The Reverend Charles Hamill
Charlie was born and raised as an Episcopalian in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Quaker Valley High School and later attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he received a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology.
After 13 years of living in Columbia, bartending for 8 of them, the Lord placed a call on Charlie's heart to pursue other endeavors. He moved back to Pittsburgh in 2007, eventually spending four months living in the Swiss Alps at L'Abri, founded in the 1960s by Francis Schaeffer as a place for people to work and study philosophy, religions and Christianity within the structure of a living Christian community. It was there that he truly began to feel his call to theology and ministry.
He came back to settle in Sewickley where he worked at The Sharp Edge Bistro as a cook, and later a bartender, for four years to support himself while attending seminary. He graduated from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in June, 2012, having served as a seminarian at St. Brendan's in Franklin Park for two years, and at St. Paul's in Mount Lebanon for several months. He was ordained as a deacon following graduation in June, began his ministry at Christ Church in July and was later ordained as a priest in December of 2012. Charlie served as Assistant Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Priest-In-Charge of All Saints Episcopal Church in Brighton Heights, a neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh.
During his nearly 5 ½ years of ordained ministry, Charlie has been involved in various ministries at both churches, including youth ministry, young couples' groups, men's Bible study, Eucharistic ministry and more. He's also assisted as a supply priest at Trinity Cathedral for four years, as well as serving on a variety of Diocesan Committees. He has a passion for preaching and teaching, writing poetry, and loves to chat about theology in general.
Charlie married his wife Bethany in June of 2013, and they welcomed their first child, a son, Owen, in March of 2018. Bethany and Charlie are thrilled beyond measure to be joining us at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.
They look forward to all that God has planned for them here at Grace Church.
The Rev. Judith A. Cowper, M. Div.
Judy was born near Boston, but grew up mostly on the UConn campus at Storrs, where her father was head of the physics department. She went to Windham High School, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class before following her sister to Carleton College in Minnesota. She had planned to major in mathematics like her sister, but became fascinated by a class in Eastern religions. When she wrote home that she wanted to change her major to religion, her father replied, “You WHAT?” He didn’t think there was much future for a woman in religion, and in the 1960’s he was probably right! Judy made peace with a math major when she realized that it had the fewest requirements of any major, giving her the opportunity to take classes in many other fields.
After college Judy began a career in computer programming, spending several years at the Yale Computer Center and eventually at a Hartford bank as Data Security Officer. A hunger for a theological education led her to Yale Divinity School, where she discovered a call to parish ministry to foster lay ministry. Earlier she had thought she was too much of an introvert to be a parish priest!
Judy graduated with a Master of Divinity magna cum laude in 1992. Her first position was as Deacon-in-Charge at Church of the Holy Advent in Clinton; even then there weren’t enough assistantships for all the new ordinands. She was ordained to the priesthood in January of 1993, making her Priest-in-Charge.
After five years at Holy Advent she went to Trumbull, CT, as Interim Rector of Grace Church there, and later to Morgantown, PA, as Rector of St. Thomas Church.
In 1975 Judy married Clive Cowper, a life-long Episcopalian. In 2003 they returned to Connecticut, settling in Middletown but choosing to worship at Grace Church in Old Saybrook, where Judy was ultimately named Pastoral Associate.