Congratulations to the Vestry Class of 2018
How long have you been attending GSL? 25 years
Why have you made GSL your church home? Since our return to Memphis in 1992, the GSL church community has enfolded our family, all of us. I think that what we have at Grace-St. Luke’s is precious and rare: a true community of faith, welcoming, diverse and inclusive. So many in our parish earnestly try to ‘walk in love, as Christ loved us.’ I am so proud to be a part of Grace-St. Luke’s!
What gifts and talents will you bring the vestry? As an artist, I am continually reminded that, although I can’t write a business plan or balance a budget (just ask Warren), I do have strengths on the other side of the equation. I am generally able to look at a problem from all sides and think creatively about how to arrive at a solution. I am organized and visual, which has -- I hope -- been an asset to the church committees of which I’ve been a part. I’ve served on several different committees, from Canterbury Festival design to More Than A Meal, so I have at least a partial knowledge of what’s going on in the church. As a long-time member of Grace-St. Luke’s (apologies to those who’ve been around fifty years and more!), I have a sense of the history of the church and how that might affect and inform our future.
Tell us about your family (married, single, children, pets, etc) and your occupation. I am married to Warren Ayres. We live in Central Gardens and have done so for the past 25 years. We have two daughters, Chloe and Ainsley, 31 and 28 respectively, who both attended GSL School. We all love the school as well as the church and regard it as a lovely and far-reaching asset to both the church and the neighborhood. I am an artist.
What are your 3 favorite GSL activities? Serving as a LEM (lay eucharistic minister); Rector’s Forum; and the parish retreat
How long have you been attending GSL? 13 years
Why have you made GSL your church home? As I was looking for a church home, it was very important for me to find a place that was inclusive but with a high regard for liturgy. This is one of the reasons why I have remained an Episcopalian my whole life and why I have made GSL my church home. Over the years GSL has also proven itself to be a place where I can feel comfortable being myself and where I know I sit among a community that is welcoming of all of humankind. I know that I can be authentically me because the GSL family around me values it. This is also a church that walks beyond the doors and into the lives of the community and neighborhood around them. It lives out the Eucharist in this way day to day.
What gifts and talents will you bring the vestry? I have been in the healthcare field for 20 years, and throughout this time I have learned a lot about sitting with patients and working with other people. I know that compassion, honesty, and integrity will carry me through every situation I encounter. Whether I am talking on the phone or sitting at a bedside, I seek to be an objective listener in order to provide the best care for them possible. Likewise being a part of the Vestry will necessitate this objective listening, compassionate presence, honest voice, and virtuous life.
Tell us about your family (married, single, children, pets, etc) and your occupation. I have two children, Samuel and Khaki, who are in 6th grade and attend GSL. They are both active in after school activities. Samuel loves his swim team and the camaraderie and discipline he has found there. Khaki loves gymnastics and is making friends she’ll have for a long time. We have one dog who is a Labrador retriever named Biscuit. We also have one cat who we found in our basement named Chicken. When they aren’t following me around the house, they are playfully chasing each other. As for me, I am a registered nurse and have worked in Cardiology for the past 20 years.
What are your 3 favorite GSL activities? Every year my children and I attend Exodus and love it! We enjoy getting to know the other parishioners outside of the church building. It provides us all a chance to relax and build relationships with our church family. We also enjoy La Posada. It is always a great meal with a very fun, sweet service. We always leave with a sense of togetherness and community. I also personally enjoy Eucharist with my children. I want them to know the importance and deep meaning of the sacraments. It feels very special to me to share this with them each week.
How long have you been attending GSL? I originally darkened the doors in 1993, but Terre and I started attending in 1996.
Why have you made GSL your church home? Terre and I were looking for a parish that was closer to home in East Memphis. We both knew priests and friends from the parish and visited. Since then many people, homilies, and holy moments have kept us at GSL. For me GSL has the right combination of contradictions: it’s earnest and able to laugh at itself, too.
