I am excited to announced that Laura Di Panfilo will begin serving at St. Paul’s on July 1st as our Assistant Rector. She will be joining Garrett and me in the sacramental and pastoral leadership of the parish with a focus on pastoral care and spiritual formation. Laura will coordinate parish pastoral care, including supporting Stephen Ministers, Lay Eucharistic Visitors, the Pastoral Care Commission and other lay pastoral care ministries. She will also take part in the leadership and teaching of our spiritual formation programs for all ages.
Laura is currently a Candidate for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. She is also currently completing her Master of Arts in Ministry from General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City. She will be ordained a transitional Deacon in June in New Jersey, and we anticipate her being ordained to the Priesthood at St. Paul’s in December.
Laura grew up in Massachusetts and is a graduate of Emory University where she completed a BA in Women’s Studies and Religious Studies in 2013. She earned her Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary where she met her husband, Luke Zerra, who is currently completing a PhD in Theology and Ethics. After her M.Div., Laura worked as a chaplain at a trauma hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. In the hospital setting, she learned how critical spiritual care can be for people in the transitions that often accompany a visit to the hospital. She is currently interning at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, where she works with the 20s/30s ministry leading weekly Bible studies and fellowship gatherings. Laura is also a certified Kripalu yoga instructor and has taught classes in both yoga studios and churches.
I am deeply grateful for the leadership of the Assistant Rector search committee, ably chaired by Ginny Barnicoat and including, John Adams, Barbara Galderise, Jennifer Lingler, Hall McGee, Bob Melvin, Jim Miorelli, Derik Moore, Eileen Sharbaugh and Meghan Clark. They have worked tirelessly interviewing candidates, welcoming a select few to Pittsburgh, and sharing with them about St. Paul’s. Their effort and perspective have been invaluable to this hiring process.
“I am so thrilled to join St. Paul’s as an Assistant Rector! I am eager to join in with the ways that God is working with and through St. Paul’s and I look forward to getting to know this community.”
Please join me in welcoming Laura and Luke to St. Paul’s! Please watch for more ways to welcome them in person after their arrival in Pittsburgh this summer.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions. I love to hear from you.
The Reverend Noah H. Evans, Rector