Standing Committee Members

The Very Rev. Tom Malionek President

Father Tom Malionek is in his first term on the Standing Committee, having served on Diocesan Council, the Commission on Ministry, and the Great Chapter of the Cathedral. Associated with the Albany Diocese since 2008 and canonically resident throughout his ordained ministry, he has been Rector of Saint Paul’s, Kinderhook, since 2015, and recently became Dean of the Hudson Valley. With long experience in ministries of spiritual direction, discipleship, and formation, he sees the Holy Spirit intent on shaping and molding, not just holy individuals, but a holy People — the Body of Christ, the Church — through sound teaching, strong liturgy, rootedness in tradition, and commitment to a personal and corporate way of life with Christ at the absolute center. He and Mtr. Judith (St. John’s, Troy) have two phenomenally stellar grown children. He is an avid amateur chef and aspires to pass for a Siberian hermit, or, failing that, Yeti.

Janet Papa, Secretary

Janet is a cradle born Episcopalian, baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. She came to the Church of Messiah when she was eight years old and remains an active member. Starting each morning in prayer and study, Janet works for God, following her retirement as a legal assistant. Janet is a true servant, giving of herself in various ministries of the parish including as a Faith Alive Children’s Coordinator., Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher., serving as acolyte, lector; chalice bearer and Visiting Lay Eucharistic Minister. She also serves on the vestry and finance committee and leads an ecumenical contemplative prayer group. Through Daughters of the King she has had much opportunity to service as president for her parish, the Diocese and Province II. She currently serves as the national first vice president-triennial chair. In 2019 she was elected to the Standing Committee and is currently serving as the secretary. Janet is recently widowed and lives in Glens Falls. She has two married sons and five grandchildren.

The Rev. Kathy Alonge-Coons

The Rev. Katherine G. Alonge-Coons (Mother Kathy Coons) – a graduate of St Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry (MDiv), SUNYA School of Social Welfare (MSW), Siena College (BA Sociology). A Bi-vocational priest at Grace Church, Waterford, NY; Licensed Clinical Social Worker; employed as Rensselaer County Commissioner of Mental Health; 2018 & 2022 Deputy to General Convention; and active in Albany Episcopal Cursillo ministry. Married to Earl Coons since 1982 residing in Troy, NY. With two adult daughters: Melissa and Grace.

Barbara Breen

A retired middle school counselor, Barbara Breen has been a parishioner at St. Mary’s, Lake Luzerne, for 20 years. She currently serves as a warden, ECW co-president, lector, office volunteer, and member of the Altar Guild, DOK, and Stewardship Committee. She represented the Southern Adirondack Deanery on the Profile and Search Committee and since February has filled a vacancy on the Standing Committee. Widowed for 2½ years, Barbara is blessed by the faithfulness of her family, friends, church, and especially our Lord.

Christopher Cassidy

Christopher Cassidy has been a parishioner at St. Stephen’s in Delmar since the late ‘90s. He has been married to his wife, Debby for 40 years. Together they have three adult sons, three daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. Chris has served as Lector, Vestry member, Senior Warden, Finance Committee Chair, Stewardship Committee Chair, Search Committee Co-Chair, Standing Committee member and Bible Study Leader. He is currently employed by Wells Fargo Advisors as a Senior Vice President. Chris lives with his wife in the hamlet of Slingerlands.

The Very Rev. Art Garno

The Rev. Arthur Garno is the Rector St. John’s Delhi NY and St. Peter’s Hobart NY since October 2020. Prior to his current position, Fr. Art was Priest-In-Charge of St. Paul’s Waddington NY. Fr. Art was ordained to the Deaconate in 2005 and the Priesthood in 2017. He served at St. John’s in Ogdensburg before appointment in 2009 as Deacon Vicar at St. Paul’s and subsequently Priest-In-Charge. During this time, Fr. Art was Director of Workforce Development at SUNY Canton and before that worked in the Electronics Industry in Manufacturing Engineering. Fr. Art has served several terms on Diocesan Council and is now serving the Diocese on the Standing Committee. Fr. Art and his wife Tammy have two grown children, The Rev. Scott Garno, priest in the Albany Diocese and Stacy Summers who works in special education, in the Albany area. They have 7 grandchildren; Josiah with our Lord and Samuel, Maria, Tobias, Payton, Parker and Piper.

