The Rev. AJ Stack was called to St. Thomas in February, 2020. He is a native of southeastern Ohio, where, before ordination, he was a Licensed Social Worker, practicing in the fields of drug and alcohol recovery, adolescent mental and behavioral health, foster care, and employability and job retention skills development. As an Appalachian with a deep cultural connection to the land and community, one of the driving forces of AJ’s ministry is a desire to walk with churches as they discover God’s call to be contextually relevant and to build meaningful, Christlike relationships within their neighborhoods.
AJ is married to Steven Huang, an orchestral conductor and professor, and they have two sons, ages three and seven, whom they adopted through foster care. Their family loves to create music and food together, and they’re always eager to share with anyone who happens to drop by!
John Gagliardi, Organist
It is a pleasure to introduce St. Thomas' new organist, John Gagliardi. John hails from LaGrange, New York. He began his musical studies at age 11. By age 16, John was serving as a pianist at a Methodist church and subsequently became the organist. John has studied piano and organ with Dr. Peter Muir, Music Director at Grace Episcopal Church, Millbrook. He is presently under the tutelage of Maestro Hector Olivera, and Peter Krauss. John is also co-owner of New York Beef Company, a family operated farm that specializes in raising grass-fed Angus beef cattle. John comes to us with great enthusiasm and love of music and the organ. He has a deep sense of the importance of music in the context of worship. In a recent conversation I had with John about liturgy and the role of music, this is what John shared with me: "I love playing organ music. But people shouldn't come to church just to hear the music. They need to come to hear the message. That's your job, Rev. Betsy. My job is to create an atmosphere of welcome and to inspire people as they worship." Wise words from a young man. I couldn't agree more!
John at the organ with Maestro Hector Olivera
ST. Thomas Vestry
Co-Warden, Food Pantry Volunteer Coordinator, Advisory Committee, statistician and St. Thomas Web-Master.
Co-Warden, Facilities Manager, Food Pantry Advisory Committee.
Treasurer, Hospitality Coordinator
Warden Emeritus, Grants, Food Pantry Advisory Committee, Bake Sale and Fund Raising.
Stewardship Chair, Altar Guild Coordinator, Search Committee Chair, Bake Sale Coordinator.
Altar Guild, Vestry.
Comida de Vida/ Food of Life Pantry, The Giving garden leadeship team
The Rev. AJ Stack
Executive Director, Priest-in-Charge
Food Pantry Administrator
Music Advisor, Consultant, Liturgical Volunteer Coordinator, Stewardship Committee
Delivering groceries to our customers the 2nd week after the COVID-19 shutdowns started.
Picking up 5000 lbs. of food from the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
Packing up the vegetables from our garden for food pantry delivery.