The Rev. Jon Carl Strand, Rector
The Rev. Jon Strand has been serving at St. Paul's since 1998. He holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, M. Div 1992, a certificate from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, 1992 and a certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Wichita State University and a Bachelor of Music Performance (trumpet), 1988.
Prior to coming to St. Paul's in Natick, Jon served as Canon Resident at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland, Maine. His areas of ministry focus have been in church growth, organizational development, preaching, music, youth ministry, hospice work, and street ministry to the homeless. As a trumpeter, he has given recitals throughout New England.
Jon is an avid runner, kayaker, and an amateur telescope builder. He and his wife Beth, an oncology nurse practitioner, live in Natick and have three children, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mark.
Beth Folsom, Christian Formation Director
Beth grew up in nearby Framingham and studied history and Peace and Justice Studies at Wellesley College. After graduation, She moved to Washington, DC, for a yearlong internship at the National Archives, where she learned that historical research is fascinating, but that a career in archival work lacked the personal interaction that she was seeking. Beth stayed in Washington to attend graduate school, getting a Masters Degree in American history and worked toward a Doctorate in the same field. She moved back to Massachusetts in 2003, and has spent the past dozen years as a teacher, adjunct professor, and mom. She and her husband, Kelly, live in Framingham with their children, Maggie and Nate, two cats, and a dog. When she has time to herself she loves to make crafts of all kinds is a bookaholic who especially enjoys reading about American and Biblical history and archaeology.
Gigi Mitchell-Velasco, Music Director
Gigi Mitchell-Velasco is a multi-talented musician, organist, award-winning mezzo-soprano, flutist, pianist, and choir director. Growing up in Dallas, Texas, her first instrument was the organ, but she later mastered the flute, graduating as Bachelor of Music at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. She then became the Principal Flute at Sarah Caldwell's Opera Company of Boston until it folded in 1990, the same year she embarked on a 20-year international singing career as a mezzo-soprano. In 2009, she returned to playing the organ to rescue the music program of a church in Providence. With private organ studies, she has since become a much-sought organist and a Colleague of the American Guild of Organists. Gigi joined St. Paul’s in 2015, lives in Providence with her husband, tenor Noel Velasco, and three Pomeranians–Virgil, Max and Nibbler.
Jeanne Watts, Parish Administrator
Jeanne is the friendly voice that greets you over the phone, responds to parish emails, and is the smiling face that welcomes you to our church offices on the second floor of Gale House, next to the church itself. She has been with St. Paul’s since July 2014. Prior to coming to St. Paul's, Jeanne was a longtime middle school teacher in Natick public schools. Jeanne excels at multi-tasking for our busy and growing church. She is in the office weekday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Joe Kelley, Sexton
Joe has been with St. Paul’s since June 2015 and is in charge of the daily upkeep of the church buildings and grounds. He works closely with the Chair of our Property Committee to assure that the church space is welcoming and accessible to all.