Parish Leadership: 2019 Vestry Candidates

The Vestry, together with the Rector, exercises spiritual leadership of the parish, keeping the vision, describing the mission, and inviting the congregation into ministry. The work of the vestry is grounded in prayer and worship, scripture, and a commitment to Christian service. The vestry is responsible for the legal and financial health of the parish; they act as stewards of the church finances and property, approve the budget, provide for maintenance of the buildings, and assure that the operations of the parish conform to legal requirements and best practices.

Formally, vestry members are required to be adults confirmed in the Episcopal Church and communicants in good standing of the parish. What we look for at St. Andrew’s is an individual with a desire to serve, a willingness to listen and to grow in faith, and a lively understanding of how God is calling this particular church.

This year, at our annual meeting on January 27, we will elect five new members of the Vestry from a slate of eight candidates. Our slate includes: Toni Amicarella, Kathleen Beatty, Peggy Bryson, Edie Busam, Christen Epstein, Kathy Fleming, Kaylie Haynes, and Judie James. Three will serve three year terms, one a two year term, and one a one year term. Please see their biographies below. Many thanks to these five faithful parishioners for their willingness to serve in this capacity.


St. Andrew’s Annual Meeting

Sunday, January 27 at 10:00 am


Toni Amicarella

Thanks for this opportunity to be considered by you as a vestry member. St. Andrew’s is a place that provides me with support and strength and hope and solace. So, I’m happy to be of service to this community in whatever way I’m called. To that end, I’ve served as an acolyte for some time now (I’ve graduated to second torch and the bell!), and I truly enjoy it.

A little about me: I grew up in Colorado for the most part and got to live in some beautiful places like Steamboat and Estes Park. I went to university and law school on the East Coast after which I found my way to private practice in California. I also spent more than a decade working as a literary director for professional theaters in New York. After all of that rambling around, I returned to Colorado and have spent the last 10 years as a public defender. I’m a full-time “mom” to a silly dog with a permanent hitch in his gait named Petey and part-time mom to another pup named Hugo (AKA Mr. Sensitive). I like the outdoors, and I spend a lot of time working in my Denver yard to what seems like no avail.

But I suppose what really you need to know about me is this: I think St. Andrew’s is a special place.

Kathleen Beatty

Like so many in the St. Andrews flock, Mike and I came to St. Andrews after a very traumatic year waiting for our daughter Piper to receive a double lung transplant. Her original lungs had been savaged by Cystic Fibrosis. During that year, we learned that fewer than 25% of those awaiting lung transplant receive new lungs and that those who do often teeter on the edge of death for months before transplantation. Piper did both, and I returned to Denver very grateful for her new lungs, but feeling shocked and damaged by the experience.

Shortly before I returned, Mike, through our great friends Ellen Anderman and Jim Donaldson, discovered St. Andrews. Although we had lived in Denver since 1996, Mike starting a law firm here and me serving as the dean of the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver, we had not found a church home. Mike visited St. Andrews and, on my first Sunday back in Denver, we attended the church together. I knew immediately that this was where we needed to be. The breathtaking music, Elizabeth’s leadership, and George’s lovely translation of the teachings of the Episcopal Church (in Catechumenate classes), along with the strong feelings of community sealed the deal for both of us, and we are very happy here.

While at St. Andrews, I have had opportunities to give back. Mike and I started by hosting after-church coffee hours, serving as readers and greeters at the church. I also served on two ad hoc committees. In recent years, I took on a much more demanding role as a member of the “parking lot” committee (later called the Caledonian Committee and more recently the “Building our Vision” committee). This work provided the opportunity to work with incredibly dedicated Mental Health Center of Denver professionals, architects, city and state personnel who provide for Denver’s homeless, and other homeless advocates from the area, as well as an incredibly dedicated committee from our congregation. Although the project was disapproved in the fall, I think all of us who worked on this believe there will be another opportunity to live into our vision and to improve the lives of Denver’s most needy.

I have been nominated to serve on the Vestry, and I would be honored to serve. This community means a great deal to our family. We are at peace here. The worship experience has changed my life. It made the excruciating wait for a second lung transplant for Piper, this time in Durham, North Carolina, much more tolerable. The rich friendships, the community, and the service dedication of the congregation are very important to me. In return, I hope, if elected, to the Vestry, I can contribute to wise decision-making that guides the future of our church.

Peggy Bryson

I came to St. Andrew’s late in 2008, during our time at Holy Redeemer, after I made the tough decision to leave the Mormon church, where I was raised. This was a decision that was a culmination of years of doubt, discomfort, and a feeling that I never quite “fit.” Despite these challenges to my faith, there were things I knew I still believed: I would need to find a place where I could connect not only to God but to a community in faith who could provide support for me and my children. I embarked in “church shopping,” expecting the process to take some time. I was looking for a church that was inclusive, that would challenge me and make me think, and with good music, of course. Most importantly, as a single parent I was searching for what felt just right as the place where my children would grow in faith.

