To read about other 2017 vestry nominees, click here
5 Reasons for Wanting to Serve on the Vestry
- After six years as a member, I can say that I love Saint James’—you, the individual members; our common mission & ministry; our campus; our history. You are my second family and home.
- Ben Maas, our rector. In many ways Ben represents what is so positive about The Episcopal Church– its brilliant blending of faith and reason, and its inclusive theology based on Christ’s love, all of which make our denomination so vital and necessary in this fast-changing world. Ben is grounded in our Episcopal traditions, particularly our liturgy and music, while simultaneously open to the Holy Spirit as we “see your [God’s] plan unfolding, your purpose emerging as the world is made” (A New Zealand Prayer Book). Ben’s love of Christ, his mental acuity, his emotional health, and his compassion for all of God’s children are an inspiration and a blessing. And we love Anna, Elliott, and Lauralee too.
- The school– where faith and reason are interwoven into such an intentionally beautiful mission that all who come into contact with the students, the faculty and the staff are changed for the good. I cannot imagine Saint James’ Church without “and School.” Having spent 35 years working for a number of principals and heads of schools, I can say without any qualification that Stacey Irvin is a jewel- she could cause a fence post to grow roots and a canopy.
- Our lay leadership- those who are the servant-leaders of our dozens of ministries and those who serve on vestry. With joy and sweat, dozens of you give so much of yourselves to Saint James’. And a visitor feels that when she walks through any one of our many doors and sees the altar set for worship, or the overflowing bulletin board with ministry announcements, or a Sunday School teacher bent down on a knee talking to a preschooler. As chair of the annual pledge campaign, I have had the opportunity to attend a number of vestry meetings. Bill and Karla have led this dedicated group with a love for God and for each of the members, as well as with dedication, efficiency and humor. We will miss their leadership.
- Our faith and our hope for the future is palpable. Our campus is bustling seven days a week, and the time for us to extend our footprint is clearly now, as we begin our third century of ministry in this community. More important than the necessary bricks and mortar is our expanding outreach- the Greeting Ministry, the live broadcast of our worship, our social media communications, Learning Starts Early, the Green Team, the food pantry, along with our Builds, Stephen Ministry, the Free Clinic, the weekly youth group meetings open to any young person, the mission trips, St. Hilda’s embrace of foster children, and our monthly joint church and school service projects. For me, this is why the Church, and Saint James’ in particular, plays such a unique and vital role in our world—we are not just providing food or healthcare or education, we are offering the very love of Christ to our neighbors.
I was baptized in and worshipped at an Episcopal church for my first 16 years; attended an Episcopal school for 13 years; subsequently worshipped with Unitarians, Quakers and Buddhists for 25 years; then returned to The Episcopal Church on Easter Sunday, 1996.
I have been actively engaged with two other churches: St. Mary’s, Arlington and Emmanuel, Delaplane, where I was on the vestry twice, and where my wife, Helen, is currently Treasurer and Chair of the Altar Guild. When I told her in 2010 that I felt called to leave Emmanuel to join a larger church, she gave me her blessing but said she was staying!
I have recently retired from teaching in our school, and I feel blessed to be able to volunteer at our church and school as well as with an interfaith social justice group and the Faquier Free Clinic. At Saint James’ I have worked with the following ministries: Men’s Group, Stewardship, Lector/Intercessor, Spiritual Formation Groups, Video Streaming, Learning Starts Early, Soroti, and the Choir.
I would be honored to serve on vestry.