The Rev. Justine Guernsey

The Rev. Justine M. Guernsey is currently serving as a Deacon at St. Stephen’s in Delmar, NY and has also served at St. Matthew’s, Latham and the Cathedral of All Saints. She is married to William Guernsey and has three adult sons: James, Timothy, and Justin. Deacon Justine has served on the Commission on Ministry, as instructor and assistant director in our Deacon Formation School and most recently on the Profile and Search Committee for the 10th Bishop of Albany. She is a member of the Deacons’ Council, Daughters of the King and has been accredited as a teacher in “Godly Play”. She is currently filling a clerical vacancy on the Standing Committee. She is happily retired from her secular job and in her spare time, she enjoys doting on her five grandchildren and traveling with her husband.

The Very Rev. Brad Jones

Fr. Brad has been Rector of Christ Church, Schenectady since September of ’98. He is the Dean of the Metropolitan Deanery and a Deputy to General Convention. He is now serving his second (non-consecutive) term on Standing Committee. Fr. Brad served on the Ecclesiastical Trial Court 1999-2005; 2006-2011 and was President of the Disciplinary Board 2011-2017. He served two terms on the Episcopal Charities of Albany board. He also served on the boards of Alpha Pregnancy Care Center (2004-07) and NOEL/Anglicans for Life (1996-2008). Prior to his call to Schenectady, Fr. Brad was the Associate Rector at St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea in Destin FL and before that was a Curate at Church of the Ascension, Montgomery, AL. He received his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. Originally from New Orleans, Fr. Brad has been married to Mary since 1984 with seven children and three grandchildren. As a member of the Standing Committee, Fr. Brad hopes to do his part to uphold the teachings and authority of the Scriptures in faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ

The Rev. Dr. Ellizabeth Papazoglakis

Bio coming soon

Sue Ellen Ruetsch

Sue Ellen has a diverse church background: raised in the Presbyterian church, then a member of the Church of the Nazarene, then received as a member of the Episcopal church in 1996. She moved into the Diocese of Albany in 2000. She retired from a 44 year career in Nursing in 2017. Her home parish is Calvary, Burnt HIlls. She loves and cherishes her involvement in the Diocese of Albany through Cursillo, Healing a Woman’s Soul, Daughters of the King, and the Welcome Home Initiative. Sue Ellen considers it an honor to serve on the Diocesan Convention planning committee, Episcopal Charities, and the Standing Committee. She was a lay deputy to the General Convention in 2009, 2012, and 2015 and has plans to return to the next General Convention, scheduled for 2022. She is dedicated to prayer and labor toward discerning God’s will for the Tenth Bishop of Albany.

Gary Sorensen

Gary Sorensen attended Albany Collage of Pharmacy receiving a BS in Pharmacy and New York teacher’s certification secondary level-science. As a professional person he worked in the Pharmaceutical field from 1998-2011. He has been attending St. Ann’s Church in Amsterdam, NY, for 13 years. The last 8 years he served as Warden. He is also head of the men’s group, leader of the building and grounds committee and helps out in ministry on an as needed basis.

Jean Stevens-Lauria

Jean Stevens-Lauria has been an active member of the Diocese of Albany since 1978. Her home parish is St. George's in Clifton Park, where she currently serves as Senior Warden. She is a retired Associate Commissioner of the New York State Education Department. She has been actively involved at St. George's for over 40 years, serving on the vestry, Chair of Trustees for St. George's School, Stewardship Committee, Facilities Management, including multiple capital campaigns, Altar Guild, Choir, and Christian Formation programming, including Alpha, the Disciples program, multiple Bible studies and EFM. Jean is a trained facilitator for Healthy Congregations. She was elected to the Standing Committee at the October 2020 Annual Convention.