At the Annual Parish Meeting on November 18, Grant Adams, Wight Boggs, Patrick Burnett, Charlie Pazar, and Tom Stephenson were elected. They will begin their service in January. We give thanks for the service of the Class of 2018: Mitch Graves, Ed hord, Steven King, Holley McGehee, and Donnie Sappington.
I have been attending Grace-St. Luke’s since 1999 and a member for over 16-years.
Since I don’t have a spouse or children I think of GSL as my family. I have been a Vice-President of Institutional Fixed Income Sales at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey for over 18-years including the 4-years at National Bank of Commerce before being acquired by SunTrust Banks.
The reason I have made GSL my church home is the friendly and comforting welcome I would enjoy on my Sunday visits while looking for a Parish home. Then I became to love the way the Eucharist is Celebrated and the vibrancy of the Grace-St. Luke’s Parish life.
When asked about what gifts and talents I will bring to the Vestry, I believe I work well with others and have an open mind and heart especially in times of tough decision making. I do appreciate the views and ideas of others even if they oppose my own. Most importantly, to me, I bring my dedication of service to the Episcopal Church and Grace-St. Luke’s specifically.
My favorite GSL activities would first be the Acolyte Program which I have been the warden for over 15-years. Other activities I enjoy are the Lenten Season classes and the Foyer Groups. Both great ways to meet other Luker’s.
I have been a parishioner at Grace-St. Luke’s for about 26 years. We began attending church here when we enrolled our kids in school at GSL and have been here ever since. I have been volunteering at the food pantry for many years and became a lay EV minister when my late husband, Thomas, became ill. I am retired and part owner of Huey’s with my sons and stepdaughters. I have two sons, Alex (30, married to Jenay and father to Reagan) and Fulton (27, resident food artist and sculptor).
I am a Reiki (energy alignment) master and dabble with the arts. I worked for the Memphis Restaurant Association for 20 years as its Executive Director and then as Executive Advisor for another 5 years. I serve on the non-profit boards of the Shelby County Drug Court Foundation and Serving Memphis.
GSL is my church home because there is solace within the sanctuary, friendship and compassion within the members, and guidance and ministry within the staff, always. My business acumen provides me with a palette of assets to serve on the Vestry including the ability to view a project without bias, marketing, writing and organizational skills, knowledge serving others, and a zest for hospitality, all with a big smile and friendship in my heart.
My family started attending GSL in 2000. Sara and I have three daughters. Two are proud graduates of GSL School and are now in high school, and one is in 7th grade at GSL. I am an attorney and am General Counsel for a broker-dealer/investment bank and a real estate holding company.
The Episcopal Church, and GSL in particular, is our church home. We love the feel of this neighborhood church and the close connection to the school community.
I have had the honor of serving in several roles for the church over the years, including finance committee chair, senior warden and now parish chancellor (lawyer). These roles have given me the benefit of being exposed to the many and diverse views and groups within our parish. While negotiating construction contracts with architects can be a little dry, I have enjoyed using my skill set to work with clergy and lay leadership to solve problems and address challenges by building consensus and by working to be fair and transparent with all involved.
I am truly honored to have been asked to stand for Vestry. This Parish offers so much, pinpointing a few of my favorite Church activities, I do truly enjoy our Sunday experience, including the Rector’s Forum and Sunday service. The memories of our girls at La Posada (known as “Knocking for Jesus” in our house), and playing on GSL sports teams are cherished in our home. I welcome the opportunity to serve.
Charles Pazar and his wife Janice came to Memphis in 1998 by way of Washington, D.C. and New Jersey. They joined GSL in 2005. He is attracted to GSL by the beauty of the liturgy, the intelligent preaching, and the fellowship of the many friends he and Jan have made here. Favorite activities at GSL include service on the Vestry, and service as a lector, chalice bearer and usher. He attended most of the Men’s Retreats and taught an adult Sunday school class. He completed Education for Ministry in 2016. Charlie is also a proud member of Cook Team Three. He would hope to bring to the Vestry some ability for “judicious” decision making and fair analysis of the issues.
Charlie retired as an Immigration Judge in September 2017, after 19 years on the bench. He is an adjunct professor of Immigration Law at the U of M law school. In his retirement he is taking German at the University of Memphis to assist in family history research. Currently he is the senior scholar for the six part “Becoming American” series given at the Central Library.
Charlie and Janice have two grown daughters, Sarah and Beth. They are also the caretakers of Sgt. Pepper, aka Sarge, a large tuxedo cat with attitude. Charlie’s hobbies include photography, genealogical research, travel to Europe in pursuit of the graves of ancestors, and reading mystery novels.
Please allow me to introduce myself—I am Tom Stephenson, proud husband of Susan, Dad to Haley, Tommy, Katie and Meg, “Pops” to grandson Thomas, with two more grandchildren on the way. While these are my favorite occupations, my “day job” is Chief Credit & Risk Officer of Independent Bank, where I have the opportunity to work with both my wife and our son. I have been part of the Memphis banking community for more than 40 years.
I am truly honored to be considered for the opportunity to serve on the vestry of our church. We have been “unofficial” members of this special community since 1990, when our son, Tommy, started pre-school on Miss Lee’s campus. His sisters, Katie and Meg, followed shortly thereafter (1992 & 1994), and all three attended GSL through the 8th grade. Needless to say, we have frequented this church for many celebrations, programs, graduations and special events over the past 30 years.
As our youngest famously said after attending a GSL Church Retreat, if you are Methodist, and you are “really good,” eventually you get to be an Episcopalian. In 2013, we came “home,” as our entire family officially joined Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. This was an especially poignant milestone in our lives, as we officially returned home: to a place where we had made lifelong friends, watched our children grow, and built a spiritual community that has sustained us through the best and worst of times. I can confidently say that it is one of the best decisions our family has ever made.
Needless to say, 40 years in banking will inevitably teach you the importance of relationships, hard work and an infinite amount of patience. As a father of four and grandparent to one, I have also learned to listen to others with a focus on understanding what is important to them. I would bring these qualities, along with my deep love and respect for this community, if given an opportunity to serve as a member of the vestry.
Through my membership at GSL, I presently serve on the Diocese of West Tennessee Investment Committee. And while I enjoy every Sunday and special occasion at the church, I treasure most the milestone memories I’ve made here. Two of my daughters have been married in this church, and I watched my grandson receive the sacrament of baptism just last summer. Each Sunday, I’m grateful to receive – and be received – at this sacred altar, and I look forward to making more memories, and enjoying more activities, through the opportunity to serve on the vestry.