The Very Reverend Virginia Tyler Smith became the rector of St. John’s in 2015. She is a Canandaigua native, and still thinks of Canandaigua Lake as her spiritual home. Virginia is a proud child of the 80's, attending the University of Rochester when phones still plugged into the wall, and computers existed only in the library. After U of R, Virginia attended Harvard Divinity School, and lived in the Boston area for a decade. She returned to upstate New York just in time for Wegmans to start its organic section, and has had a tough time leaving the area ever since. For nearly twenty years, Virginia worked as a healthcare executive and consultant, focusing on strategic planning and facilitation. Because she can't stay away from school, Virginia completed a Diploma in Anglican Studies at Bexley-Seabury Federation in Chicago in May 2017 and continues studying ways of evolving the church to meet the needs of God’s kingdom. She is deeply committed to connecting community and our church to celebrate God in each other. As a result, she is a trainer in the College for Congregational Development and also serves as the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester’s transition ministry officer.
Virginia is married to Brad Smith, an entrepreneur and recovering healthcare executive. She is a step-mom to three, and a step-grandmother to four! An avid baker, cook, and fan of British TV shows, Virginia is never happier than when she is feeding others and relaxing with a good glass of wine.
Virginia says she must have done "something right in a past life" to become the rector of St. John's. As she says: "This parish has a warm, welcoming feeling. There is such a sense of tradition and pride in what folks bring here, and an even stronger sense of faith. This is a growing, imperfect, and deeply committed family. Every time I walk through that church door, I feel like I'm coming home to God. I hope you will too."