The Rev. Ana Rivera-Georgescu
The Rev. Ana Rivera-Georgescu brings warmth, energy and a deep faith to her service as rector of Grace Church. She is dedicated to spreading God’s love – both in worship and everyday acts — throughout Syracuse and the Central New York communities.
Rev. Ana has an unusual background for an Episcopal priest. Her professional journey began as a police officer in New York City in the 1990s. She has worked in prisons as a corrections officer, rehabilitation coordinator, and chaplain. Prior to being called to serve at Grace in 2020, Rev. Ana was coordinating chaplain at Bare Hill Correctional Facility in Malone, NY, where she worked with spiritual leaders and inmates of many faiths. Her work with young adults and children includes serving as campus minister at SUNY Plattsburg and caring for children with mental health and learning challenges in the Bronx.
Rev. Ana graduated from the Nashotah House Theological Seminary in 2013 and was ordained in 2013 (Cathedral of All Saints, Albany). She has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling (Texas Tech), a bachelor’s degree in community and human services (SUNY Empire), and an associate’s degree in psychology (Clinton Community College). Rev. Ana is bilingual (Spanish and English) and looks forward to adding Spanish-language worship services at Grace.
Rev. Ana’s family includes her husband, Florin Georgescu, and children Crystal, Michael, and Maria Georgescu.
Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie, a student of organ performance at Syracuse University, served as organist of Grace Church from 2016 until his graduation in 2020. Samuel is currently an organist at St. John the Divine, New York City. Grace Church is presently searching for an organist for when in-person services begin again, and hopes to attract another talented SU student.
Wardens and Officers
(term year in parentheses)
Susan Keeter, Warden (2022)*
Susan Keeter, a lifelong Syracusan, has been a member of Grace for nearly 20 years. She helped lead the church’s celebrations of O-ku-ha-tah and St. Philip’s Church and produced the book, “Amazing Grace.” Her daughter, Sara, was an acolyte and daughter, Emma, cares for children during Sunday worship. Keeter’s family is multi-faith: Baha’i, Jewish and Christian. Outside of church, Keeter works at Upstate Medical University in marketing and for MB Artists doing illustration. Most recently, Keeter and her daughters have been doing mission work in Ghana, focusing on reproductive health and disabilities.
Barbara Slater, Warden (2022)
Barbara Slater worked as a teacher at Corcoran High School. Since joining Grace Church in 2006, she has been a lector, taught Sunday School, and been part of the team that operates Grace Church’s long-standing food pantry for the needy of the community. She has served as warden since 2018.
Cathie Bellaco Smith, Clerk of the Vestry
Joel Winkelman, Treasurer
Jamal Adams (2022)
Michael Atkins (2023)
John Auwaerter (2023)
Mary Lou Clark (2022) *
Sabrina Coleman (2022)*
Willson Cummer (2023)
Ernestine Patterson (2022) *
Audrey Zaccarya (2022)
*The two-year term of the senior warden and three-year terms of three vestry members that expired in 2021 were extended by one year to promote continuity during the pandemic, per authorization of the vestry and vote of the parish at the annual meeting, January 31, 2021.