Clergy & Staff
Meet the clergy and staff at St. Cross!
The Rev. Dr. Rachel Anne Nyback
The Rev. Dr. Rachel Anne Nyback is rector at St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach. She has served St. Cross since her ordination in 2004. She was the associate for family ministry and rector-elect. She has been rector since 2010. She enjoys working with the clergy and staff to build a team that supports the many ministries of the parish they serve. St. Cross is a lay-lead parish and she sees a main focus of her ministry to be sustaining lay leadership for current ministries while encouraging new leaders and ministries when the Spirit calls forth a new ministry. She teaches through her preaching, her pastoral care and her care for the parishioners of St. Cross. She is constantly challenging her congregation about where they can be active in the wider South Bay community and not just within the parish community.
Rachel's love of ministry come from the combination of two of her passions: Jesus and people. Not matter where Rachel lands, she enjoys making new friendships, hearing peoples' stories, and sharing the love of Jesus Christ through relationship. She has lived and worshiped in Massachusetts, Paris, Kuwait and Virginia. Each parish helped form her into the priest she is today though the multicultural experiences of worship in foreign countries with many nationalities worshiping together in common prayer, and in other parts of the United States which gave perspectives very different than that of Southern California.
In the Diocese of Los Angeles Rachel has served on the Program Group on Stewardship, the Program Group on Youth (as a youth and a young adult), and on the Standing Committee, currently as the representative to the Commission on Ministry. She is active in two clergy groups and also is part of a weekly sermon workshop with four seminary classmates.
Before following her call to priesthood, Rachel was a fifth grade teacher in Southern California public schools and in Kuwait. She received her MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2004 and her DMin from VTS in 2015. She benefited greatly in her first years of ordination as a participant in the Lily Foundation First Three Years program, which seeks to form newly ordained priests in healthy practices that will sustain them throughout the lifetime of their ministries. This program along with her passion for teaching formed her doctoral thesis on best practices for the formation of newly ordained priests. Currently, she is in charge of the supporting the mentors for the mentoring program for newly ordained priests in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and has served as a consultant on this topic in other dioceses.
Rachel is a child of the Diocese of Los Angeles. Born in Long Beach, baptized at St. Timothy's, Compton and raised at St. Paul's, Pomona (both congregations served by her father who is also a priest). In her free time she loves to read, cook for friends and family, embroider (which you will often see her doing at convention while listening) and go camping in the summer. She cannot decide if she loves the beach, mountains, valleys, or desert the best, as it all depends on where she is at the moment.
The Rev. William Stanley
Associate for Pastoral Care
The Rev. William Smyth Stanley serves as Associate for Pastoral Care at St. Cross Episcopal Church in Hermosa Beach, California. Will came to St. Cross in June 2017, after serving for two years as Curate of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia. His work there focused on youth and young adult formation. Will’s work at St. Cross focuses on pastoral oversight of parish life and community engagement ministries. He also presides, preaches, and teaches as a member of the clergy staff.
A native of Washington, DC, Will graduated with honors from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 2012. After college, Will attended seminary at Yale Divinity School, together with its Episcopal component, Berkeley Divinity School. While at Yale, Will was also a student of the Institute of Sacred Music, an interdisciplinary graduate center that draws a diverse group of students and faculty from the Divinity School and School of Music. A 2004 graduate of the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey, music has played a pivotal role in Will’s life and his sense of vocation.
Will grew up at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Washington where he began to discern a call to the priesthood at a young age. This discernment continued during his time in Sewanee as he went through the ordination process in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, sponsored through All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Midtown.
While in seminary, will served as seminarian at two distinct Episcopal parishes in Connecticut: Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford and Christ Church in Greenwich. Will was ordained to the diaconate (December 20, 2014) and priesthood (June 20, 2015) by the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, Bishop of Atlanta, at the Cathedral of St. Philip.
Will is excited about the adventure of his new life in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Will enjoys music, golf, exercise, and spending time with friends and family.
The Rev. Robin Denney
Associate for Christian Formation
Robin Denney was ordained in 2016. Prior to joining the team at St. Cross in July 2017, Robin graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary. Her thesis looked at approaches to short-term mission which combat paternalism and disempowerment. Before attending seminary, Robin worked as a youth director, a substitute teacher, and as the lay person in charge of an emerging bilingual congregation.
Robin’s previous vocation was as an agriculturalist and missionary. She studied Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, and worked as a vineyard manager, and an agriculture policy aide at the state capitol. She then spent a year in Liberia shortly after their civil war ended, as a member of the Young Adult Service Corps of the Episcopal Church. She taught agriculture and served as the farm advisor for Cuttington University, an Episcopal institution in Liberia. She also served as an Episcopal missionary in South Sudan 2009-2011, where she was the agricultural consultant for the province of Sudan and South Sudan, and taught agriculture at the seminary. Small-scale sustainable farming, and bringing together faith and agriculture continue to be a passion of hers.
The Rev. Patti Angelo
The Rev. Cn. Robert W. (Bob) Cornner
This is my 62nd year of my life as a Christian that started at St. Cross. I was baptized, confirmed, and sponsored for ordination from this wonderful St. Cross community and my sons were baptized and confirmed here too. I served as a public school teacher for 24 years and spent my last seven years as the principal at the same high school in which I taught.
I retired to answer the call to serve as the rector at neighboring Christ Church in Redondo Beach and after 15 years of serving there, I retired in November of 2015. I am married to Madelyn Rosen and we have three children: Ben, Matt, and Ariana. We have a Granddaughter, Alex and a soon to be born second Grandchild.
I am ever thankful to Rachel for inviting me to come back to St. Cross and to help as I can. It is very good to be back home. Thank you for your kind welcome.
The Rev. Cn. Dr. Paul D. Lawson
Organist and Choir Master
Cameron is a long-time member of St. Cross, and in her job as Connection Coordinator she strives to connect newcomers and established members alike with the people, ministries and activities that will help them build relationships within St. Cross and beyond. She grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She and her husband Robert have lived in the South Bay since 1990, and have three grown children; Tracy, Chris, and Hunter. Cameron enjoys singing in the Chancel Choir, and serves as co-mentor of the Education for Ministry program at St. Cross. In the past, she has served on the St. Cross Vestry (including stints as Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden and Clerk) and has been an active member of many groups around the parish including St. Clare’s Guild, Episcopal Church Women (ECW), Endowment Committee, Storytellers, Vacation Bible School, and more. She never met a party she didn’t like, and you will most likely find her helping to plan any fun festivities around the parish including the annual Mardi Gras celebration, and our participation in the Hermosa Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
A note from Cameron: If I haven’t met you yet, please introduce yourself! I love to meet new people and hear their stories. My goal is to make each and every person who visits or attends St. Cross feel as if they are welcome and appreciated, and I am so interested in finding out about you and what brings you here. I can answer all kinds of questions about St. Cross, the Episcopal Church, and the South Bay. And if I don’t know the answer, I will find out for you. Please feel free to contact me: [email protected].