A Choral Evensong in Celebration of the Installation of the Honorary Cathedral Canons, Class of 2023 will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, in person at Trinity Cathedral Trenton, and livestreamed to YouTube (above), Facebook, Twitter, and the diocesan website’s Live Page at dioceseofnj.org/live.
Each year, the diocese honors individuals for significant service by electing them as honorary canons of the cathedral. Our annual The 2023 Class of Honorary Canons of Trinity Cathedral will be installed on May 13 at 4:00 p.m. (Please note the new time.) The service will feature a choir of alumni from the diocesan Choir Camp held each summer in Cape May.
Join us in person at Trinity Cathedral, or online in the window on this page or at dioceseofnj.org/live
This year’s “Class” of Honorary Canons includes two lay people—Valaida Wynn Guerrero, who chaired the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee, and Tal Kramer, who was also instrumental in choosing the candidates for Bishop and also serves on the Commission on Clerical Compensation—and one clergy person, the Rev. Ed Zelley, who recently retired as President of the Standing Committee and as a longtime member of the Committee on the Priesthood.
Please read more about the new Canons below.
CLASS OF 2023
Ms. Valaida Wynn Guerrero
A lifelong Episcopalian and a PK (priest’s kid), Valaida Wynn Guerrero has spent most of her life as an active member of the Diocese of New Jersey. She was active in youth ministries including serving as President of Diocesan Youth Council. She also served as a youth representative on the Aids Task Force, a youth representative to General Convention and as a Young Adult representative on the Episcopal Election Committee when the late George Councell was nominated to be the 11th Bishop of New Jersey. As an adult, she has been an active member and leader at St. Andrew’s Church in New Providence where she has served on the Vestry and as both Junior and Senior Warden. She has been a Trustee of the Diocese of New Jersey and recently served as Chairperson of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee for the election of the 13th Bishop of New Jersey. She is currently serving as Co-Chair of the Transition Committee and a member of Diocesan Council.
Valaida has spent the majority of her professional career in the nonprofit industry. Valaida is presently Chief Advancement Officer at NAF (National Academy Foundation). Prior to NAF, she was Deputy Director of Development for Individual Giving and Senior Director of Major Gifts for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). Prior to LDF, she was Director of Individual Giving for The Jackie Robinson Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and a Master’s degree from Columbia University in New York. She lives in Berkeley Heights with her husband, Robert, and two daughters, Audrey and Liezel.
Mr. Tal Kramer, Esq.
Talbot “Tal” Kramer, Esq., has been actively involved in the Episcopal Church for many years. At St. Thomas’ in Glassboro, Tal served several terms on the Vestry, including two terms as Senior Warden. He taught the junior and senior High School students for over ten years and served as confirmation mentor several times. He assists as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and as a Eucharistic Visitor. Tal is active in St. Thomas’ choir, served as St. Thomas’ Coordinator for Family Promise and also is a regular volunteer with Kitchen of Hope, a Jubilee Ministry.
On the Diocesan level, Tal served on the Bishop Selection Committee for the 13th Bishop of New Jersey. He is serving his second term on the Commission on Clerical Compensation. Additionally, Tal, a licensed attorney, has served as the Church Attorney for the Diocese of New Jersey since 2019. A lifelong runner who completed 20 marathons, Tal also has served as co-chair for Soles for the Harvest Race for several years.
An attorney with more than thirty-eight years’ experience, Tal heads up his own law firm, along with his wife of thirty-eight years, Canon Donna L. Freidel, Esq. A skilled trial lawyer, Tal is experienced in the areas frequently required by religious organizations, including contracts, mediation, insurance, and abuse claims. Tal also volunteers for South Jersey Legal Services, handling cases for indigent persons on a pro bono basis. He also is involved with the Lions Club, serving as president of the Clayton-Glassboro Lions Club. Tal and Donna raised their children, Talbot, Mary and Robert, in South Jersey and currently live in Washington Township.
The Rev. Ed Zelley
Fr. Ed Zelley grew up in Metuchen where he was an active member at St. Luke’s, Metuchen, serving as an acolyte and in the choir and ultimately sponsored for ordination by St. Luke’s. As a teenager Fr. Ed served as President of the Northern Youth Convocation. Fr. Ed is also an Eagle Scout. He attended Grinnell, College in Iowa and then Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, from which he received his Master of Divinity. Following graduation, he served as Curate of Grace Church in Haddonfield from June of 1993 to November 1995.He was then called to be the Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Wenonah where he served for 19 years. He was called to serve as Rector of St. Luke’s, Metuchen in August of 2015. Father Zelley has served the Diocese in several capacities during his 30 years including membership on Diocesan Council, the Insurance Committee, and Cathedral Chapter; Chair of Youth Ministry, Chair of the Convention Planning Committee, two times as Dean of the Northern Convocation, on the Election Committee for the 12th Bishop of NJ, member of the Disciplinary Board and for 20 plus years as a member of the Committee on the Priesthood. He also served on the Anti-Racism Commission and on the Reparations task Force. For the past four years he has served as a member of the Standing Committee including two as President of the Standing Committee the last one during the Episcopal election process for the 13th Bishop of New Jersey. Outside of his church related activities Fr. Ed has coached youth in soccer, wrestling and baseball. He was a Pack Leader in the local Cub Scout troop in Wenonah. He also served as President of the Lions Club in both Wenonah and Metuchen. He has served as President of the local ecumenical ministerium in Wenonah and is currently on the Human Relations Committee in Metuchen. He is an avid Phillies and Eagles fan. He and his wife Gail have been married for 32 years, raising their sons Michael and Peter and are now proud grandparents of Owen.