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William J. Danaher, Jr.Rev. William Danaher, Jr.


The Reverend Dr. William J. Danaher, Jr. has been called to serve as the 8th Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook.

Father Bill is a gifted and award winning preacher and published author. He comes to Christ Church Cranbrook from serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Huron University College, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario. He also served as Theologian in Residence at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario.

Since being ordained in 1995, he has served parishes in New Haven, New York City, Sewanee (TN), and London, Ontario. His managerial and financial responsibilities at Huron included managing a budget of $1 million, raising over $3.5 million for chairs in pastoral theology and Islamic Studies, and supervising staff and curricula for academic programs that serve over 500 students.

Father Bill holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University, a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and Masters and a PH. D. in Religious Ethics from Yale University. He and his wife, Claire Danaher have been married for 24 years. They have two daughters, Phoebe and Thea.

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Joyce Matthews

Associate Rector

The Reverend Joyce M. Matthews has always enjoyed helping others. Her previous career was in Respiratory Therapy. She worked in hospitals, homecare and higher education. She believes her healthcare experience helped prepare her for priesthood.

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Jonathan Sams, Associate Priest for Spiritual FormationJonathan Sams

Associate Priest for Spiritual Formation

The Reverend Canon Jonathan Sams was born in Charleston, S.C., and grew up in Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago Laboratory School and Oberlin College, and obtained an M. Div. Degree from Nashotah House Seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1966 and served was an Assistant at the Church of the Ascension in Chicago until 1967, when he began an eleven year tenure as Chaplain of Lawrence Hall Youth Services in Chicago. In 1973 he moved to a farm in Northern Indiana and served as a retreat leader and consultant for youth programs across the United States and Canada. In 1981 he became Rector of St. Timothy’s Church in Griffith, Indiana, and served there until 1991, when he became Rector of St. Stephen’s in Troy, MI, where he served until retirement in September, 2011.

Father Sams has been married to Nancy Irey-Sams since 1999. They live in Troy and are the parents of six children: Jason, 32, works at Kohl’s, lives in Rochester Hills, MI, and is the father of Jayden, 8, and Teagan, 6; Caitlin Lester Sams, 26, and her husband, Michael, live in New York City, where she is pursuing an acting career; James, 24, lives at home and is employed at Kroger’s; David, 21, lives in Detroit and attends Wayne State University; Zachary, 21, attends Kettering University in Flint; Katie, 19, attends Michigan State University.

Jonathan is an associate of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist monastic community in Cambridge, MA, and participates frequently with a Lutheran monastery, St. Augustine’s House, in Oxford, MI. He fishes, hunts, plays the guitar, and writes about his experiences on his blog,

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Jill Bednas

Director of Youth Ministries

Jill Bednas was born and raised in Michigan and holds a degree in Communications from Michigan State University. She was confirmed and then married at Christ Church Cranbrook in 2001 to Scott Bednas, a lifelong Episcopalian. They have two boys, (Pierce and Reece) and recently moved from Glen Ellyn, Illinois back to Michigan to be closer to their families. Jill was very involved in her former church , St. Mark’s Episcopal church, during the eleven years they lived there. She taught middle school Sunday School, helped build the St. Mark’s Preschool and lead the Parish Life hospitality ministry before taking a staff position as Director of Children’s Ministries in 2011. For the past three and a half years Jill successfully lead and grew the children’s programs, offering formation from nursery through fifth grade at all three services, including a new Spanish Language Service.

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Peggy Dahlberg, Director of Parish Programs, Youth & ChildrenPeggy Dahlberg

Director of Communications

Peggy has been a member of CCC since 1984 when she and Lyle were married here.  They have two sons, Mike and Jimmy who are also members at CCC.  Peggy was a member of the Vestry from 2006 to 2009 and for the last year was Junior Warden.  She worked as a volunteer training and scheduling the acolytes for many years in addition to other volunteer activities before coming on board as a member of the staff.

