Racial Justice & Reconciliation
The Rev. Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon, LCSW is retired from the University of Delaware where she provided confidential counseling to the administrators, faculty, and staff. She also conducted diversity training to the entire staff and incoming students. She is a trained mediator and provided these services to the university community.
Committed and involved in and to our church since 1976 she has served our diocese as laity, and was a member of the first class of deacons in 2009. Deacon Cecily was appointed by Bishop Wayne Wright to serve as the chaplain of the Episcopal Campus Ministry. During her ten years as chaplain the number of students increased, one was ordained a priest, and a feeding program for students, Blue Hen Bounty, was established and served community residents during COVID. While laity, she was a member of the choir, alter guild, Christian Education, and vestry. In the diocese she served on Diocesan Council and the Disciplinary Board . She chaired a women’s spirituality group composed of several parishes in New Castle. She was a member of the committee for the Day of Repentance Service. Deacon Cecily also served on the steering committee for the newly renovated Camp Arrowhead. In addition, she has served as a board member of Episcopal Women’s History Project.
Deacon Cecily has been elected seven times by our diocese to be a deputy to General Convention, and now holds the distinction of senior deputy. She served as co-chair for two different commissions at two General Conventions.
She has also held executive positions as head of non-profit agencies. She was the assistant director of social Services for the country of Liberia. While assistant director of Eastside Medical center she over saw the building of the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center and hire its first physicians, dentists, office staff, and other staff members. While executive director of DAPI (Delaware Adolescent Program Inc), a state wide program for parenting and pregnant teens Deacon Cecily fought to keep state funding and enabled DAPI to become a United Way member. An advocate she was the only women and person of color to lobby in 1997 for the licensure of social Workers.
She has taught at Del tech, University of Delaware, and has been a field instructor for social work students at Temple University and Delaware State University Schools of Social Work.
Deacon Cecily has served on several boards: Big Brother, Big Sisters, Planned Parenthood, Open Door, and has been a Trustee of The Tatnall School. She has received several awards and was named as one of the People to Watch in the Delaware Magazine.
She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Wilmington Links where she can also live out her life’s calling of sharing the love of our Lord to our brothers and sisters.
Rev. Deacon Cecily is the associate deacon at St. Barnabas Episcopal Parish. Bishop Kevin S.; Brown appointed her missioner of RJRC in February 2023.
Meet the Racial Justice & Reconciliation
Charisse L. Rodgers is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong Episcopalian who has served on two vestries, been a church treasurer, been on the ECW Board and on the diocesan nominating and program committees as well as on Diocesan Council. Charisse was an alternate delegate to the 2012 General Convention and previously served as a board member of Cathedral Community Services, Inc. She is a member of the finance committee at the Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew. She volunteers for the Grand Opera House and is chairperson of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Interview Program Committee of Delaware. Charisse also currently serves as a Trustee at the Grand Opera House.
Bob Irwin attends Immanuel on the Green Episcopal Church in Old New Castle and has been a member there for over 20 years. He is currently a Eucharistic Minister and serves as the Junior Warden. As we navigated COVID and the period where there was no in-person worship, he was part of the team that recorded and posted all of the services to the Immanuel website. Bob serves the Episcopal Church in Delaware as an intake officer on the Disciplinary Board. He works with the board to seek to resolve conflicts by promoting healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life, and reconciliation among all involved or affected. He is currently employed as a director at the Delaware Department of Justice and leads a team of investigators that have a variety of responsibilities in supporting the mission of the Attorney General and state government. Bob graduated from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, with a Master of Science degree in criminal justice and criminology. He lives in New Castle, DE with his wife. They have four daughters and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Maria Perez Monzon is a retired physician who has served in private practice internal medicine as well as an occupational medical consultant for Astra Zeneca, DuPont, MBNA, Gore, and Chemours. While certified in addiction medicine she served as medical director of Brandywine Counseling and as consultant with Net Services.
Dr. Perez Monzon is an active member of St. Barnabas church in Wilmington. She has served as Sunday school teacher, on vestry, as well as outreach ministry, choir and in Becoming a Beloved Community ministry. Most recent she has accepted to serve on Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
She is the widow of Robert O’Neal of Mt. Cuba, four loving children, granddaughter Emma and multiple grand pets.
The Rev. Ted Olson was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1979 and is currently serving as associate priest at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lewes. He is also a licensed professional counselor. He was appointed to the RJRC by Bishop Brown in October 2020. He and his spouse, the Rev. Jack Anderson, a retired educator, live in Millsboro.
The Rev. Donna Jean Kiessling, was born in northern Jersey and raised in Pennsylvania. She moved to Delaware in 2012 to become the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna. DJ attended seminary part-time at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in an African American program entitled the Urban Theological Institute. It is during this time that DJ came to understand white privilege. She was ordained a deacon in May 2006 and a priest in September 2007. DJ worked 30 years in the business world as a secretary, computer programmer, and manager in the areas of law, small aircraft accidents, human resources, and pensions. She was appointed to the RJRC by Bishop Brown in 2023. DJ has served the Diocese in many other capacities since 2012. She lives in North Dover with two Yorkshire Terriers, Brady and Amadeo.
The Rev. Canon Lloyd S. Casson was the first rector of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew, Wilmington established by the 211th Annual Convention in 1996 by the consolidation of two historic parishes, one Black, one white. This year, 2021, marks the 25th anniversary of a vital multicultural congregation. Canon Casson retired from active ministry in June, 2007. Since 1964, Casson’s ordained ministry has involved work on many fronts within the Episcopal Church, by leadership roles in parishes, cathedrals, diocesan and Presiding Bishop’s staffs, Standing Committees, Executive Council, and General Convention. As a community leader, in Wilmington and elsewhere, Casson was a respected advocate for equality in public education, housing, employment, criminal justice, and other areas. He served on public and charter school boards, community agencies, and advocacy groups. At times, he was in the streets, involved in community organizing, peaceful demonstrations, and direct actions. In retirement, he serves as an occasional preacher, teacher, mentor, and spiritual guide. Casson is Rector Emeritus at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew where he also worships.
Dr. Sheridan Quarless Kingsberry is a retired professor of social work from Delaware State University. Prior to teaching, she served in management positions in higher education, and in non-profit and governmental institutions in New Jersey. She has served on several boards in New Jersey and Delaware (YWCA Delaware, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Delaware Chapter (President), Associate Alumnae of Douglass College, Primo Lecture Series, Trustee of Color, Serviam Girls Academy). Kingsberry has received several awards: NASW-DE Social Worker of the Year, Social Work Today Dedicated and Deserving Social Work Award, YWCA Delaware Rita Turner Leadership Award, New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission Keeper of the Dream Award, Douglass College Outstanding Alumnae Award, and New Jersey Outstanding Women of Achievement Award. She is committed to and passionate about work that will bring about diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Kingsberry worships at St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church in Wilmington. She was appointed Co-Chair of the RJRC by the Rt. Rev. Kevin S. Brown.