I was in the middle of my undergraduate studies in Music Education at MSU Denver, and I heard about St. Andrew’s from my mentors, Mike Kornelsen and MB Krueger, as well as a classmate, Jennifer Grotpeter, who eagerly shared her endorsement when I asked. I came the following Sunday, and immediately knew that this was where I “fit.” As soon I could, I started the catechumenate process. This process and group of people helped me through a tumultuous time in my personal and professional life. The night of the Easter Vigil in 2010, Meg, Carl, and I were baptized, and I was confirmed about a month later. St. Andrew’s has become an integral and vital part of who I am, bringing sanctuary to me and my little family; it is a place where we can connect to God and each other. My husband, Jeff, and I were married here in February of 2013, and my children have grown up here, participating in Godly Play and TSE when they were younger, and finding early calls to ministry as acolytes and readers. My husband and I have enjoyed participating in Moveable Feast for several years, and I have been singing in the choir for nearly eight years.

Both of my parents were musicians and passionate about music in worship, but often fought a losing battle in a lay ministry where music was typically low on the list of priorities with the leadership. I witnessed their tireless efforts to do their part in enhancing the spirit felt in worship in their congregation. One of the many things I found at St. Andrew’s that I didn’t even know I was missing in my previous church life is the fruits of the service of all those who take a part in creating a beautiful, spiritual, thoughtful, and welcoming worship experience. From our clergy to our acolytes, altar guild, flower guild, greeters, readers, choir, organist, and choirmaster, all work tirelessly to create an atmosphere that allows parishioners to connect to God, their faith, and each other with meaningful worship experiences.

I am currently a choir and drama teacher at Deer Creek Middle School in Jefferson County Public Schools in my ninth year of teaching. In addition, I serve in leadership positions within my school district, and as co-chair elect and district governor on the Colorado Middle All-State Choir governing board. I will be graduating with a Master in Music from the University of Northern Colorado in May, a week before Meg graduates from Lakewood High School. My background and work in the arts and teaching middle and high school students has made me particularly dedicated to helping young people discover, accept, and feel good about who they are, no matter their gender, sexuality, race, religion, etc. Our mission to provide sanctuary in the city has always spoken very personally to me.

I was born on Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and spent my childhood as an Air Force Brat and a member of the Mormon church.

I am honored and humbled at the invitation to be a candidate for the vestry. Should I be selected to serve, I would do my best to contribute my time and efforts toward the mission of providing sanctuary for our members, neighbors, and anyone led to our doors.

Edie Busam

As a dedicated member of St. Andrews for 7 years, I am delighted to have been asked to run for the vestry position at St. Andrews.

Over the last few years, my husband’s terminal illness limited the amount of time I was able to spend participating in activities at St. Andrews. I lost Michael in June and while I am healing, I look forward to spending more time in a place that gave us great joy.

Michael and I moved across the street in 2013 from Park Hill to One Lincoln Park when he could no longer drive to work. It was hard to leave our former Church (St. Thomas) but the location of St. Andrews became a blessing as Michael’s health began to decline.

A cradle Anglican from Cincinnati, I moved here 24 years ago to run the clinical services for The Denver Hospice. Educated in nursing and political science, I now work in policy and legislative lobbying at Aponte and Busam Public Affairs. I was hired by my business colleague and helped to grow this lobby firm in Colorado representing many nonprofit entities, businesses and healthcare organizations. This year marks my 18th year assisting with policy development improving the lives of people in our community who need us the most.

In my previous church life, I worked in my small town to establish a mission church. St. Anne’s is now a large thriving parish in southwest Ohio. During the early years we met in a school where all our prayer books were stored in a portable alter. Most people walk thru the doors to worship without knowing what it takes to manage church operations. This was a life enriching experience to learn and work with the Diocese and participate in the growth of a congregation.

My initial attraction to St. Andrews was the commitment of this small urban church to continue to be rooted in community and the renewal of faith. I have deep respect for the music program and an appreciation for worship services that create many opportunities for us to be close to God. That attraction grew exponentially when learning of this parish’s commitment to not only members but our surrounding humanity.

I am blessed with three grown children and 7 grandchildren.

I am ready to serve if so elected. Thank you for your consideration and trust.

