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Though my involvement to date in church communities has been at the parish level, I have always had an interest in the workings of the Diocese. My background in varied Episcopal church communities and commitment to the Episcopal Church have prepared me for the position of Diocesan Delegate.
As a cradle Episcopalian, I have worshipped in liberal and conservative Episcopal churches, large and small, in the midwest, west coast, and now in Washington, DC. In the churches before St Mark’s, I was active in numerous roles, including Sunday school teacher, welcoming committee chair, mission trip leader, chair of a gun violence prevention task force, stewardship committee, and new rector search committee.
In 2017, my husband, Chris, and I moved to Arlington, Virginia, and joined St Mark’s. I sing in the choir, serve on the altar guild, and am a member of the Guild for Transformational Journeys. I drafted a vestry resolution regarding St Mark’s commitment to gun violence prevention. In addition to my involvement at St Mark’s, I graduated from the St John’s (Arlington) Education for Ministry program and currently co-mentor an EfM group at St Luke’s (Alexandria).
If elected, I will represent St Mark’s interests at Convention. I also hope to contribute to the Diocese’s Gun Violence Prevention ministry. I agree with Bishop Marian Budde’s statement at the 2020 Convention that the way we live out our mission as a diocese is by equipping faith communities, promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice.
I am running for the Vestry because I not only believe in St. Mark’s mission to be an open community, welcoming people wherever they are on their faith journey, but I have also experienced this firsthand. I first attended St. Mark’s in 2012 and took the Belongings class (or what was known then as Life, Community, and Faith) in 2014, where I found a sense of community and belonging. Since then, I’ve volunteered as an usher, lay server, and reader. In 2019, I joined the choir, where I’ve also found community and started co-leading the Lambda Lions, St. Mark’s LGBTQ community. And last May, my wife Olga and I got married at St. Mark’s, making St. Mark’s not only my but also our, community.
All of these experiences of community at St. Mark’s have led to the desire to give back to St. Mark’s in the way St. Mark’s has given to me – to help St. Mark’s to continue to offer community to all people wherever they are on their faith journey. While I’ve never served on a vestry before, I have led and managed teams at non-profit organizations, a for-profit business, and in the government. I would bring an ability to both lead and serve, to listen and to be a voice for others, to plan and strategize, and to build bridges and community. I would work hard to serve you faithfully and to the best of my ability.
I am running for Vestry because it is one crucial way to serve this community I love. What I learned here between 1990 and 2000 propelled me into a chapter of public service when I moved from DC. After relocating, I used my time and talent in shared work at my church and the community at large: (Church) Vestry, Finance Committee, Christian Education, Human Resource Committee, Outreach, Arts, (Town, Region, State) Selectman, Town Fin Com, County Charter Review Committee, member of committees dealing with Substance Abuse, Water Protection, Homelessness, Regional Administration, and other issues. I believe in the value of group work and know it is essential to institutional health and progress.
My experience as a member of St. Marks taught me so much about Parish Life, living in a thoughtful community, and shared vision. My children were born during my previous membership and baptized here. During the past two years, I have become reunited with our vital parish life. St. Marks is a unique spiritual home with a bright future I want to be part of that future. I believe in listening, consensus building, communication, critical and strategic thinking, good process, and above all, the power of people coming together to solve problems. It would be an honor to help our community thrive and support the many areas of Parish Life. I want to work to make church a welcoming place of spiritual growth and fellowship for our members. It would be an honor to serve on our Vestry.
Nominations will be taken from the floor during the meeting, which will allow for a third Vestry candidate to be included.