meet our clergy, staff, and volunteer leaders
The Rev. Adam Kradel, PhD – Rector
Fr. Adam was reared and ordained in the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. He has served parishes in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and Dioceses of West Virginia, Chicago, Milwaukee, Pennsylvania, and Central Pennsylvania.
After serving parish full time for a three years, Fr. Adam entered a doctoral program in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation examined the religious rhetoric used by United States Presidents and the reception of this rhetoric by the mass public.
Upon finishing his dissertation, Fr. Adam returned to parish life using experience gained in Political Science to help members of God’s Church negotiate being devout Christians in a post-Christendom culture.
Fr. Adam was drawn to St. John’s because of the deep sense of Christian community, the well-developed sacred music program, and the desire to increase the formation of devoted Christians both young and old.
He is the husband of the Rev. Melissa Wilcox, and father to three energetic children. In his spare time he cooks Russian kebabs on the grill and fights neighborhood bunnies in an attempt to grow his own lettuce.
The Rev. Melissa Wilcox, Assoc. Rector
The Rev. Melissa Wilcox was ordained a priest in 2001. Melissa is a fourth generation Episcopal priest, but the first female to take Holy Orders in her family. Melissa graduated from Colby College in Maine and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Before attending Seminary, Melissa served the church in the Diocese of Kagera, Tanzania. Melissa speaks fluent Kiswahili and is interested in issues of inculturation in liturgy. In seminary Melissa was head of the Seminary’s Mission Society where she continued to foster relationships in the Anglican Communion.
Melissa loves to preach and has served on the faculty of The Episcopal Church’s excellence in preaching program. She has had sermons published in the Sermons that Work preaching series.
Prior to being called to St. John’s, Melissa served churches in Chicago, Illinois and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She was also a university chaplain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
At St. John’s, Melissa oversees pastoral care, the newcomers’ program, and ministry with Dickinson students. She is delighted by the energy and leadership at St. John’s and the commitment to ongoing Christian formation that parishioners value. She feels deeply that the church is one of the last vestiges of true intergenerational community, where at its very best, the church is attending to the deepest questions of our lives—within the context of worship, fellowship, and service.
Melissa is married and also the mother to three lively children who can throw out theological zingers at the drop of a hat.
Aimee Confer, Dir. of Children & Youth
Aimee Confer directs our Children and Youth Ministries. She and her family have been a part of St. John’s Church since the 2009. Aimee has been an educator since 2000 and loves finding ways to spark a love of learning among children from birth to early adulthood.
There are so many ways to connect kids and their families with the church, and building relationships is key to creating lifelong learners and a lifelong relationship with God. Aimee enjoys helping children and youth find their place in the myriad of activities at St. John’s.
Aimee loves being with her husband, Dan, and her two kids, James and Emma. She also loves reading, cooking, and traveling.
Brian Rotz, Music Director
Brian Rotz grew up in Carlisle, PA, where he attended Mooreland Elementary and Lamberton Junior High. His early piano and organ lessons were with Helen Gotwald at Allison United Methodist Church. His undergraduate studies in music were at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN with Dr. Robert Rayfield.
In 1984, an all-faculty committee of the School of Music at Indiana University awarded Brian the prestigious Performer’s Certificate in Organ, and he won the National First Prize in Organ of the MTNA Collegiate Artists Competition. Brian earned a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University as a student of Mr. Wolfgang Rübsam, and did further study with Dr. Roberta Gary at University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music.
Brian has served as Assistant Organist/Choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN; Christ Church in Winnetka, IL; and St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport, LA.
While serving as Director of Music at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Middletown, OH, he worked towards a doctorate in music. He spent fifteen years in Toledo, OH—first as Director of Music and the Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, then at Monroe Street United Methodist Church as Director of Music.
Brian is a past Dean of the Toledo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and is a member of the Harrisburg Chapter of AGO, as well as the Carlisle Musical Arts Club. In 2014, Dickinson College appointed Brian as Contributing Faculty in Organ, Harpsichord and Collaborative Piano. He has been Music Director at St. John’s since 2010.
Larry Alexander, Parish Administrator
Larry was employed in the Supermarket industry for over 30 years, working for the Safeway and Ahold corporations before joining the staff at St. John’s as a second career. During the course of his life, he has been a member of nine parishes. He has been on the vestry of three parishes, served on the altar guild at six parishes, and served at the altar in all nine parishes.
Larry moved to Carlisle about seven years ago when Ahold opened a corporate office in town. He became a member of St. John’s after his move. His knowledge of the liturgy of the Anglican Church, and experience in office management, seem to have been a good fit for this position. Larry’s personal interests include iconography, antique church textiles, and genealogy.
Josh Edgington, Sexton
Josh Edgington is a cradle Episcopalian who was raised in Western Pennsylvania. His mother was a faithful member of St. John’s for many years. Josh joined the staff as sexton in 2015.
In addition to making sure St. John’s is a clean and welcoming space, Josh also ensures the building is organized for every function and group that uses the building. In addition to his work at St. John’s, Josh also runs a restoration business.