Christen Epstein

My husband David and I joined Saint Andrew’s in 2011, shortly following a move from Atlanta and the birth of our daughter, Ayala. We were immediately drawn in by the liturgy, thoughtful sermons, inclusiveness, and warmth of the parishioners and ministers. Our son Luca was born in 2014 and now both of our children have the benefit of attending children’s ministries. This element of our spiritual life has been a growing blessing and I’m very excited about the evolution and continuation of these programs. As an interfaith family it was essential for us to find a Christian home that enabled us to continue our Jewish journey as well. The love, joy, and openness we have found at Saint Andrew’s has been a unique and special gift for all four of us. As a family we particularly enjoy participating in the Metro Caring and coffee hour ministries. I’m humbled by this invitation to serve Saint Andrew’s. I’m so grateful for the love and peace our family has received in knowing this community and I would be honored to try to give back as a member of the vestry.

Kathy Fleming

It was during Lent in 1995 when I first wandered into St Andrew’s. I was attending St Johns Cathedral at the time and heard that our mission church, St Andrew’s, would hold midweek services during Lent. Since I worked just a few blocks away, I dropped in. This small, warm and loving church drew me in, and it wasn’t long before I moved my membership to St Andrew’s. Through the many years since then I’ve been amazed to witness the growth and change in what had been a little congregation, and have served on several committees and vestries in several capacities.

My husband, Gary, and I retired from the telecommunications industry in 2004, and embarked on several adventures. Our last major commitment was service in the Peace Corps in Morocco from 2011 to 2013. When we returned in 2013, I was so glad to see all that our congregation had done while we were gone. There were so many new faces – I no longer knew everyone!

Today I am a Godly Play teacher, a member of the St Benedict’s Guild, usher, and am a member of the ELF planning committee.

( I am a “cradle” Episcopalian, born and raised in the church, but did wander a bit in my young adult life.)

Kaylie Haynes

Like many others, I was drawn to Saint Andrew’s because of the sacred richness of her liturgy and the openness of her community. At a time in my life when I was questioning my Catholic upbringing, and the core of what I thought to be true seemed to be shattered, St. Andrew’s provided a place for me to question in community and hope. At times when I have felt my life lulled into complacency, she has challenged me to grow in ways I never would have expected. During my time here, I’ve been active as an acolyte and a member of the sustainability team.I have found in St. Andrew’s a place to search, to rest, to connect, to reach beyond our walls in love to provide a place of refuge for those who feel trapped within the chaos of life. She has walked beside me in tumult, in joy, in faith, in doubt, in hope, in fear, in love, in loss, and I hope to be a part of helping create a community in which others can experience the priceless gift that I have found here.

Judie James

I bring a unique perspective by having participated in St. Andrew’s many transitions, challenges, projects, and opportunities since January 1980. I first served on the vestry in the early 1980s, when our rector was the abbot of an Episcopal monastic order. I was senior warden when the monks departed and a few years later, when we became a mission of St. John’s Cathedral. I participated in the committee to restore the church following the 1999 fire. During Mother Connie Delzell’s tenure, I served as vestry clerk for two years. I was a tutor for neighborhood children in our after-school program and a member of the board of Bethany House, providing housing for people living with HIV. I was junior warden and a member of the building committee when we built the 2008 extension to the church and participated in the rehabilitation of the parish house, when multiple frozen radiators caused a flood and the need for asbestos abatement and a new furnace. Most recently, I’ve chaired the Flower Guild and have served as a doorperson for Godly Play.

Professionally, I worked as an attorney, practicing in the area of Social Security Law for about 20 years. I’m now retired and work part-time at Bed, Bath & Beyond and enjoy dancing and pickleball at various Denver recreation centers. My Capitol Hill Victorian house is shared with my husband, Richard DeTar, and two delightful cats.

I’m eager to be involved in working through the current challenges facing our parish. We have excellent staff and a wonderful music program, yet we remain financially precarious and struggle with physical space limitations, communication gaps, new member incorporation, and our aspirations for meaningful and effective social justice involvement. In my experience, St. Andrew’s has always drawn interesting and highly gifted people into leadership and ministry roles. If I am elected to serve on the vestry, I look forward to working the clergy, staff, wardens, and fellow vestry members, as we discern how we are to be the Body of Christ in this time and place.

Roger Kilgore – Senior Warden

Roger and his wife Sue have been members of St. Andrew’s since 2001, though Roger is not quite sure of the date. After moving from Washington DC the fit at St. Andrew’s quickly seemed right with the emphasis on liturgy, excellent music, progressive theology, and a wonderful community. Roger has served on numerous committees including Outreach, the committee that planned and implemented the church expansion, the Sacred Vision Sacred Space capital campaign, and the Building our Vision committee. He has also served as a greeter and reader, but never an acolyte and never in choir. Even though MB says everyone can sing, Roger is not so sure. Roger is currently serving as a vestry member.

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