Meet The Rev. David Stayner

Rev. David Stayner, PhD, Associate Priest

David is married to our Rector, Sandy; and Matt, their son, is happily pursuing university studies.  At home, David enjoys playing chase with their inquisitive, highly energetic Golden Retriever puppy – and adding plants to their gardens.  When possible, he loves camping and islands, ocean waves and sailing, and mountaintop skiing or hiking.

In school, David was best known for his incessant questions (a trait never outgrown!) and a single-minded focus on music, drama and story telling.  His questions would later lead him to a nearby Episcopal Benedictine Abbey, where he found a new world filled with ancient liturgies and music, and stories of our faith and the lives of great saints.  He also found a community of very human, down-to-earth spiritual seekers, who welcomed strangers, laughed quickly, and quietly bore with each other’s foibles and struggles.

He went on to spend 16 years in a contemporary Episcopal community whose members created worship filled with new and ancient music, while they befriended people struggling on the margins of life. His community journey led him into tough streets in east Houston, a small Colorado mountain town, and on to a Scottish island – where he met Sandy.  With their friends, they traveled across the English-speaking world to share worship and community life, before they finally landed in the dying steel town of Aliquippa; where they were married.

At nearby Duquesne University, David studied psychology and spiritual formation, before moving with Sandy to Yale Divinity School, where he studied at YDS, then completed a PhD in psychology at Columbia (while Sandy served as a priest in Greenwich).  He and Sandy later returned to YDS, where David led the Annand Program for Spiritual Formation.

Then, they finally landed at St. Peter’s community, which David describes as coming home.  He loves St. Peter’s welcoming spirit, easy laughter, many stories, and long lineage of creating compelling worship and life together.  David is especially happy that their son, Matt, could grow up with his good friends in St. Peter’s music, church school and youth programs.  As a priest at St. Peter’s, David is grateful for moments shared with community members as they seek God’s presence in times of struggle or happiness or doubt.  He enjoys inviting fellow questioners into engaging dialogues during weekly parish forums; and exploring new forms of worship.  He loves being part of this open community whose members keep finding freedom, friendship and good humor as they share their many gifts.

As a psychologist, David is also Senior Consultant in the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health, where he works with individuals and health agencies to help under-served, marginalized people.  Here, he assists professionals to focus on building resilience (as well as treating problems), to advocate for recovery and community inclusion, and to help restore hope for a better future.  It is just one way of trying to live out our shared calling to respect the dignity of every human person, he says.


Sunday Services

9:00 am – 9:30 am Children's Worship Via Zoom

9:15 am Godly Play (ages 3 –K) Via Zoom

10 am Spiritual Communion Via Zoom

7 am Monday Through Friday Morning Prayer - Via Zoom


St. Peter's during COVID-19

In response to an increase in COVID infections in Cheshire, St. Peter’s will hold in-person worship services outside, following all State of CT guidelines. We continue to offer worship via Zoom.

St. Peter's Episcopal Church
59 Main Street
Cheshire, CT 06410


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