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Meet the Candidates: 2023 Vestry and Diocesan Convention Delegate

Christ Church Cathedral will hold its annual parish meeting on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 11:30 a.m. in Nave. All members are encouraged to attend and to cast their votes for new Vestry members and delegates to the Diocesan Convention.

We have several excellent members who have offered their time and talent to serve on our Vestry and to represent CCC at the Diocesan Convention. Get to know them better during our Meet the Candidates Forum on Sunday, Jan. 15, after both the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. services and take a moment to learn more about them below:

Meet the Candidates

Vestry Candidates

Brent Luebcke

My name is Brent Luebcke. My wife, Caitlin, and I have been members of Christ Church Cathedral since 2017. While I initially began attending services at the encouragement of my now-wife, Christ Church Cathedral has become my spiritual home. I completed the Catechumenate in 2018. My wife and I were married in the Cathedral in July of 2019. Up to this point, my time and energy has been spent furthering my education and building my professional identity. It has become increasingly important for me to shift focus toward serving my community, and specifically this church, that has come to mean so much to myself and my family.

As a psychologist, I try to provide a compassionate presence to others, with a focus on improving well-being of the whole person. One of things that continues to connect me to Christ Church Cathedral is this community’s focus on making an effort to truly acknowledge and value all; not asking individuals to fit a mold of “who” the church should be for, but finding ways for the church to meet each person where they are and partnering with them to be Christ’s hands in our world.

I have not yet had the opportunity to serve in leadership roles within the church; however, if given the opportunity to serve as a member of the Vestry, I believe that my energetic personality, openness to new experiences, financial stewardship, and passion for expanding outreach to our downtown Indianapolis neighbors are all gifts that can be used to further the mission of God and this cathedral.

Mario Mirelez

My name is Mario Mirelez and I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Vestry. A Hoosier native and Indianapolis resident since 1989, I have attended CCC since 2018. As part of my Christian formation at CCC, I have completed Catechumenate, am enrolled in my first year of EfM (Education for Ministry), and serve as a Chalice Bearer for 8AM services.

It has been said that leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by everyone in our church. I intend to be a leader at Christ Church Cathedral in whatever way possible, large or small. The Cathedral will continue to exemplify God’s love for every human being and further our legacy of inclusion, but this important work must be done thoughtfully and with great responsibility. When clergy and congregation work in concert, we can accomplish a great deal.

My professional experience includes Graphic Design Creative Director, Marketing and Branding Management, and for the past 10 years, Green Industry Retail Manager. I currently work as a Buyer and Product Developer for a Wholesale Grower specializing in ornamental annuals and houseplants.

Perry Mihalakos

In my professional life, I have worked as an educator and a research physician in the field of mental health. Though raised Greek Orthodox, I was drawn to Christ Church Cathedral and the Episcopal Church after a long search for a spiritual home where I could grow more deeply into a Christ-centered life. At CCC I found a thoughtful and inclusive community with beautifully diverse roots. In other words, I felt at home.

Gratitude to my spiritual home has compelled me to seek out different ways to serve it. Over the past five years, I have participated in Education for Ministry, served as a Stephen Minister, and have volunteered in a variety of other roles, including serving at our community breakfast,officiating morning prayers, acting as a lector, a chalice-bearer, and facilitating a number of study groups such as Sacred Ground. Each of these experiences has left me with renewed faith and a stronger desire to seek Christ in service to others.

It is difficult to think of a more important means of answering this call than to assist in the stewardship of the Cathedral as a Vestry member. As a candidate, I aspire to be an intentional and reflective partner in listening to the concerns of our diverse congregation and fostering the vision of our parish; namely, to glorify God in our acts of compassion and hospitality. Thank you for considering my nomination.

