Rev. Christopher Powell, Rector

Christopher PowellChristopher became the ninth rector of Christ Church in March, 2012. He has been in parish ministry full time since 1985 and is serving his fourth parish, all as Rector.

Christopher has always felt that the parish church is a laboratory for saints and a sanctuary for sinners. He compares his role as rector to yeast in bread: “My job is to help people rise in the same way leaven helps the loaf rise. What I love is that when the loaf is fully risen, the leaven is indistinguishable from the bread.”

Christopher received a B.A. in English from Tulane University and his Masters of Divinity from Nashotah House. Among his favorite poems is The Slow Work of God by Teilhard de Chardin which identifies the patient manner in which God is pleased to give us the Kingdom.  email


Rev. Matthew Babcock, Associate Rector

Matt was raised in central Louisiana, and graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2007, achieving a BS in Agricultural Business. Following undergraduate studies, Matt moved to North Carolina, where he was introduced to the Episcopal Church. What began as volunteer service in a food pantry, led to a rediscovery of the presence of God through the fruits of a community with a shared vision to live the Gospel. While an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, North Carolina, Matt served in several lay leadership positions.  He was elected to the vestry, eventually serving as chair of the financial management committee and Junior Warden.  Serving alongside parishioners seeking to restore the dignity of God’s creation eventually led Matt to a time of discernment to ordained ministry.

Matt looks back on a rewarding career in commodities trading, risk management, finance, and banking. He moved to New Haven, CT in 2016 to complete his seminary studies. He graduated from Yale Divinity School in 2019, achieving a Masters of Divinity, and a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School.

Matt was ordained a priest in the Diocese of East Carolina in December, 2019. Prior to joining Christ Church, Matt served as curate of Trinity Church, Newtown CT. Throughout his ministry with Trinity Church Matt also served as a chaplain at Yale New Haven Hospital, where he completed two clinical pastoral education units. Matt has a passion for pastoral care and visitation, and sees this ministry as central to wholeness and healing. He holds a certification in mental health first aid and is a Prepare-Enrich certified facilitator for marriage preparation and family care.

Matt and his husband, Joel live in Evanston. He is excited to join the clergy team and to journey with Christ Church in the work of reconciliation.  email


Rev. Rodney Quainton, Assisting Priest

Rod and his wife Nanci Priest joined the Christ Church community in April, 2014 after serviRod Quaintonng 25 years as a priest following a 17 year banking career. Rod retired in 2013 after 14 years as Executive Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Michigan. He has served three Episcopal Churches in his ministry: St. Dunstan’s, Houston, Texas; All Saints, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and as Rector of Church of the Heavenly Rest, Abilene, Texas. Additionally he has served as Program Director at the Center for Ethics and Values at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Rod believes God is experienced in the most extraordinary places along life’s journey whether in the sacraments, at the death of a loved one, in the workplace, in the Navy, and especially in the form of that still small voice. Rod’s journey is anchored in faith communities that have nurtured him in all stages of his life and he came to Christ Church because of its dedication to excellence in word and sacrament and a gift for warm hospitality. Rod likes to teach and journey with others in the great faith questions. Rod holds a B.A. from Yale University in Economics, an M.B.A. from The Harvard Business School and a Masters of Divinity from The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Rod is inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost, especially “After Apple-Picking”. email



Richard Clemmitt, Organist & Choirmaster

Richard Clemmitt Organist Organ Music Musician Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWOrganist and Choirmaster Richard Clemmitt is responsible for the management of the Christ Church music program. Since his arrival in 1992, that program has grown to include multiple choirs of well over one hundred total participants. In addition to singing in Winnetka, choirs from Christ Church tour yearly under his direction, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.  Richard loves his work as a teacher of sacred music. He particularly enjoys working through music to foster the growth of Christian community among both youth and adults.

Richard earned his BM from New England Conservatory and his MM from Westminster Choir College. He is a member of several national musical organizations and is a published composer. Link to compositions. email


Elizabeth Clemmitt, Primary Choir Director

Elizabeth Clemmitt Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWElizabeth has been the director of the Primary Choir for first and second grade singers since the fall of 1996. She is the music teacher at Willow Wood Preschool in Winnetka and at Ronald Knox Montessori School in Wilmette. She has also taught general music in the Glenview public schools (K-6).

Elizabeth believes that one of the most powerful ways to experience God’s love is through the joy of music. Elizabeth helps develop and nurture this joy in our youngest singers by including fun singing games, puppets, and rhythm instruments in her rehearsals. She teaches children the basics of choral singing and music reading and prepares them to sing an anthem in church services five times a year.

Elizabeth received her B.A. Degree in Music from The Colorado College in Colorado Springs and her Masters of Music in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.  email


Jay Peterson, Organ Associate

Jay Peterson Organ Organist Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWJay Peterson joined the Christ Church music staff in 2009 as Organ Associate. His responsibilities include accompanying the choir and playing for liturgies with choral music.

Jay is very committed to supporting the congregation’s singing, to collaborating with the choir and to providing organ and piano repertoire that enhances corporate worship.  He especially appreciates the emphasis on musical education that Richard Clemmitt pursues with the young choristers.

Jay earned the BM and MM from the Eastman School of Music and the DMA from the University of Illinois. He taught for thirty-two years at MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL, and often pursues solo performance opportunities. He also enjoys being an officer for two Chicagoland musical organizations and performing as keyboardist for the Chicago Chamber Choir.  email


Melissa Durbin, Director of Children’s Ministries

Melissa Durbin youth children minister Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWMelissa became the Director of Children’s Ministries at Christ Church in July 2013, after being a parishioner for 11 years and a Church School leader for 10 years. Her previous professional career was in the advertising business in account management and client services. In her current role, she likes to think about the parable of the mustard seed, in which a person planted the tiniest of seeds which then grew and grew into a shrub large enough that the birds came and made nests there.

