordia College, Bronxville, New York; Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Christ Seminary/Seminary in Exile (SEMINEX), Saint Louis, Missouri. He completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian-Muslim relations at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.

His contributions to the wider church are significant. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Wartburg, an adult care community with numerous locations in New York, Treasurer of A Partnership of Faith, a member of the Board of Directors, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and serves as the chair of the Leadership Grants Committee of the Metropolitan New York Synod, ELCA.

Pastor Derr lives in Manhattan with his wife, Carole, an elementary school teacher. They are the parents of two adult sons and grandparents to one granddaughter.

Pastor Derr will retire from his service as Senior Pastor at Saint Peter’s Church on November 1, 2020.

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Jared R. Stahler

Associate Pastor

Pastor Jared Stahler is interested in the interface of religion and society, and pays particular attention to the voices or viewpoints of persons placed by the powerful on the margins of church and society.

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He works with leaders to continue to enrich Saint Peter's arts programming.

Pastor Stahler is an alumnus of Yale University and Oberlin College. At Yale he studied jointly at the Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, receiving, in addition to a Master of Divinity degree, a Diploma in Lutheran Studies and a Certificate in Liturgical Studies. Pastor Stahler holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College where he studied with James David Christie and Haskell Thomson.

Pastor Stahler is a leader in numerous church-related organizations, and has served on the boards of and has been a consultant for a number of secular not-for-profit organizations.

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Fabian Arias

Pastor Iglesia de Sion

Pastor Fabian Arias is the pastor of Iglesia de Sion, a Spanish-speaking congregation with which Saint Peter’s Church established a covenant relationship for mission and ministry in 2012.

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Under this covenant, Pastor Arias serves his congregation as well as the Spanish-speaking members of Saint Peter’s Church.

A native of Argentina, Pastor Arias moved to the United States in the 1990s. The people of Saint Peter’s Church accompanied Pastor Arias throughout the immigration process. He completed seminary training and was ordained in 2003. He has led Iglesia de Sion ever since. When the economic downturn sullied plans to build a mixed condo-religious-community space on Sion’s original home in Spanish Harlem, Pastor Arias led the community into diaspora, and then ultimately to a new home at Saint Peter’s Church.

He is skilled in traditional folk dance, and is an avid drinker of máte.

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Bill Eschen

Pastoral Counselor

Pastor Bill Eschen is a licensed pastoral counselor with offices at Saint Peter’s Church and in Westchester County.

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He keeps regular office hours and also provides periodic learning opportunities for the people of Saint Peter’s Church at retreats and forums.

Pastor Eschen is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Wagner College and Gettysburg Seminary. From 1994 until 2004 he was called by the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a pastoral psychotherapist, serving on the Foundation for Religion and Mental Health and at the Psychotherapy and Spirituality Institute.

Pastor Eschen lives in New York with his family. His hobbies are reading and yoga. He is an engaged “baseball parent.”

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Bálint Karosi

Cantor

Bálint Karosi is an active composer, concert organist, conductor and harpsichordist. An avid interpreter of Bach, he has recorded three CDs of Bach’s music, most recently the Art of Fugue and the Clavier-übung III, released by Hungaroton.

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Bálint oversees an ambitious musical program at Saint Peter's, with frequent performances of choral and orchestral works including a yearly performance of one of J. S. Bach’s Passions on Good Friday.

Previously, Bálint served as Minister of Music at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, where he established a Bach Cantata Vespers series and co-founded the annual Boston Bach Birthday.

Balint's compositions have been performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, UMZE, the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, the Miskolc Symphony Orchestra, Musiciens Libres, Animae Musica Chamber Orchestra, Boston Choral Ensemble, Antico Moderno and the Norfolk Festival Choir and Orchestra.

Recent commissions include an Overture for the Hungarian State Opera, a Reformation Symphony to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation for the Symphonic Band of Concordia University of Chicago (River Forest), a second organ concerto for János Pálúr, a bassoon sonata, and Exoplanets for Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra.