Brett Roberts

It was hard for me to miss the little church on the Circle as it sits nearly halfway between my office and my apartment downtown. It was a natural fit when I was looking for a parish upon moving to Indianapolis. However, what brought me back over and over was how I was able to encounter Jesus Christ in this special place. Through the beautiful liturgy and architecture, the study and fellowship, and the service to the downtown community, Christ Church Cathedral offers so many ways to encounter Jesus Christ and to be changed by His grace.

My vision for Christ Church Cathedral is a family of disciples, doing just that: worshiping, learning, and serving together at the center of the city. To ensure these things, my focus on the Vestry would be to ensure Christ Church Cathedral continues to:

· Ensure a welcome for all people,

· Foster long-term sustainability with an emphasis on our societal impacts,

· Amplify Christian formation and service opportunities, and

· Provide a downtown center for prayer and gathering for the diocese and partners in ministry.

Before moving to Indianapolis, I was an active member and part-time youth minister at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington. I was confirmed in 2017 and completed the Education for Ministry (EfM) program in 2022. During my short, but meaningful time here, I have become involved in the Breakfast Ministry, the Stewardship Committee, and the Administration Committee. Perhaps my favorite ministry has been as an Usher welcoming people to our Sunday services as both regulars and visitors alike seek to encounter Jesus Christ.

Emily Shrock

My name is Emily Shrock and after serving in various leadership roles at Christ Church Cathedral, I’m seeking your vote to extend my work through service on our Vestry. I grew up spiritually in the presbyterian church and left when it took an abrupt turn toward the growing trend of American evangelicalism. My parents and I shortly thereafter discovered the Episcopal Church as a family and were confirmed together in 2005 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kokomo, IN. My sister and I began attending CCC for high holy days when we attended Butler University, and I began regularly attending in 2009 when I moved downtown to start law school.

As for many, the music brought me in the doors of CCC and the liturgy kept me wanting more. Growing up in a community that spoke of the “right” and “wrong” ways of being a Christian, it was refreshing to be in a space that did not speak in absolutes but rather acceptance.

I recently had the honor of serving on the transition team when Dean Gray was named and continued my service on the steering committee working to chart a new chapter for CCC under his leadership. I have been an active member of Cathedral Women for many years and currently serve as the assistant treasurer.

Outside of CCC I serve as Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ Chief of Staff overseeing our programs and opportunities to reform our criminal justice system. I have served as a volunteer at Coburn Place for over 15 years and am the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors. I also serve as the President of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law Alumni Board of Directors working to recruit a diverse group of incoming law students and make the cost more feasible through scholarships. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve CCC in leadership.

Diocesan Convention Delegate Candidates

Jeffry Guerrero Barboza

My name is Jeffry Guerrero Barboza, I was born in Venezuela, and I have lived in the State of Indiana for nine years. I have been attending CCC for almost five years. I received my confirmation from the Church this year and that makes me really happy.

I met the church through the invitation of a friend, and when I arrived, I felt at home. Being a member of CCC is a joy and a blessing because people must be where we feel good and more if it is surrounded by such a special and diverse family.

The Diocesan Convention is a magnificent opportunity to meet more people who are part of this beautiful community, as well as to exchange experiences and gain knowledge about the work that other sister churches have had in the different areas in which CCC intervenes.

That CCC participates in this convention is of great importance since the mission of our church is to extend the embrace of Christ to all places and to all people. To be able to demonstrate the great work done from the church is to encourage people to join our family in Christ.

My participation in the church has taken place in the reading ministry, as well as in the Board of the CCC Foundation. Likewise, inviting new people to get to know the church and live the experience of being part of the CCC family.

Lara Langeneckert

I am dedicated to serving the downtown Indianapolis community where I live and work. I have practiced law for over a decade, currently at a downtown firm and previously in state and federal government. Prior to attending law school, I was a musician and music teacher, and I now enjoy making music recreationally with the Indiana Wind Symphony. My husband Ryan and I also enjoy walking our dog around our beloved Lockerbie neighborhood and fixing up our old house.

