To the clergy, staff, and members Of Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis:
I would like to thank the members of Christ Church Cathedral for the honor and privilege of serving on your vestry for the past three years. It has been an informative and rewarding experience and I believe that I have been able to make a contribution to the governance and evolution of the church and parish. I have also been elected by the vestry to be a member of the board of directors of the Christ Church Cathedral Foundation. This foundation oversees and directs the financial assets and endowment of the cathedral.
The 2018 Indianapolis Diocesan Convention passed an amendment to the canons allowing a member of the vestry to run for and if elected serve a second consecutive term. I am asking you to allow me to do that. I believe that in the midst of a transition as large as the one that we are going through at the cathedral we need as much stability as possible. I would like to add to that stability and would appreciate your electing me to a second term on the vestry.
I call Christ Church my home because for nearly forty years it has been a place of comfort, security, friendship, counsel, and spiritual guidance for me and my family. When I first came to Christ Church I was greeted with open arms by people who made it abundantly clear that this church was not the the stand-offish church of the elite of Indianapolis but rather a place of welcome to all people. It remains that today and I have tried and will continue to try to make sure that never changes.
My daughters were enthused and embraced by the music ministry. They joined the girls choir (all three eventually becoming head chorister) and the youth groups – things which helped mold who they are today. I believe that these two things (the music program and the youth group and youth formation) are essential to the vibrancy and growth of our congregation. I fully support and encourage their expansion. We are known for our dedication to the overall community and these two programs will bring attention to us and provide for an expanding platform from which to serve.
After what seemed like a rather short time, we went through the catechumen class and became Episcopalians and members of Christ Church Cathedral. We had found a home. I remember that I use to leave work, pick up my girls. and bring them down to choir rehearsal on Wednesday evenings. Then and now, coming down as Verger on Thursday evenings for evensong, I had the feeling that I was coming to a place that I belonged, with people I loved. The feeling is hard to explain but very real for me.
You know the story about giving a mouse a cookie? Well, I gave the mouse (the church), a cookie. I remember sitting in a pew one Sunday morning waiting for the service to begin when someone came up to me and said they needed an acolyte to carry the cross and wondered if I would mind helping out (I had just barely figured out how to hold two books, a program, stand up – sit down, and kneel – Episcopal Gymnastics 101 – what’s an acolyte do?) That ended several years later when I was sitting and waiting for the service to begin (not being scheduled that day for acolyte duty – we had plenty, amazingly) when one of the ushers came up and said that they needed help because someone could not make it that day. Thus began several years of usher duty which I found to be very rewarding – I was a teacher and therefore rather outgoing and I enjoyed meeting people. It was rewarding helping people who were new to the church and to make them welcome like I had been made welcome.
I consider the rituals and music of the Episcopal Church to be an essential part of the majesty of our service and worship and was in awe of the Vergers (The Verger – Bill Stone and A Verger – Wynne Porter). I lusted for the position. After the death of Bill Stone I was asked by Dean Giannini if I would consider being a Verger. I was given the responsibility of verging the 9:00 Sunday service (my girls were in the girls choir) and Thursday evensong. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that being a Verger was more involved then just walking around with a stick and directing people to various places. It involves making sure that things were ready for the service (taking that responsibility away from the clergy so that they could meet and greet people), getting people where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there, and helping to make sure that newcomers and visitors felt welcome. I have come to take that responsibility quite seriously. Several years after joining the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church I was honored to be that organization’s secretary and then vice-president. As such I was able to help move that organization from one of mainly fellowship to one that actually got involved in education, training people to be vergers, and the promotion of the position of verger around the Episcopal world.
I was recently ask what I would hope to accomplish as a member of the Vestry of Christ Church Cathedral. I strongly believe in our church’s activist role in the community. I believe that we should be involved in the social issues of the protection of human rights, immigration issues, homeless issues, and interfaith issues. As part of the vestry I would push to increase our support and involvement in these areas. I also believe that we are obligated to take care of our own. As such, I would support our youth programs, music programs, and seek more activities that would bring our English and Latino congregations together into a more coherent church. I thank you for taking time to listen to my thoughts, respect your thoughtful considerations of the people you think would best serve Christ Church Cathedral as a member of the Vestry, and am honored to have been nominated.
Click here to go back to the Invitation to the 2020 Annual Meeting from Dean Mary.