Tim has been our Vicar since 1999. St. Stephen’s is an active, vibrant, and welcoming faith community whose members come from across Boston and beyond. Our liturgy reflects a wide range of cultures and is conducted in both English and Spanish. The congregation is committed to the work of our youth programs, which Tim began in 2000, and sees the Eucharist as the center of our work in the world. They share Tim's belief that the key to transforming communities is to surround young people with a "Circle of Care" that also supports their families, schools, and neighborhoods.
Under Tim's leadership, our youth programs have grown from serving a handful of the neighborhood's children, to meeting the out-of-school time needs of hundreds of young people across Boston and in Chelsea. Today we offer year-round programming in the South End and Lower Roxbury, and run the Bishop's Summer Academic Fun Enrichment Program (B-SAFE) at four additional sites. Our budget has grown along with the program, and today Tim oversees an annual budget of more than $1 million. In addition to being responsible for day-to-day operations, Tim is Chaplain for our programs and serves on the Youth Programs Advisory Board.
Tim grew up at St. Paul's Natick. After graduating from Brown University, he worked in the South End for two years, running an after-school program which mentored and counseled teens. The experience informs his philosophy about the role of faith-based organizations in community transformation. |Watch a video for more about this.|
He subsequently received his Master of Divinity from Harvard in June, 1996. His senior thesis was a proposal to build an Episcopal camp and conference center which would bring together young people from across the Diocese to build relationships and to enjoy green space during in the summer. That dream became a reality when the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center was built in New Hampshire.
Tim was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in April, 1997. He served as Associate Rector at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill for three years before being called by the Bishop of Massachusetts to be Vicar of St. Stephen's Church. Read more about Tim's formative experiences in the essays collected by the Diocese as part of the discernment process here.
Tim hopes St. Stephen's will be a model for other urban churches seeking to engage suburban communities of faith in tackling issues which disproportionately impact inner-city neighborhoods. Our academic enrichment programs, school-based partnerships, and intergenerational community organizing activities, provide more than 50 partner churches in the Diocese with opportunities to live out their faith in service and in the struggle for justice.
Tim is an avid runner, hiker and cyclist. He coaches baseball in the Jamaica Plain Little League, and speaks Spanish and Italian. In 2008, he received the Robert Tobin Award for Social Justice from Episcopal City Mission, and in 2009 he was the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant. He lives in Jamaica Plain with his wife, Jenny Sazama, the Executive Director of Youth on Board, and son, Adam, who is in seventh grade at Boston Latin School.
Liz is our Priest Associate and Director of Youth Programs. She has been on staff since 2003. A graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Divinity School, she brings more than thirty years of professional training to the position. As Lead Organizer of the Boston Youth Organizing Project, Liz helped 750 young people develop their leadership skills, win a million dollars worth of new textbooks, and successfully campaign for cleaner school bathrooms, and longer hours of free public transportation. She has worked with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to organize school support workers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and janitors in Boston, Massachusetts.
Trained by Dr. Marshall Ganz, as well as the Industrial Areas Foundation, Liz has taught community organizing to graduate students at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, undergraduates at Stonehill College, and high schoolers in various organizations throughout Massachusetts. Following the tragic shooting death of a St. Stephen’s teen in September 2012, Liz helped convene teens, young adults, and others to take leadership in the B-PEACE for Jorge Campaign, a diocese-wide effort to address the root causes of violence.
Liberation theology developed her commitment to social justice, and Girl Scouts built her arts and crafts skills and her repertoire of goofy songs. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her ten-year-old son, Heschel, who is working on his skateboarding skills while studying to be an inventor.
Our Church School Director has been coordinating Christian Education at St. Stephens since 2013. She began her ministry in 2011 in the camps of Occupy Wall Street as the founder of the Protest Chaplain movement. Marisa graduated from Harvard Divinity with her MDiv in 2016 and was ordained to the transitional diaconate in June of 2016. She has served in several roles with the Life Together program since 2010, and led an economic reconciliation campaign in the Diocese of Massachusetts with Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation. She is also a spiritual director and hospital chaplain.
Marisa has been writing a book on the history of American torture policy, and plans to finish her PhD in American Studies at Harvard in May of 2017. Working among the families and young people of St. Stephens while researching national security policy has led to a passion for immigrants' rights. Currently Marisa is developing trauma-sensitive education and worship practices for families and young people. Her master's thesis proposed a theory of "moral harm diffusion" by which systematic injustices committed on behalf of a people (such as state torture or mass incarceration) injure the compassionate and relational capacities of even the most privileged citizens.
As she transitions to ordained ministry, Marisa hopes to deepen her work with young people, activists, and Christian communities committed to racial and economic justice.