Our Priest Associate

The Rev. Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy (Reverend Gwyneth or Rev G) grew up in White Plains.  She attended Barnard College and Fordham Law School.  While practicing law in Manhattan, she became a member of  St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery and took sacred dance classes at Trinity Wall Street. 

She graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was ordained in the Diocese of Utah where she served in parish, campus, and youth ministry;  was a hospital and hospice chaplain; and taught Feminist Theology at a college and university.  She began a ministry of retreats and spiritual direction and became a Certified Spiritual Director.  She has also served in the Diocese of California.

Celtic Spirituality, Creation Theology, Feminist Thought are integral to her life and ministry. She facilitates Bible Study where “we draw on our reason and experience as we wrestle with what a passage means in our individual and communal lives.”  She is a student of Brother Don Bisson, OFM, who engages the Gospel as an invitation to a grounded, conscious and joyous life which leads to ministry for social change and justice.   

In 2007 she was called to serve as Vicar at St. Andrew’s New Paltz and to found the Episcopal Chaplaincy at SUNY New Paltz.   In 2013 she began doing Interim ministry in the Diocese.  She moved to Rhinebeck in December, and is glad to be back in the Mid-Hudson Region. On her first Sunday in town she attended Messiah, and was warmly welcomed at her new home parish.  She was delighted when Fr. Richard asked her to be a (non-stipendiary) Associate Priest, and looks forward to a deepening relationship with the parish.

Our Director of Music

Timothy Lewis has served as Director of Music at The Church of the Messiah since 2015. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where his teachers included Alec Wyton, Amy Kaiser and Dennis Keene. He has been heard in concert at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the early music series at St. Peter’s Church, and at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church where he performed the New York premiere of Ruth Schonthal’s The Temptation of St. Anthony. Lewis, whose articles on church music have been published by Yale University, is a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

Our Director of Family Programs

Messiah’s Director of Family Programs, Gilda Lyons, has been balancing her commitment to education and to building community with her work as an active professional composer, vocalist, and visual artist since she received her Ph.D. in Music Composition in 2005. Lyons’ approach as educator centers on the mindful exploration of new ideas and received traditions through organic, inclusive, student-led dialog augmented by artistic practice at the highest level. In addition to her work at Messiah, Lyons teaches composition at The Hartt School, University of Hartford, CT and at the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy in Virginia. She serves on the Board of Advisors of Composers Now and as Artistic and Executive Director of The Phoenix Concerts, New York’s “intrepid” and “plucky Upper West Side new-music series” (The New Yorker). More information about Lyons’ work as composer, vocalist, recording artist, presenter, educator, and visual artist can be found at www.gildalyons.com.

Our Parish Administrator

Nicole Close graduated from Boston University in May 2016, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She lives in Hyde Park with her parents and her two sisters, one of whom is her identical twin. Nicole started working here at Messiah in April 2017 and has immensely enjoyed getting to know everyone.

Our Parish Sexton

For many years, Peter Thai has been custodian of the Parish Hall, Donegan Hall, Weigel Hall and the Church. He enjoys caring for our buildings and helping in many ways. He lives in Rhinebeck with his wife and three beautiful children.