Cynthia is a native of Columbus, Ohio and a graduate of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston IL. She was ordained a priest in January 2001 at St. Lawrence Church in Libertyville IL, where she served as Associate Rector. She was called to lead St. Giles in January, 2004. Prior to attending seminary, Cynthia worked in a variety of settings, including church administration and Christian education. She is a classically trained mezzo soprano who has sung professionally. Her interests include music of (almost) all genres, theatre (she's a Sondheim fan), sewing, reading, and Ohio State football. She is also the Ecumenical/Interreligious Officer for the Diocese of Chicago, and as such is committed to fostering fuller relationships between and among people of different faith traditions. Cynthia is married to Jon Hallas, a land use planner. They have two adult children, both of whom are active in the church. Cynthia blogs (occasionally!) at www.fourthwallpriest.blogspot.com and sometimes tweets - follow her @revcynhall.
In addition to serving as assisting priest for St. Giles, Belinda is also head of the spiritual care department at Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview, Illinois. Since graduating from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1998 and completing her clinical pastoral education at Alexian Brother's Medical Center, Belinda has worked as a hospital chaplain. Belinda is board certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains. Belinda is also a trained spiritual director through the Institute of Spiritual Companioning; she has a small spiritual direction practice.
Belinda was ordained a priest in March of 2011.
Belinda and her husband, Henry Austin, have three adult children and two dogs.
The Reverend Lee A. Gaede has served as a deacon in the Diocese of Chicago since her ordination in 2000. She received her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984 and practiced in the areas of landlord-tenant and family law. Lee specialized in domestic violence cases. After moving to the Chicago area in 1993, she continued to work as an attorney until 1997 when she began working in the area of fundraising and development. Following her ordination, she served at St. Mark’s, Evanston until being assigned to St. Giles in January, 2011. Since 2005, Lee has been the weekday caregiver for her granddaughters, ages 3 and 5 1/2. Lee has a long-term commitment to social justice issues and continues to be a social activist and community organizer. She is currently a member of the Diocese of Chicago Millennium Development Goals Task Force. Lee also serves as Happening Spiritual Director for the youth of the Diocese of Chicago and is member of the Youth Ministers Network. She has been involved in Katrina relief through the last four Diocesan Mission Trips to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and is committed to this cause for the long haul. Lee also serves as a mentor to a diaconal student and serves on the Deacons’ Formation Committee.
James Russell Brown deeply enjoys his ministry at St. Giles, which has a long tradition of musical and liturgical richness. Jim has served the parish as Director of Music and Organist since 1985. A graduate of Oberlin and New England Conservatory, he has performed in such major venues as National Cathedral and Harvard University; in August 2010 he served as organist for a week at Canterbury Cathedral along with the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Chamber Choir.
In 2008, Jim joined the faculty at NIU, teaching both organ and harpsichord, and is now also the Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising for the School of Music. He continues as the Chair of the Organ and Harpsichord Program at the Music Institute of Chicago.
I live in Buffalo Grove with my husband, Mark, and we have a son and daughter, Alex and Kristi, currently in college. I am a lifelong Episcopalian, having grown up in Deerfield at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church. My family and I are active members there today. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, volunteering, reading, singing, shopping, and keeping up with my home, including our two dogs.
After graduating from college, and for approximately 30 years, I worked at Underwriters Labs in Northbrook doing various levels of support work for Conformity Assessment engineers. In fact, that is where I met my husband who still works there. After leaving UL in 2011, I began doing some of the office administration at St. Gregory’s as a part-time volunteer.
I am or have been involved with many other activities at St. Gregory’s including Altar Guild, Flower Chairman, Vestry, Stewardship, and I recently joined the Choir.