Clergy, Staff & Vestry


The Reverend Jeffrey A. Packard, Rector

Father Packard is a son of St. Andrew’s.  He was born and raised in State College.  Baptized at St. Andrew’s as an infant, he grew up participating along with his family in parish activities—Sunday School, youth group, serving as an acolyte—and was confirmed by Bishop Dean Stevenson.  After graduating from State College Area High School, he attended Penn State where he majored in psychology.  He met his wife Sian (pronounced “Shawn”) while at Penn State. They were both active in the campus student ministry.  The two were married just after graduation.  Father Packard worked in a psychiatric hospital for three years, and then went to the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 1992.  He graduated with a masters in divinity in 1995. Their first child was born that same year.  Ordained a deacon by Bishop Charlie McNutt, Father Packard came to be the curate at St. Andrew’s serving under Father Larry Hofer during his second year as rector.  He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael Creighton at St. Andrew’s on his thirtieth birthday.

Father Packard is delighted to be back in State College after more than 20 years away, during which he served parishes in northern Pennsylvania and in Virginia.  Along with their three adult children, his wife Sian and their many animals, he is settling into being the rector of the parish he loves so much and for so long.


The Reverend Edward B. Christopher, Assistant Rector

The Rev. Edward (Ted) Christopher splits his ministry between St. Andrew’s, where he serves as Assistant Rector, and Pennsylvania State University, where he is Episcopal Campus Chaplain. Ted was ordained deacon (transitional) in May of this year, after having completed a course of study at the Stevenson School for Ministry in our diocese. In addition to this emerging ministry in the church, Ted is on the faculty at Penn State, where he serves as Artistic Director of Opera and Professor of Music (voice). He is married to Betha, who leads the early childhood music program at the Music Academy in town, and he is father to Madi, Bryson, and Anna who keep him busy and engaged and (usually) delighted. Ted is a cradle-Episcopalian with a deep love for our church, its traditions, and its heritage. He is also keenly interested in the emerging church, and the ways in which the Holy Spirit is continuing to form and reform the Jesus movement. He loves good food, good music, good theatre, and good company. He believes that faith formation is a life-long process and he is eager to support folks wherever they are on the path.

The Reverend Kevin M. Lowe, Deacon

The Rev. Kevin M. Lowe was ordained to the diaconate in December 2023, and anticipates being ordained to the priesthood in the summer of 2024. He has lived in State College since 2007, and he and his wife Sarah have been members of St. Andrew’s since 2014. He is completing his Masters of Divinity at Bexley Seabury Seminary in Chicago, and also serves as a deacon at St. John’s in Bellefonte. Deacon Kevin is also a historian of American religion, an active local musician, and father to Julia.


Allison Shea, Parish Secretary,

allisonAllison and her husband Dennis moved to State College in 1990 when Dennis started teaching   at Penn State. They joined St. Andrew’s in 1996 following the birth of their daughter, Caroline. Until Allison joined the St. Andrew’s staff, Caroline and her brother Connor, born in 2001, kept her occupied as a stay-at-home mom. At St. Andrew’s, Allison has volunteered with the pre-school which both children attended, taught Church School, assisted at Vacation Bible School, worked on many fundraisers and dinners for the parish and youth programs, served as a soup maker at the Community Café, managed the Gift Shop, served a term on Vestry, and continues to play violin for the 5:00 Sunday service and serve on the Parish Life Committee. She has a degree in English and Psychology from the College of William and Mary and has worked as an impaired risk life insurance brokerage manager and an event planner for Encore Books.

Heather Gregory, Director of Youth Ministry,

Hi! I am so excited to be the new Director of Youth Ministries at St. Andrew’s church. I have lived in State College since August 2022. Before moving here, I lived in Huntingdon, Pa. I have 3 children. Noah, 17, Andrew, 15, and Evelyn, 12. I love my rescue animals! I have 3 dogs and four cats! Right now, I am fostering four kittens through the Huntingdon Humane Society. I love the outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, biking, and rock climbing are so much fun for me! If you ever want to dangle off a rock, I’m your women!

Robin Bastress, Director of Children’s Ministry,

Robin has been a member of St. Andrew’s since 1965. She lives in Spring Mills with her husband B.K., their dog and two cats. She and her husband were married at St. Andrew’s. Her father, the Reverend Derald Stump officiated. Their daughters, Madison and Samantha, were baptized and confirmed at St. Andrew’s and served as acolytes in their teens. Robin has always loved the beauty, good work, and community of our church. The friendships among the teachers and families at St. Andrew’s have been very meaningful to her. She loves sharing the lessons from scripture and church traditions with our children and learning from their wonder and faith. She is honored to join our staff to help coordinate the classes and learning experiences for our children. Robin has been a teacher since 1983. She also teaches in the State College Area School District.

Scott Luzier, Sexton

scottScott was born and raised in Clearfield and attended Clarion University. He worked for several years as a machine technician and for Murata Electronics and has been self-employed. He enjoys spending time with family, watching football, fishing and working around the house. Scott and his wife, Sara, live in Spring Mills. They have two children, Devin, who helps at Saint Andrew’s when needed, and Courtney.


Walter Wells, Choir Director

walterWalter has been choir director at Saint Andrew’s since 1976. He is a graduate of Penn State and was in the army in Arlington, Va., where he continued to study music and met his wife, Molly, who sings in the choir. After graduate school he came to Saint Andrew’s and worked for the Arts and Humanities Library at Penn State. He has written numerous works for organ and for choirs.

