Parish Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Patrick J. Skutch, Rector

Patrick's email address is
Click here for Rev. Patrick Skutch's sermon archive.

The Rev. Patrick J. Skutch became Rector of St. Mary's in late April, 2015. Prior to coming to St. Mary's, Patrick was the Rector of Christ Church of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi from 2009.

Patrick served as Associate Rector for Youth and Young Adults at St. Martin in the Fields in Atlanta between 2005 and 2009. He graduated from The General Theological Seminary in New York and was ordained in 2005. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia in 2002.

Patrick’s wife Bonny taught gifted students at the elementary level in Hancock County, Mississippi. She had previously taught school in the Bronx and then in Atlanta, and is now employed in the Wilmette, IL, school district. Patrick, Bonny, their children Drew  and Charlotte  and beloved pets make their home in the rectory.

Zach Dyrda, Associate For Children and Youth Formation

Zach's email address is

Click here for Zach's Sermon Archive.

Zach is a nearly completed seminarian. He received an undergraduate degree in history at Northern Illinois University. He spent 2 1/2 years in college ministry at Northern Illinois University as a campus director. Zach has a passion for sharing his love for Jesus and knowledge of the Bible with all. He believes faith in Christ creates communities of deep fellowship that transform the lives.

Zach is a big nerd loving all things comics,movies, and Disney. Zach loves to read, swim, and make people laugh. Zach shares his life with his wonderful family. Zach's wife Melissa is the current manager of the Fruitful Yield store in Darien, Illinois. She has a love for yoga and is a certified instructor. Melissa and Zach recently grew their family by welcoming their son Lucas into the world. Melissa and Zach also have a furry baby named Oscar. Oscar is a chihuahua dachshund mix who was rescued from the streets of Oklahoma.


Sarah Sippl, Director of Music

Sarah's email address is

Sarah has been a member of the St. Mary’s family since 2012, when she was introduced as the Alto section leader for the Parish Choir.  She also served as assistant to the Treble Choir, and was asked to take on the role of Interim Director of Choirs in both 2015 and 2017.  In March of 2018, Sarah was offered the position of Director of Music, and is currently directing the church’s Parish, Treble, and Handbell Choirs, and assisting with St. Mary’s Gospel Choir.  

Brian Locke, Associate Director of Music and Parish Organist

Brian's email address is

Brian Locke joined the music staff at St. Mary's in March, 2018, having previously served on the music staff at St. James Cathedral, Chicago. He is a Chicago-based pianist, organist, coach, and répétiteur whose career spans throughout academia, opera, concertizing, and church music. For more information, please visit 

Who are Ministers?

The Book of Common Prayer lists lay-people as the primary ministers of the Gospel in the Episcopal Church. Clergy are set apart by the community to help lead and guide the congregation into the full strength and joy of the ministry and mission carried out by the priesthood of all believers.

The Rev. David Grauer, Deacon

David's e-mail address is
Click here for Rev. David Grauer's Sermon Archive

A deacon, ordained in 1989. David feels very privileged with deep love of ordained episcopal ministry and is committed to it's pastoral meaning and responsibilities. A dentist and author with his American Boards in Orofacial Pain. Managing the pain of others seems to part of his extended diaconate. Joan, his late wife, was a partner as well as a director and supporter of his passion in ministry. They have been blessed with two sons, Mark and John, and two grandchildren, John and Stephanie. 

The Rev. Laurie Michaels, Deacon

Laurie's email address is
Click here for Rev. Laurie Michael's sermon archive.

Deacon Laurie was ordained as a vocational deacon in the Diocese of Chicago on Feb 6, 2010.

She earned her BS in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University in 1974. She received her Registered Nursing Degree in 1981 and her Graduate Certificate in School Nursing in 1996. In May 2020 she received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction.

From 2010 through November 2019, Laurie served as deacon at St. Michael’s Barrington.

Her diaconal work in the world involved participating in mission trips to South Sudan and Haiti. She worked part-time for Bishop Anderson House as a hospital chaplain at Stroger Cook Country Hospital for 5 years.

In addition to her Spiritual Direction practice she is a Retreat Facilitator. She currently serves on the Diocesan Commission on Ministry.

The Rev. Jay Risk, Clergy Associate

Click here for Rev. Jay Risk's sermon archive.

The Rev. Jay Risk is the former  Executive Director of Bishop Anderson House, an agency of Episcopal Charities and Community Services. Bishop Anderson House is the Episcopal Church’s ministry in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago’s West Side. Bishop Anderson House provides Pastoral Care by comforting the sick and supporting those who care for them. The Parish Lay Chaplains’ Program has trained over 200 volunteers who serve in nursing homes, hospitals and congregations throughout Northern Illinois.