Brian was born in a small city just west of Toronto, Canada, the eastern-most parish of the Diocese of Huron. Although the family eventually moved right into the city, Brian was raised up for the priesthood and ordained in his home diocese.
Immediately after his ordination to the diaconate, Brian emigrated to the United States to join a community of Episcopalian Benedictine monks in Three Rivers, Michigan. Parishioners (and anyone who’s listened to Brian’s homilies over the years) know that his five years of monastic experience gave him many decades of stories and reflections.
He left the monastery on Ash Wednesday 1985 and moved to Chicago. He has served in several parishes on Chicago’s north side and throughout the Diocese of Chicago. At the same time that his parish ministry began, he started a small practice in spiritual direction. From the time he arrived, Brian was involved in a variety of community commitments, including the Aids Pastoral Care Network and Demico Youth Services in Cabrini Green.
In 1990 he left full-time parish work to emphasize spiritual direction. He served as an honorary assistant at St. James’ Cathedral and did interim and supply work around the diocese. Brian is a popular retreat leader and has led clergy, vestry, individual and small group retreats throughout the United States and Canada.
His retreat work at the DeKoven Foundation in Racine, Wisconsin led to his invitation to sit on their Board of Directors. Conserving the remarkable heritage of its buildings and history of service to the Episcopal Church, yet seeking a new and vigorous ministry for the site in the 21st century is a current passion of his.
Brian currently serves as Rector of Church of Our Saviour in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. He arrived in 1999 in a very part-time capacity and was elected Rector in 2008. Like DeKoven, COS has both a remarkable architectural and ‘people’ heritage. He and the congregation are equally energized about moving this heritage into the future.
Brian and Roger Gumm have been life-mates for over 27 years. Together they helped raise two daughters, who are now both married with children of their own. Bicycling, walking their Cairn Terrier (the famous Ripley) and tending a young vineyard rounds out Brian’s life.
Patt is a spiritual director and retreat leader who came to ministry as a third career. She worked as a costume designer and assistant professor of theater in the 1970’s, and as a municipal lawyer for the next three decades. Patt’s current ministry is focused on starting up a spirituality center in the diocese. She also serves on the diocesan Deacons’ Leadership Team as chaplain to persons discerning a call to the diaconate, and on the leadership team of Chicago Area Spiritual Directors. Patt holds a certificate in leading contemplative retreats and spiritual formation groups from Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, a certificate in spiritual direction from the Claret Center, a BA and MFA in Drama, and a JD in law.
The Rev Jess Elfring-Roberts
Jess is a native of the Chicago area, growing up in St. Charles. She received her BA from Columbia College in Chicago focusing on Acting and Comedy. Jess was ordained a vocational deacon in January of 2013. Currently has served on the Bishop's staff at the Diocese of Chicago as Assistant for Youth Ministry. Jess also has serves on the Deacon Leadership Team at the Diocese as the Discernment member. She is a certified outdoor education teacher and ropes course facilitator. Jess is a founding member of Improv for Change, an improv skills workshop for businesses and non-profits. In her spare time she enjoys playing guitar, writing sketch comedy, filming movies, home brewing, and loves the Chicago Bears.
Jess and her wife Rebecca have a Border Collie (Ella) and a "lion" main coon (Tonks). Jess and Rebecca have a daughter named Eliza.
John Dally was hired by former COS rector Wilson Reed to assist him in 1987, when John had moved to Chicago from California to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He met his husband, Todd Young, the following year when they served together at Food for Friends, then called Saturday Lunch. He completed his doctorate in Religion and Literature in 1994 and joined the faculty of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. John taught preaching at Seabury for fifteen years but now holds the appointment of Professor of Theology and Culture. In recent years he has become keenly interested in the way images and music help individuals and communities express deeply-held theological convictions and insights into the riches of an ancient faith. Many COS'ers got a taste of his work in the parish retreats he has led for us since 2012. He and Todd have written and directed the COS Christmas pageant for the past fourteen years.
Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in northern New Jersey, and did 2/3 of his higher education in Boston, MA. Between his undergraduate years at Boston College and his medical school education at Boston University, he spent a year teaching at a Jesuit high school in Belize City, Belize. He then worked for a couple of years as a mental health counselor in Boston. Anthony arrived in Chicago in June 1989 to train at Michael Reese Hospital as an Internist and began full time practice in 1992. By 2007, he finally relented to God's call and the call of the church and began his theological studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, finished his M.Div. and a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Seabury-Bexely in May of 2012. He was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate in June of 2013 and then as a priest in the Episcopal Church December 14th, 2013. Prior to coming to COS, he assisted at St. James Cathedral in Chicago. Anthony is married to Giovanni Colucci, an Italian national and together they enjoy travel, cooking, hiking and taking long walks together.
Richard was born in Pittsburgh and did most of his schooling in the east. In 1992 Richard came to Chicago and made it his well-loved home. He has been a priest for over 30 years with the early part of his priesthood dedicated to serving small rural parishes. Since coming to Chicago Richard has engaged in both clinical care (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) with his outpatient psychotherapy practice and university teaching. Currently he is an Associate Clinical Professor at Northwestern’s Medical School and an Adjunct Professor in DePaul’s Religious Studies and Psychology departments. In 2010 Richard received his PhD and is a specialist in Christian Origins (Specifically Q Studies and how Christianity came into being). In his spare time Richard enjoys cooking, reading, and keeping fit with his wife Mina Dulcan, MD.
Anne was born and raised in Concord, MA and received her undergraduate degree from Simmons College, Boston. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Iowa in 1977, and worked as a social worker for a number of years. She then answered the call to the ministry and graduated from Seabury-Western in 1984. She has had ministries in a number of settings, including cathedral ministry, cluster ministry ecumenical ministry and college chaplaincy. She retired in 2015 and moved back to Chicago to pursue a second career as a professional actor.