Parish Leadership: 2017 Vestry Candidates

Parish Leadership: 2017 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 22, we will elect three new members of the Vestry from a slate of five candidates. Our slate includes: Bill Calkins, Marjanne Claassen, Patrick Hamblin, Roger Kilgore, and Janice Woodward. Three people will be elected to serve three year terms. Please see their biographies below. Many thanks to these five faithful parishioners for their willingness to serve in this capacity.

Bill Calkins

I have always believed that as the body of Christ, the church is called to transform the world. A place of compassion and altruism, activism and refuge, St. Andrew’s seeks to live the Gospel by:

• Supporting ministries that offer hope and comfort to those in need
• Offering avenues for the pursuit of justice and peace
• Providing a home where we can find rest and renewal for ourselves

It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the St. Andrew’s Vestry at this critical time when our nation and our city are undergoing tremendous stress and challenge.

I grew up Presbyterian in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. My first ministry employment was with the Nebraska Conference of the United Methodist Church in Lincoln while earning a degree in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University. After working in youth ministry at the Presbyterian Church (USA) national headquarters in New York City, I graduated with a Master of Arts from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond, Virginia. From there, I moved to Denver to serve as a local church educator.
It became increasingly clear that while it was happy to use my labor, education, skills, and talent, the church was unwilling to recognize my call to ministry in an official way: I could never be ordained because I was gay. (Happily, the PC(USA) has changed since then and now ordains LGBT clergy.)

Burned out from fighting to serve an institution that didn’t accept my full personhood, I moved to the more open and affirming United Church of Christ denomination where I sought to answer my call as a lay person. At Denver’s Sixth Avenue United Church, I chaired several committees including evangelism, education, and personnel and served on a pastor search committee. I taught classes and occasionally preached in the pastor’s absence. I served as moderator of the congregation (comparable to Senior Warden) for four years. I also chaired the regional committee on ministry which oversees ordination of ministry candidates.

A series of crises, including the death of my mother, caused me to seek temporary spiritual comfort in a more outwardly organized, liturgical setting. I found myself worshiping at St. John’s Cathedral where my “short-term” sabbatical became a permanent attachment to the combination of ancient tradition and progressive theology of the Episcopal Church.
When Clyde and I got together about four years ago, we decided to make St. Andrew’s part of our shared lives. We were married here last September.

As a member of St. Andrew’s, I am on the committee overseeing the Exploring Life and Faith (ELF) program occurring on Thursday evenings. I am a facilitator for TSE (The Sunday Experience – the middle school Sunday morning group). I have worked closely with Zoe Cole to expand Godly Play from a curriculum primarily used for young children to one which can be used with older children and adults as well. Our recent ELF Advent series, led by Zoe, was a beautiful Godly Play experience for adults which centered around the Advent stories. I also assisted in some of the programming that happened around the sabbatical period for rest and renewal last summer.

In 2016, I was greatly honored to represent St. Andrew’s at the Annual Convention of The Episcopal Church in Colorado. It was thrilling to see the wide range of diversity and activity which exists in this state alone.

In 2017, as a result of the ELF Seeking Renewal of the World series, I look forward to becoming involved in racial justice and immigration ministry opportunities.

Although I enjoy my employment as a corporate educator, designing computer based employee training, I consider St. Andrew’s to be one of the places where I can best practice my true vocation of combining education and ministry.

If elected to the Vestry, I will work hard to share my gifts and experiences, support the exceptional clergy and staff of this congregation, and work with the rest of the Vestry team to enable St. Andrew’s to live the Gospel in a world that badly needs it, now more than ever.

Marjanne Claassen

How long have you been here?
I am in my 12th year at St Andrew’s, and my 10th as an Episcopalian.

Where did you come from?
Along with my husband, Duane, I come from a loving, conservative past. I cherish much of what I learned in my years of formation, and have a deep understanding of a more conservative world view. However, as life and family became more complicated, we found we had outgrown the pot in which we were planted, searched for new soil, and eventually ended up in this amazing parish.

How are you involved here?
As with so many, the music was a magnet that drew me here. It is my great joy to sing as a volunteer in the St Andrew’s choir, as well as smaller ensembles occasionally. I have also been a co-leader of the children’s program, have served on various welcoming ministries and on the collaborative ministries team. Currently, you are more likely to find me hosting an event, at a church work day, or sewing something that is needed.

What about your professional life?
I am a nurse with a master’s degree in chronic illness and education. The bulk of my career was in pediatrics. I spent my time with children with chronic illness or developmental delays, as well as their families. My career provided a great deal of cross-cultural experience. It also allowed me to work closely with families facing economic challenges. I have been retired for 3 years.

What do you do when you are not at St Andrew’s?
Sewing and creating bring me joy. Certainly, spending time with and supporting my family is important to me. Only one daughter lives in state with her husband. The other two of our offspring live out of state with the grandkids – 5 of them. Duane and I are serious gardeners and preservers and there is always something to repair or improve on our 110 year-old home.

What makes you tick?
If I am to serve on the vestry, it is important for you to know who I am and where my heart is.
Children, music, creativity, growth, and beauty touch me. I love to listen to the stories of others, especially when a chapter of that story is confusing or difficult. I see friendship as an honor. I can almost always understand, not just respect, a view that is different from my own. I am often described as honest or authentic and feel this is accurate. This means that I do not say ”yes” unless I mean to follow through. I consider it an honor to be asked to run for vestry and am ready to learn, grow, and create in that role.

Patrick Hamblin

My wife, Christina Manweller, and I came to Denver from southern California separately, but around the same time. It took many years before we met but, when we did meet on June 18, 1995, we knew we would marry. On January 1, 2016 we celebrated our 20th anniversary.