What gifts and talents will you bring the vestry?
I’ve been on the vestry before and have seen one that works, in my opinion, fairly well. I’m organized and analytical. At heart I’m an optimist who seeks to see the silver lining in all things, people, and situations, but I believe in confronting difficult decisions, too. I’ve been in the choir and have a sense of its importance to GSL and I’ve taught Sunday School and believe in the importance of good programs for our youth, too.
Tell us about your family (married, single, children, pets, etc) and your occupation. I’ve been confusing the Memphis legal crowd by not being Jim Fratesi since 1996; Terre Greer is my wife of 21 years, though the court knows her as Terre Fratesi. We’ve preferred to play aunt and uncle rather than have kids of our own. I’m an IT manager at FedEx.
What are your 3 favorite GSL activities?
Seeing fellow parishioners in the community. I’m always reminded what kind, generous, industrious people we are and how connected we are in so many ways.
Receiving the Benediction. If a Mass is degustation for the soul, then the Benediction is a digestif.
Holy Week at GSL and especially Maundy Thursday. Behind the scenes there are a hundred hands making sure everything comes together, and maybe in spite of ourselves a thousand hearts come away uplifted.
How long have you been attending GSL? 17 years
Why have you made GSL your church home? One obvious reason is the Sunday morning service. GSL’s commitment to thoughtful liturgy, the exquisite music, and the dedicated guilds and lay leaders make the celebration of the Eucharist an extraordinary experience at Grace-St. Luke’s. What keeps us here is the community. Rectors come and go and programs rise and fall, but the love, wisdom, and spirit of the souls that make up our parish is powerful.
What gifts and talents will you bring the vestry? I have experience in parish leadership—I served a term on the vestry (2009-2011) and on the Search Committee that called Richard Lawson. I have served several stints on the communications committee. All of these will provide strong perspective as we start a new chapter with a new Rector from a place of strength, but with the discipline and mindfulness we’ll need to chart a course that lives into our full potential to love and serve God. As a business owner for 20 years, I have experience managing budgets, contracts, and all the other aspects of organizational operations and planning. But most of all, I’ll bring a commitment to being a wearer of other people’s shoes. As an employer, as a father and husband, and as a Christian, my prayer is always to be graced with the empathy, perspective, and humility that let me see the world through someone else’s eyes and feel it through his or her heart.
Tell us about your family (married, single, children, pets, etc) and your occupation. I am married to the fabulous Patty Liles and we have two children, Ruby (15) and Jasper (13). We have more dogs than is advisable. By day, I am a principal at an advertising agency.
What are your 3 favorite GSL activities? Our magnificent Sunday service, for sure, for all the reasons listed above. Also, weekend Exodus. It’s peace and fellowship for parishioners of all ages… if you haven’t been, you don’t know what you are missing. And slinging grease with the Crossmen isn’t the worst way to spend an early Sunday morning.
How long have you been attending GSL? 25+ years
Why have you made GSL your church home? It is welcoming, has a great family feeling, and is an important focal point for the community
What gifts and talents will you bring the vestry? Experience in several areas, including involvement with several not-for- profits in arts (ballet, music) and charitable endeavors (disabled, Alzheimer’s). Experience with finance, accounting, and investments.
Tell us about your family (married, single, children, pets, etc) and your occupation. Jill and I have been married for 46 years. We moved to Memphis in 1976, the year our daughter was born. She now lives in Dallas, is married, and has three children. I am the retired CFO of MAA (Mid America Apartments), and on the board until 2012. I presently work part-time as senior advisor to Almanac Realty Investors (a private equity company in New York), and I am also active on a part-time basis consulting in the investment business. Jill and I travel some for pleasure and to keep up with family, and I go somewhere most months for business.
What are your 3 favorite GSL activities? We attend Sunday morning matins, sometimes the Rector’s Forum, and Third Thursday. I also recently joined Ed Hord’s cook-team.