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Kathy Doyle, Parish AdministratorKathy Doyle

Parish Administrator

Prior to joining Christ Church Cranbrook, Kathy held various management, accounting, and finance positions. As Parish Administrator, she oversees all business aspects of the church. Kathy lives in Rochester with her husband, Dan, and has one child, Nick, who lives and works in the Metro-Detroit area.

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Patricia Hirvonen, Admin. Asst. to the RectorPat Hirvonen

Administrative Assistant to the Rector

Pat has been at Christ Church Cranbrook since January 1995. She enjoys the variety of opportunities that her job provides, especially interacting with the clergy, staff, and parishioners. This experience has been a great blessing in her life.

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Debbie Moore, Parish AccountantDebbie Moore

Parish Accountant

Debbie brings over 25 years of accounting experience from working with her husband Geoff at his CPA firm of Moore & Moore, P.C. Early retirement due to Geoff’s sudden blindness encouraged Debbie to explore other accounting opportunities. Debbie believes that joining our staff is a gift she received during the most difficult time in her and her family’s life. Debbie is committed to sharing the heartwarming outreach she has experienced from the Clergy, Staff and Parishioners and is dedicated to her accounting responsibilities for the Parish.

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Jessica Neeper

Director for Children’s Ministries

Christ Church Cranbrook has been home to Jessica for many years. She served as an acolyte in her teens. Jessica received a degree in Interior Design from Michigan State University. She and her husband were married at CCC and both children, Aiden and Ellie, were baptized here. Her daughter Ellie was baby Jesus in the Festival of gifts in 2004. She has been a Sunday school teacher for 9 years in the 3rd and 4th grade. She has led Bible studies for women. It is with great joy that Jessica serves the children and their families at Christ Church Cranbrook.

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390527_581637133174_617564387_nChristopher Reynolds

Associate Director of Music

Dr. Christopher Reynolds has been at Christ Church Cranbrook since December 2009. At CCC, he accompanies the Parish Choir, provides service music for all services, and other duties within the Music Department. Dr. Reynolds  is also responsible for preparing the weekly service leaflets.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Christopher was the Organist & Choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Boonsboro, MD. Christopher also served as Interim Director of Music at Guardian Lutheran Church in Dearborn, MI, and served as Interim Organist at First Presbyterian in Birmingham, MI. Christopher is currently the Sub-Dean for the Detroit Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as well as their newsletter editor.

Christopher earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance and Church Music at the University of Michigan, studying with world renowned organist, Dr. Marilyn Mason. He also completed both a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, with a Performance Certificate in Organ, and a Master of Music in Organ Performance at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Former teachers include David Kelley, Dr. Steven Cooksey, and Dr. W. Dudley Oakes. In 2012, Christopher earned the Choirmaster certification from the AGO.

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Jeffrey Smith

Interim Director of Music

Since 2009, Jeffrey Smith has served on the faculty of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  He was previously Canon Director of Music at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, where he conducted its Choir of Men and Boys in an extensive liturgical program, devised tours and recordings, and directed a weekly concert series. Smith was Music Director at Saint Paul’s Parish, K Street, in Washington D.C. from 1992 to 2004.

In addition to his doctoral degree from Yale University, Smith holds degrees and diplomas from Northwestern University, the Royal College of Music, and Royal College of Organists. He won highest honors in receiving the Fellowship of the American Guild of Organists and was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music in 2004. The Archbishop of Canterbury presented him with an Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians in 2011.
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Richard Waldbott, Jr.


Richard started at Christ Church Cranbrook on February 25, 1985, after an illustrious ten year career at Montgomery Ward.

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Henry WilletteHenry Willette


Henry has recently joined Christ Church Cranbrook as a Sexton. Prior to CCC, Henry was an engineering and business manager in the Detroit automotive community. Henry is married to a high school science teacher and has two grown children in university. Henry thinks Christ Church is a very special place and is happy to be part of the team.

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