Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie, Organist
Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie is an American born Ghanaian organist. He began his musical studies at the tender age of 8, learning the alto saxophone in his school band. He later took on the piano which has now brought him to the organ. As an emerging young African American organist, Sam’s goal is always to inspire young people, especially minorities who are not well represented in the field of classical music. He likes to encourage young people to get involved with music and learn an instrument. He also incorporate his love for contemporary and African music in his musical studies. In February of 2016, Sam was a prize winner of the Brooklyn chapter AGO (American guild of organist) scholarship award. Sam currently studies organ performance with Dr.Annie Laver at Syracuse University. Sam’s wish is to become a performer and motivational speaker who uses his talent to inspire and encourage young people, especially minorities in music. Sam’s devotion to Christ and the music ministry is what keeps him motivated.
Wardens and Officers
Mike Hungerford, Warden
I am married to Margaret Ryniker with whom I have four children. I was a member of Grace in the 1980s, and served on the Vestry and as a Warden at that time. I returned in 2014, attracted by Graces’s social justice ministries and am involved in Grace’s anti-hunger programs (Matthew 25 farm and Food Pantry). I have been a vestry member since January, 2016.
Sarah Reks, Warden
Dr. Sarah Reks is a staff scientist in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where she teaches students and conducts research on diseases of the eye. She is married to Imants Reks and has two adult children, Ariana and Matthew. She offers the following:
“I am a life long Episcopalian and along with my husband, Imants, have been a member of Grace since 2005. I have served previously as a warden and on the vestry. I have worn many hats over the last decade including youth group leader, lay reader and Eucharistic minister and food pantry team member. I was privileged to serve on the planning committee for our yearlong focus on race and reconciliation in honor of the 50th anniversary of the integration of our church. I have most recently been involved in developing our emerging prison ministry for teenage boys. I have been an active member of many churches throughout my adult life, but in Grace I have truly found my spiritual home and family. I am grateful for this caring Christian community that has nurtured, supported and challenged me to live more fully into the person God desires me to be.”
Terri Jennings, Clerk of the Vestry
I was married in Grace Episcopal Church in May, 2014, and have been a parishioner since. I am thankful for the spiritual home I found at Grace Church, and drawn to the diversity and social conscience of the leadership and congregation.
I look forward to serving as Clerk to the Vestry for a 2nd year. Grace Church is welcoming, non-judgmental, progressive and spiritually uplifting. I’m privileged to be a member of the Grace congregation and to serve the Vestry in my role as Clerk.
Retired from government service (in agencies providing services in Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Child Protective Services), I subsequently worked part-time for several non-profit agencies as Corporate Compliance Officer. Currently, I am employed at a local non-profit agency as Volunteer Coordinator for the Senior Companion Program, and am an active member of the local chapter of the National Federation for the Blind.
Margaret Ryniker, Treasurer
I returned to Grace in 2008. I am a lifelong Episcopalian. I am married to Michael Hungerford and we have four children. I have a great dog and I like to quilt!
The spirit of Grace and its loving congregation lift my soul.
Vestry Members At-Large
I am honored and excited to serve on the Grace Church vestry as it helps the parish live into God’s love for our neighborhood and world. My wife, Kate, and I have two boys, Eric and Robin, and have been attending Grace since 1997.
In addition to serving as co-chair of the Property Committee, I schedule our Lay Ministers who assist with worship.
I’ve been a communicant of Grace Church since October, 2013. What attracted me to Grace is a diverse, welcoming congregation that gave me the feeling of being part of their faith family from the moment I walked in the door. Being a member of the vestry gives me the opportunity to share with others, the gifts and talents that God has blessed me and my family with.
Currently, in addition to serving as a vestry person I am a chalice server, lay reader, lay Eucharistic visitor, and Food Pantry liaison. I am also a member of the Sustainability
Committee and a member of the cook crew for the Wednesday Night Community Supper. I love being a member of Grace and doing a small part in serving our community. Grace Church is a wonderful loving community that wholeheartedly welcomes all people.
I became a member of Grace Church at a young age. Participated in various youth groups including Adventures In Education, Sunday School, Youth Choir, and camping trips. To be a member on the Vestry is an honor for me. Grace is home and I feel spiritually fed when I come to this welcoming and loving community.
My family members, my husband Gary, and my daughters Samantha and Sakari and her husband Ali and my grandson London, will occasionally surprise me by attending Sunday worship. Thanks be to God.
I enjoy attending Sunday services at Grace, and am proud to serve as a member of the Vestry. I also enjoy my ministry as a member of The Grace Project. As a member of 100 Black Men, I work in the community mentoring at-risk youth. I am an author whose book was nominated for the YMCA 2015 CNY Book Awards for the best non-fiction book. I had a stroke and three brain tumors in 2007. I have four sons: Jabril, Damon I, Sean & Tahjamere and two daughters: Michelle and Jameka. My life motto is: It Gets Greater Later! I have enjoyed life with my beautiful fiancé Angela for twenty years and look forward to many more years to together.
Charles (Chuck) Vanderpool
In the fall of 1963 my wife Gloria and I were looking to join a church. Since five of my family members had joined Grace from St. Philips, we decided to join! My three daughters, Renee, Lisa and Bridget were baptized at Grace. I have been at Grace for 54 years now. Hopefully, as a member of the vestry I can help to pull our thoughts together and make good decisions.