Melissa loves the way that Christianity permeates every single corner of your life and world, and that once you start on the path, you have no choice but to continue following it with all your heart. Every day she is inspired by this quote from Swiss philosopher Henri-Frederic Amiel, “There isn’t much time to gladden hearts, be quick to love and make haste to be kind!”

Melissa received her B.A. in English from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Most recently she earned her certificate of training in Godly Play, a core curriculum used by many Christian denominations.  email


Megan Miller, Director of Youth Ministries

Megan Miller joined Christ Church as Youth Minister in July 2018. Megan started working with youth in 2004 as a teacher. In seminary she studied religious education, scripture, and psychology – and how the three overlap in children’s, youth, and family ministry. Megan has taught in middle- and high schools, directed Sunday Schools, and lead church youth groups.

In one of Megan’s favorite Bible stories, Jesus says, “Let the children come,” to his disciples, who are trying to keep the young people separate from their spirituality (Mk 10:14; Mt 19:14; Lk 18:16).  Not only does he surprise his disciples by including the children, he tells them that it is the children from whom they need to learn! He says, “[I]t is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs…[and] whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (Mk 10:14-15; Lk 18:16-17). Megan sees children and youth as current integral members and teachers in the Body of Christ that is our church.

Megan earned a B.S. from Indiana University, where she studied marketing, gender studies, and religious studies. She has a teaching certificate from the University of Pennsylvania and Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. She lives in Evanston with her dog, Daisy. email


Lucila Ruiz, Nursery Care ProviderLucila Ruiz

Lucila is our warm hearted nursery supervisor.  Lucila welcomes all children of the parish with great joy and enthusiasm.



Charlotte McGee, Office Manager

Charlotte McGee has been a parishioner at Christ Church since 1994 when she relocated to Winnetka from Boston. In 2005 she was hired on a part-time basis at the church as the Parish Paper Editor. In 2008 Charlotte went to full-time as the Rummage Coordinator. In January of 2018 she retired from that role and currently serves as our full-time Office Manager. She is also active in many areas of our church life: singing in the choir, a member of the Handbell Choir, and serves on the Hospitality Committee. Charlotte “loves my job, all the wonderful parishioners who come into the office, and I get to bring my dog to work every day. It doesn’t get much better than that!” Charlotte’s husband, Jim, is equally involved in the life of the parish. Charlotte received her BA from New York University.  email


Cindy Lyman, Financial Manager

Cindy joined the Christ Church staff in November, 2015 as the Financial Manager. A Cindy Lyman“Cradle – to – Grave” Episcopalian, Cindy has been a member of Christ Church for over 20 years. She is a tax attorney and CPA with experience in a large law firm and as in-house counsel. Cindy has served as the Rummage Treasurer for the past eight years. She lives in Winnetka with her husband and two children.

Cindy received her B.S. in Accounting from Bucknell University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. email


Tika Walsh, Rummage CoordinatorTika Walsh - Senior Warden

Tika has been an active member of Christ Church since the age of 3. Most recently she served as Warden of the church under Christopher and is currently a member of the choir, the handbell choir and the Benevolence Committee. Tika’s Rummage experience runs deep, having served as co-chair of the Women’s Department for the past 9 years. Prior to that she was co-chair of the Curtain Department (yes, there used to be such a thing!) for two years.
Tika and her husband, Kevin, live in Wilmette. They have raised three wonderful sons at Christ Church: Tanner (23), Reilly (20) and Cam (19). email


Rena Kowalski, Communications/ITRena Kowalski

Rena has worked at Christ Church since 2004, first as our receptionist, then Administrative Assistant, and now in the role of Communications. She has an extensive background in computers, electronic fundraising and database work, but was particularly attracted to the Christ Church position by the friendly environment.

Rena has been married to Tom for the past 34 years and has three sons. They are avid sports fans.  email



Jim Caldwell, Facilities Manager

Jim Caldwell facilities manager Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWIn 2001 after Christ Church Winnetka went through a major renovation, I was hired as the Facility Manager.

My favorite part about being on the staff at Christ Church is working toward restoring and preserving the church’s historic buildings.

In addition to Christ Church, I currently work full time as Director of Buildings & Grounds for Lincolnwood schools. District 74 is a wonderful place to work with all it’s smiling faces – only rivaled by the good people at Christ Church.  email



Mario Ruiz sexton Deacon Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWMario Ruiz, Sexton

Mario was born in Uriangato, Mexico and started to spend summers between his college years working as a caddy at Indian Hill Country Club in Winnetka. Knowing the course was closed on Mondays, Parishioner Georganne Chalmers asked if he would like to help on Mondays with Rummage at Christ Church. This started a wonderful, 20 year-plus relationship with us. He started as a part-time Sexton in 1996 and finished his BA in 2005 at Northeastern University. He is married to Lucila, who directs our Childcare room on Sunday mornings. Mario’s sons, Emmanuel and Pieter, sing in our Youth Choir. email



Steve Tracy sexton Deacon Episcopal Episcopalian Christ Church Winnetka CCWSteve Tracy, Sexton

Steve is a born and bred Chicagoan and is a perfect example of “it’s all about who you know.” After fifteen years in the restaurant business where he started washing dishes and ended up as the chef, he found himself in need of a job. His younger brother was working with our Facilities Manager, Jim Caldwell, in the Linconwood schools. They were in need of a part time custodian; the rest is history! Steve also began part-time at Christ Church in 2013, becoming full-time on January 1, 2015. What’s the best thing about working at Christ Church? “The people! It’s an awesome place to work.” email