He is the recipient of the 2014 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Junior Prima Prize in his native Hungary, and the prizewinner of the 2008 International J. S. Bach Competition in Leipzig.

He also holds a Master’s degree in historical keyboard performance and an artist diploma in organ performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, two Master’s degrees from the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and two Prix de Virtuosités from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève. He also holds two master degrees in clarinet performance from the Liszt Academy and the Conservatoire Supérieur de Genève.

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Ike Sturm

Music Director for Jazz

Bassist and composer Ike Sturm was raised in a musical home in Wisconsin, learning from his father, renowned composer and arranger, Fred Sturm.

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Ike has performed with many gifted musicians including Gene Bertoncini, Theo Bleckmann, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Bobby McFerrin, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler. He has played on four Downbeat award-winning recordings, as well as several Steve Reich releases on Canteloupe and Nonesuch Records. He has performed with Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Ike is the Music Director for Jazz at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. He is responsible for the church’s many jazz programs, including Jazz 4 All. Ike designed the jazz residency program and is heard at Jazz Vespers, leading his own original liturgical compositions and improvisations every Sunday night at 6pm. Among his current regular collaborators are Melissa Stylianou, Catherine Russell, Godwin Louis and Chris Dingman, performing together in New York and across the U.S., Scandinavia and Europe.

Ike’s band Endless Field has been featured live on NPR. The album was released on Biophilia Records and includes GRAMMY-winning soloist Donny McCaslin, bandleader of David Bowie’s Blackstar. The project aims to engage others in environmental awareness and activism through music and volunteer activities.

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Guillermo Vaisman

Cantor Iglesia de Sion

Guillermo Vaisman is Cantor Para Misa en Español through Saint Peter’s Church covenant partnership with Iglesia de Sion.

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Originally from Argentina, Guillermo studied in the Julián Aguirre Conservatory of Music and the Juan José Castro Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, and the School of Arts and Musical Sciences in Universidad Católica Argentina. He continued studies in choir conducting with Antonio Russo and Alberto Balzanelli.

He is a founder member of the Argentine Association of Choir Conductors (ADICORA) and a member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM) since 1998. He founded the choir Cappella Buenos Ayres in 1994 and was its conductor until December 2002. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted more than 400 concerts in Argentina, Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay and the U.S.

He is Musical Counselor of the Asociación Cappella Buenos Ayres (Argentina). And, since June 2004, he has been the Conductor and Music Director of the United Nations Singers.

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James Beaudreau

Director of Media and Communications

James Beaudreau joined Saint Peter’s Church in June 2014 and serves as Director of Media and Communications.

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In addition to managing the church’s communications, social media, video production, print materials, and website, James also oversees the development and maintenance of the church’s A/V systems and A/V staff.

Before joining Saint Peter’s, James worked as a marketing director in the music industry. Prior to that, he worked as a marketer in the staffing industry and as a freelance marketer, musician, writer, and designer.

James holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University, SUNY.

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Sarah Moga

Director of Member Engagement

Sarah Moga joined Saint Peter’s Church in 2016 as one of the Section Leaders in the Saint Peter’s Choir, and began her role as the Director of Member Engagement in August of 2018.

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Sarah manages member contribution and financial support of Saint Peter’s ministry and is responsible for print and digital materials connecting congregation members to Saint Peter’s Church. She provides administrative support to the pastors and parish committees and also interacts with members and visitors alike to best assist them in connecting to the community.

Before joining the Saint Peter’s staff, Sarah worked for four years in the performing arts and in nonprofit fundraising.

Sarah holds a B.A. in History and German Language and Literature from The George Washington University and an M.A. in History of Women and Gender from New York University. She continues to serve in her role as Section Leader for the Saint Peter’s Choir and is an active member of the New York performing arts scene.