Our Staff Team
The Reverend Arrington Chambliss, Executive Director
Arrington was the co-founder and former Executive Director of Life Together. Ordained to Episcopal Priesthood in 2004, she served five years as Assistant/Associate Rector with the Church of St. Andrew in Marblehead, MA. Prior to ordination, she founded No Ordinary Time, an organization that worked primarily with young activists, artists and faith-based leaders to integrate faith, spirituality and reflective practice into their social justice work. Past work includes the National Community Service field for Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL), a campus organizing project; and Project Leadership Education Employment Opportunities (LEEO), an organization aimed at channeling the leadership skills of gang-affiliated young men. She is particularly interested in the intersection between the inner work of contemplative prayer, reflection and healing and the outer work of nonviolent action, reconciliatory dialogue, and community organizing to bring about social change and with God's help, grow the kingdom of God on earth.
Arrington was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She holds a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner and seven-year old daughter.
Natalie Finstad, Director of Leadership and Engagement
Natalie began her professional career as a community organizing fellow with Life Together, a program for young adults in the Episcopal Church. Here, Natalie experienced how organizing can simultaneously seek collective justice and develop an individual awareness of agency.
This inspired Natalie to lead organizing movements in Boston, New Zealand and Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, Natalie was an Episcopal Missionary and worked with young adults to found Tatua Kenya. Most recently, Natalie was the Executive Director for the Leadership Development Initiative. Natalie worked extensively as a teacher and consultant with organizations such as: The Harvard Kennedy School, St. Paul’s Richmond, Planned Parenthood, and the Global Episcopal Missionary Network. Natalie was a featured speaker at TEDx Beacon Street.
Natalie is a postulant for the Diaconate in the Diocese of Massachusetts and an Episcopal Church Fellow. Natalie enjoys traveling, staying active, hosting dinner parties, and reading memoirs.
Ramani Sripada, Director of Grants and Learning
Ramani is a human rights and social justice activist. She has professional background in public health and has led and participated on a variety of partnerships, coalitions and advisory committees on local, regional and national levels. Ramani is skilled in community organizing, strategic planning, organizational development, grant making, research and evaluation. She received a BA in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, and a MA in Applied Urban Anthropology from City College, New York, NY. She served as Deputy Director of MA Asian & Pacific Islanders for Health (MAP) for twelve years providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and managed a CDC-funded National and East Coast Regional API HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Program. Ramani held the position of Program Officer at MetroWest Health Foundation, overseeing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities and Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiatives and was Director of Programs and Services at Associated Grant Makers (AGM), and most recently held the position of Deputy Director at MA Alliance on Teen Pregnancy Prevention.
Yani Burgos, Grants and network WEaver
After being introduced to community organizing as a teenager, Yani has committed her life to community-led social change. For the last 10 years, she has explored how might different communities work together to build power, particularly among folks of color and LGBTQ+ communities. Prior to Episcopal City Mission, she worked with Mothers Out Front, supporting the mobilization of mothers, grandmothers, and other caregivers to ensure a swift transition away from fossil fuels. Yani received a BA in American Studies and Government from Smith College. She lives in Quincy, and enjoys finding innovative ways to use a slow cooker, chanting on the beach at sunrise, and searching for the latest and greatest in sneaker fashion trends.
Brother Michael Melendez, Deacon of Community Engagement
Br. Michael Paul Melendez was ordained deacon for the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts in June of 2010. He served at the Cathedral Church of St Paul until 2016 where, beside liturgical services, he worked with the Monday lunch program and provided pro bono social services to parishioners in need. He is member of a small, dispersed Franciscan community called the Order of St. Francis. Professionally, he is a clinical social worker and social work educator who has had extensive experience with a number of nonprofits and agencies addressing social justice issues. He joins Episcopal City Mission for three years of service as Deacon of Community Engagement, beginning in September 2017
Vesta Scotland, Interim Operations Manager
Vesta currently works for Episcopal City Mission as the Interim Operations Manager. Over the years she has worked in a variety of industries as an Executive Assistant/Office Manager. She attended Northeastern University to pursue a B.A. Degree in Organizational Communications and New England College of Finance for Accounting and Finance/Business Management. She is passionate about ECM’s mission, and is an advocate for economic and social justice, solidarity and sanctuary.
When Vesta is not working she is pursuing her other God’s gifts and talents such as event planning, singing, drawing, dancing, creating and designing arts and crafts.
Caroline Weeks, Life Together Social Justice Fellow
Caroline is a Life Together fellow thrilled to learn more about community organizing and join the wonderful Episcopal City Mission team! Caroline graduated from New York University with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. It was at NYU that she first truly experienced the restorative power of community through Active Minds, a mental health awareness and stigma-fighting student organization, and her Episcopal campus ministry. Caroline is a Georgia native, poet, cook & baker, embroiderer, cyclist, voracious reader full of book recommendations, Sufjan Stevens aficionado, and one of seven children.