Clergy and Staff
St. Peter's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church enjoys the dedicated services of clergy, staff members and volunteers who help fulfill our mission. They include:
The Reverend Bruce D. Griffith, Th.D., Interim Priest-in-Charge
Bruce Griffith is Rector Emeritus of Christ Church, Oyster Bay. Originally ordained for the Diocese of Minnesota, he first served at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Minneapolis, and after returning to the University of Toronto as a Fellow of Trinity College, he successively served parishes in Western New York and Rochester before coming to Oyster Bay in 1987. During his priesthood he has served beyond the parishes as a member of a Diocesan Council, an Ecumenical Officer, a Chairperson of Liturgy and Music, a member of Standing Committee, a Bishop’s Search Committee, a Deputy to General Convention, and in the Diocese of Long Island as Professor of Systematic Theology at the George Mercer School, Examining Chaplain of the Diocese, Interim Rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights, and an Alternate Deputy to General Convention. His interim experience also includes time as Interim Rector of St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ, and Christ Church, Rochester, New York. He has recently served as an independent consultant to parishes in the dioceses of Long Island, Central New York, and Rochester.
A native of New Orleans, Mark Engelhardt has served in similar positions since 1973. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees from Louisiana State University and has studied organ and choral conducting in several venues in this country and in England. He is actually "returning" to this position at St. Peter's, having served here from 1984 - 1989. Leaving St. Peter's at that time, he was Organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, and Music Consultant for the Diocese of Massachusetts from 1989-2005. In that position, he was widely sought as conductor, conference music leader, and organist for many occasions at the local, regional, and national levels. Under his direction, the Cathedral Choir made a professional recording "Author of Light" and sang twice at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Leaving the Cathedral in 2005, he served as Lay Associate and Organist and Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in Salem, Massachusetts. His duties included Office Administration, some pastoral responsibilities and complete oversight of the music program. With the Rector, he founded the Choir School at Grace Church which seeks to educate young singers using the materials of the Royal School of Church Music.
Answering the call to once again serve at St. Peter's Church, he brings years of experience working as a lay professional in the Episcopal Church, and a deep sense of the mission and ministry of St. Peter's parish. The musical history of the parish includes a long-held association with the Royal School of Church Music and developing the choristers' program is a primary goal, while continuing and building upon the recognized standing of the Parish Choir as a significant leader in liturgical choral arts.
The Reverend E. Clare Nesmith, Day School Chaplain
The Reverend E. Clare Nesmith has served as the Executive Director of Episcopal Charities of Long Island and the Bishop’s Deputy for Stewardship since November 2007. Prior to that she served as Assistant Priest at St. John’s of Lattingtown in Locust Valley, having graduated from The General Theological Seminary in 2005. She was ordained to the diaconate in June 2005 and to the priesthood in February 2006.
She was born in Marietta, Georgia and moved to New York after receiving a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. In her life before seminary, she was a medical assistant/administrator in Manhattan and a professional singer. Mother Nesmith was active in church music professionally as a singer since college, and sang with the Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights choir for ten years prior to responding to a call to ordained ministry. These two professional tracks have formed her ministry in service and worship, and her readings in Anglican and Benedictine studies have helped form her spirituality.