In addition to his work at Saint Andrew’s, Walter has been active in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, serving as a member of the Diocesan Liturgy and Music Commission and teaching classes for the School of Christian Studies. He has conducted choirs for various diocesan events, including the  visit to the diocese of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, and for the consecrations of Bishop Baxter and Bishop Scanlan. He is an honorary lay canon of the cathedral in Harrisburg.  Walter is also a member of the Anglican Association of Musicians, and of the American Choral Directors Association. He serves on the board of directors for its Pennsylvania chapter.

Gwen Catchen, Organist

gwenGwen has been organist at Saint Andrew’s Church since 1983. Gwen holds a Master of Fine Arts from Penn State and a Bachelor of Music from Syracuse University. She studied organ with Donald Sutherland and June Miller.

Gwen has been a church musician since her high school years. She served as choirmaster and organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., as a choir member at St. Bartholomew’s in New York City and assistant organist at First United Methodist Church in Ponca City, Okla., before coming to Saint Andrew’s. Gwen is a member of the Diocesan Music and Liturgy Commission, the American Guild of Organists and the Association of Anglican Musicians.

Michele Marini, Financial Secretary,

Michele moved to the State College area in 2004 with her husband Rich, and her now adult children Christopher and Michael. Michele and Rich immediately joined the congregation of Saint Andrews, and Michael and Chris were involved in Christian youth education programs and served as acolytes.
Michele became a Daughter of the King ( ) in 2000, and started a Daughters chapter at St. Andrew’s in 2006. Daughters take a vow to pray daily, to serve their rector and church, and to bring others closer to Christ. Serving as financial secretary fulfills one part of that vow by serving the parish. Michele is very active with Daughters, bringing multiple parishes together to form the Diocesan Assembly of Central Pennsylvania, has served as chapter and diocesan presidents and now serves as president for Province III DOK. Michele also serves on the Diocesan Evangelism Committee and as a delegate to Annual Convention for St. Andrew’s. At St. Andrew’s Michele recently served as Senior Warden on the vestry, and currently serves as a lector, lay eucharistic minister and visitor, is a member of the altar guild, is a coffee hour host, ushers, and serves as head of Parish Life. Michele, along with Marge Fleming and Lorna DonTigny formed a prayer quilt group, which supplies handmade quilts, that have been tied and prayed over, to those who can use a tangible form of prayer. They especially enjoy making baptismal quilts to welcome the newest members of our congregation. Michele also coordinates a national prayer calendar and compiles a prayer request list.
Michele worked for 16 years as a data analyst/statistician for Penn State’s Center for Childhood Obesity Research before retiring in 2022. Prior to that she worked for 12 years as the Assistant Director of the Statistical Consulting Center at Virginia Tech, so numbers are near and dear to her heart. Away from church Michele and Rich have bred and shown nationally ranked championship Bearded Collies since 1986 and Michele serves as treasurer for the Nita-Nee Kennel Club. Michele and Rich live in Stormstown with their 6 dogs and 2 puppies. She loves to quilt, to bake, and to spend time with their children (both 2-legged and 4-legged) and grandchildren (Theo and Bennett).

Julie Kwasnica, Treasurer,

Julie became a member of Saint Andrew’s when she and her husband Tony were received in 2001. She accepted the position of Treasurer in April 2019, but before that had been the Nursery Coordinator since 2006, and the Interim Youth Ministry Coordinator for one year.  Julie, Tony and their now adult daughters, Anna and Marlee, were actively involved at St. Andrew’s for many years, until they relocated to Tallahassee, Florida in November 2023.  Julie now works remotely and is able to fulfill all her Treasurer duties from afar, but does miss her St. Andrew’s friends and coworkers.

Olivia Blake, Nursery Attendant

Olivia works in the nursery along with a volunteer every Sunday.  Olivia is an undergraduate student at Penn State majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.  She comes from Severna Park, Maryland.  Olivia has loads of experience working in childcare, including working in an after-school daycare program at an Episcopal church in Maryland and working as a full-time nanny.  She works hard along with our volunteers to provide a safe and stimulating environment for our youngest members.



Vestry is the governing board of the parish. Members are elected by the congregation at the annual parish meeting in January and serve three-year terms conducting the secular business of the parish.

One of its traditional functions is to oversee the finances of the church but, along with the rector, the vestry also has a responsibility for the physical upkeep, if not enhancement, of the physical plant. As in many other Episcopal parishes, the vestry at Saint Andrew’s has developed interests in addition to finances and building maintenance. Each vestry member serves as a liaison to a particular ministry of the parish (e.g., Christian education, finance, companion parishes, investments, spiritual life, community outreach, music). In coordination with the rector, the vestry promotes the spiritual welfare of the church and engages in long-range planning. The members of vestry also serve as allies of and consultants to the priest in his service to the church, community, diocese and the national church. The rector is an ex officio member of the vestry and presides at its meetings. The leaders of the vestry at Saint Andrew’s are referred to as the Senior Warden (sometimes called Rector’s Warden) and the Junior Warden (sometimes called People’s Warden).




Term Expires 2024

Julie Breuninger
Carolyn Donaldson
Sarah Klinetob Lowe
Fran Stevenson

Term Expires 2025

Kathy Dittmann
Daniel Foster
Rich Marini
Sanford Schwartz

Term Expires 2026

Candace Davison
Katie Gaines
Anthony Grillo
Andrea McCloskey

Treasurer:  Julie Kwasnica          

Financial Secretary:  Michele Marini

Clerk: Beth Jones


Vestry Meeting Minutes

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Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church
208 West Foster Avenue
State College PA 16801
ph. (814) 237-7659