Church Life
Following are important events in our life in the Episcopal Church.
Christina and I had been searching for a faith community for quite a while. Nothing seemed to fit and then we stumbled upon St. John’s Cathedral. We went to services for a few weeks and heard Elizabeth preach. We arranged to meet with her and it was not long after that we were in Elizabeth’s Catechumenate class. We were confirmed in 2001. We are members of the church because of Elizabeth. Not long after our confirmation, Christina recognized and met one of the Lost Boys of Sudan at church (at that time she was volunteering with Ecumenical Refuge Services and had met some of the first Lost Boy immigrants). We, among many others, helped them acclimate to their new home. Our daughter, Jola, recorded a CD of hymns in Dinka and Arabic by the Lost Boys at St. John’s as a fundraiser. Ultimately, this work led to the creation of Project Education Sudan (now Project Education South Sudan), led by Carol and Rich Rinehart; we were on the founding board of directors.

For the past 10 years Christina and I have been on the leadership team of the Colorado chapter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. Our events have included: the annual Good Friday pilgrimage for peace and justice in Denver, eco-justice gatherings, PeaceFlix film events to introduce and discuss important topics, nonviolent communication trainings, a program introducing the national EPF, plus meetings to build community and learn about peace.

We enjoy volunteering at the StillPoint service under Matt Bentley’s tutelage. Through my work, we also volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission.

I have spent the past 38 years involved in designing and implementing physical security systems and programs for various organizations including NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex, United Airlines Flight Center, Denver Art Museum and many others. I started my first company when I was 27 and have been involved with privately and venture funded companies since.

I love art. If I had a chance to rewind and start over, I would be an artist. I paint and also enjoy graphic design and web development. Over the years Christina and I have donated our time to create graphic design/photography for organizations including the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities; Denver Waldorf School; Project Education Sudan; and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
I love to travel. A trip to Tanzania most affected my view of the world. This trip included stops in Israel and Kenya. Some of my experiences: I found Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem eye-opening and difficult; in Nairobi, standing in front of the hotel, I was greeted warmly by many Nairobi residents; traveling at night by bus to Tanzania and being stopped by armed men with burning barrels was terrifying; watching women use plates to gather water in the roadway after a rain shower was a shock to this middle-class tourist. The tremendous beauty of these people, places and animals will stay with me forever.

These experiences have enriched my life and provided me with many opportunities to be of service. The invitation to be considered as a member of the Vestry opens another door, another opportunity to be of service. Should I have the honor of being elected, I commit to follow the high standards set by past members of the Vestry.

Roger Kilgore

My wife, Sue, and I have been active members of St. Andrews since about 2002 (maybe 2001). Over the years, I have served in a variety of roles including outreach (by a different name), finance committee, audit, Vestry, and the Sacred Vision Sacred Space building expansion project that was completed in 2009. I also continue to serve as a Greeter and Reader. Most of my efforts for St. Andrews for the past several years and today are serving as one of two appointees from St. Andrews to Caledonian (the parking lots) and as chair of the Building Our Vision steering committee. Professionally, I am a water resources engineer in private practice. At home, we have a cat that is agnostic as far as we can tell.

Janice Woodward

I grew up in central Illinois and with a family who followed a special Sunday schedule from the time that I was in kindergarten until I left for college. Church and worship was a central focus of the morning—attending an early worship service followed by Sunday school, but I must admit that I often placed sneaking an extra donut with my grandfather at the coffee hour as one of my favorite parts of the morning.

When I left to go to college, I was on my own to find my own way, follow my passion, and find my own spiritual path. It was during the first semester that I met the “love of my life” (although I didn’t really know that at first sight). Chuck and I dated for the 4 years of college, took a one year break—pining for each other from different graduate schools, got married after that and have lived an exciting and not one bit stagnant 40 years—so far—together.

God has given us some glorious, wonderful times and He has definitely given us some unbelievable challenges. Both of us look back and feel that even though we didn’t always feel it, we know that God has walked every one of those adventures with us. Our son often introduces us as ‘carny folk’, because we have moved 14 times—and not just across the street—during our married life. Through these experiences, I have learned the importance of a church family and community and also, the value of building friendships and relationships with people from different background and beliefs.

When Chuck got a new position and we moved, I got the family settled in the new location and then found a new job for myself. For most of my life, I have been a teacher—I started my teaching career at a Thornton junior high school teaching German and Social Studies and moved on to teaching high school kids at a drop-out re-engagement high school in Oakland, CA. I later became interested in adult education and taught GED and career readiness classes in rural Maine to women who were losing their life-long jobs at shirt manufacturing plant. I was intrigued by education programs in correctional facilities and did a bit of training in that area. So, I was lucky enough to be able to teach in correctional facilities in England (where we lived in a farm house in West Sussex for 2 years), Idaho, Wisconsin, and did a bit of outreach work in San Quentin prison. When we came back to Denver 4 years ago, I started working at The Gathering Place overseeing the education program and building a job-readiness program. I currently teach GED and career readiness classes at Brighton Heritage Academy, an alternative high school in Brighton. Many might say that my life has been working with the ‘underserved’ or ‘disadvantaged’, but I feel blessed to know every one in my classes and programs because each one has tremendous potential and value—I’ve just been their ‘cheerleader’.

In my non-work time, I love to walk, read, explore, and share time with family…our 2 kids and spouses, and 2 grandchildren.

I am honored to be considered for the St. Andrew’s Vestry and would serve with passion, commitment and love.

St. Andrew’s

Annual Meeting

Sunday, January 22

10:00 am

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