In 2014, I was looking for a church home, and I found my way to the Catechumenate. I was baptized that Easter, and I have loved CCC ever since.In recent years, as CCC has widened its welcome and mission, I have felt called to deepen my involvement. I have been blessed to serve as a lector and a member of the Stewardship Committee, and to participate in the Children’s Formation ministry. I have also deepened my personal spiritual practice, and I treasure my morning prayer and Scripture reading time. During this season of Advent, Ryan and I have particularly loved our Sunday evening devotionals together.

If I am selected to represent CCC at the Diocesan Convention, I will approach the event with an ethic of faithful listening and thoughtful sharing. I would hope to learn from other congregations and the wider Episcopal world, and to contribute ideas and successes that we have experienced at CCC. I am grateful to be considered for this service opportunity.

Rey Marrs

Christ Church Cathedral is a place where all are welcomed. I can whole heartedly say, that from the first moment I arrived, I was treated like family. Afterall, the church is not a building or place, but rather the people in it. That’s why I’m honored to be a candidate for this year’s diocesan convention. I feel a sense of responsibility and moral duty to serve our great congregation as best I can, and being at this convention would mean a lot to me. I feel eager to at least get a sense of the workings that occur within the diocese so that the church may carry on day by day.

I’ve been at the church for well over 10 years now and I am very fortunate to have made many wonderful memories involving both the Spanish and English congregations. I’ve been involved in pretty much every corner of the activities that go on in the church. I’ve participated in being an acolyte, verger, usher, reader and more. The one thing that I would say most inspires me about Christ Church is the diversity of it’s people and it’s ability to find harmony among such diversity. It’s not easy to bring together two cultures that are at times very different, but the hospitality and nobility of the church and it’s staff have done just that. I am fortunate and very grateful to call this church my home. 

Joselin Ramirez

My name is Joselin Ramirez, and I have been a member of Christ Church Cathedral for 21 years. I was only four months old when I was baptized at the 1 PM service at the cathedral, and I have been involved ever since. I started as an acolyte with my mom and brother, while my father was a verger for the 1 PM service. After that, I sang in the Girl’s Choir and later in Coro. I am currently still singing in Coro and enjoy having the time to sing and praise god with my community. I am also the current recording secretary for the Cathederal Women.

I have enjoyed growing up in the church, which is now a family to me and a very important part of my identity. I want to continue being involved at the cathedral by having this great opportunity to attend the Diocesan convention as a delegate. I hope to learn more about the episcopal church by meeting other individuals from different churches across the state and learning their stories to gain new perspectives and ideas that can be brought back to our parish at CCC.

Phil Sowders

Having been raised at Woodruff Place Baptist Church on the near east side of Indianapolis, an American Baptist Church, our church was very socially active in the community. My fifth grade Sunday school teacher was John Boner which the center is named after for his service to Indianapolis. I was ordained in the American Baptist Church and served several churches in Pennsylvania. While completing a graduated degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary, I was introduced to the Episcopal Church. I was confirmed in 1993 at the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Gettysburg, PA where served as an acolyte, lay eucharist visitor, Confirmation teacher, and worked on a capital campaign for renovations to the church. At our diocesan conventions I served as a delegate.

Moving back to Indianapolis in 2012 to take care of my parents, I transferred my membership to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on the east side. When I moved downtown, I started attending Christ Church Cathedral. I found a welcoming and inclusive parish with wonderful music as well as a centering prayer group. I am serving as an usher for the 10:00 AM service.

I want to be a part of the parish to see Christ Church continue to be a vibrant contributing member of the downtown community partnering with our neighboring businesses and making a difference in our community and become a positive example of the Cathedral for the Diocese.

I am involved with several outreach ministries to the youth of the near east side of Indianapolis, Outreach Ministries and the outreach initiative of Tuxedo Park Baptist Church. Coupled with this I serve as a spiritual companion for those seeking spiritual direction. I am blessed with three wonderful adult children.