The Annual Meeting of the Parish and Vestry Elections Sunday, Nov. 24, 9:15 A.M. in Trezevant Hall

All members and newcomers are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting at 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall on November 24. This one-hour occasion will undertake key business matters, including the election of the Vestry Class of 2022, thanks for the Vestry Class of 2019 for serving, parish life highlights since the last annual meeting, review of a 2020 operating budget draft, and a state-of-the-parish address from the rector. In accordance with parish by-laws, your Vestry Nominating Committee is composed of members who will rotate off the vestry in December, the Class of 2019: Linda Khumalo, Julia McDonald, Murray McKay, Kurt Patton, and Gavin Wigginson. In conversation with the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, the committee arrived at a slate of eight people for the five-person Class of 2022 through nominations from fellow parishioners.

In addition to the candidates presented by the committee, the parish by-laws provide for nominations to be made from the floor at the annual meeting. If you wish to nominate a member to serve, you must receive his/her permission before nominating, and the nominee should be present at the meeting. To serve on the vestry, one must be a confirmed Communicant in Good Standing, as defined by Title I, Canon 17 of the Episcopal Church, who in the preceding year has received communion at least three times and been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God. In addition, one must be a member of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, eighteen years of age, a giver of record, and not employed by the Parish, Diocese, or Grace- St. Luke’s Episcopal School.

Five members will be elected at the annual meeting on November 24 to serve on your vestry for a three-year term. The five (5) persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected; provided however, that if there is a tie vote for the fifth (5th) position, on a second vote the person receiving the most votes is declared the winner. (GSL By-laws Article II, Section 3.) At the end of the three-year term for which elected, an incumbent shall become ineligible for re-election for three (3) years; provided however, said ineligibility in excess of one (1) year may be waived by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting of the Parish, and if for less than one (1) year, in addition to a majority vote at the Annual Meeting, a waiver from the Bishop must be obtained. GSL By-laws Article II, Section 3.

Download pdf of nominees by clicking this link.

Ben Cowan

Ben246x

Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? No
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 15
Name(s) of Household Members: Amelia, Paul, Seth, and Mitchell
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: Methodist
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: 10:30 Sunday Morning, Monthly
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: Attend formation when attending service. Enjoy helping with crafts and children’s activities.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: Have ushered ever since becoming a member.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Grace-St Lukes is the perfect combination of tradition and openness that I feel was lacking in Methodist and Presbyterian churches I attended growing up. I appreciate the effort to follow Jesus’ all accepting love in the Episcopal Church.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? That’s a good question. I’m an engineer by trade and fairly well organized. I am also well versed with technology and mechanics and can also wade through the bureaucracy of paperwork with the best of them, being in the medical industry with heavy regulations. I am happy to help wherever there is a need.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) Biomedical Engineer at Medtronic Spine. Full-time family man raising 3 boys with my wife Amelia. Enjoy running and exercising, camping, and traveling with the boys. Great to see the world again through the eyes of a child.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? Grace-St. Lukes is home. Amelia grew up here, at this church. As soon as I started attending with her, I knew it was different. Unlike any other church I had experienced. Grace St. Lukes helps me to be more open, more loving, more accepting, in the ways of Jesus. Church is definitely a grounding experience for me and makes me want to be the same kind of loving and open parent for my children. I can’t see myself anywhere else but here.

Michael W. Davis

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? No.
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 7
Name(s) of Household Members: Natalie, Michael, Henry
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: We usually attend the 10:30 service, the exception being travel and vacations
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: We are regular attendees of breakfast and the 9:15 education sessions on Sunday. Michael, our oldest son, attends most EYC functions, and Henry, our youngest, can be found downstairs in the atrium when he’s not helping me usher =)
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: Our family tries to lead a life of service and demonstrate the principle of servant leadership. For almost 4 years, I have been the head cook for More than a Meal on second Sundays. For the last 2 years, I’ve been the MTAM captain for the same Sunday. I coach youth sports in our church league. I also serve GSL as an usher captain, and my wife serves on the Fellowship Committee, working on Diocesan Convention Steering Committee, and participated in the selection committee for Dr. Patrick Scott.   Outside of the church, I serve on the Porter-Leath Board of Directors and the Carnival Memphis Board of Directors. I also try to find time to mentor and/or speak at schools in some of Memphis’s poorer neighborhoods.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Grace-St. Luke’s is my extended family. Our community is a special place and I place a tremendous amount of value on the relationships I have made (and continue to make). As for why I’m willing to serve on the Vestry, service is in my nature and leading a life of service is very, very important to me. If I can be of service to our community by serving on our Vestry, I am more than happy to serve.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? From a practical standpoint, I have a tremendous amount of experience around information technology, finance, contract management, and organizational development. I have been lucky enough to work and lead in various roles over my professional career. From a board service perspective, I have chaired multiple committees with focuses ranging on program evaluation, public relations, acquisitions/mergers, and fundraising.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) Most of my time is either spent with my family or working. I work at ServiceMaster where I am the Chief Technology Officer for Terminix. This is a fancy way of saying that I am responsible for understanding business strategy and outlining the roadmap and investments to execute.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?  Whether it’s the Parish Forum or the sermon, or just visiting with others during Sunday breakfast, GSL fuels my spiritual journey by providing guided reflections that help me think about things in ways that I may not have thought of before. I greatly appreciate that most everything we cover is rooted in discussion and dialog. I enjoy the inquisitive nature of our members and the effort we take to get to the deeper meaning behind scripture and traditions.

Jennifer Gibbs

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? No
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: I have been a parishioner of Grace St. Luke’s Church since 2011 when my family relocated to Memphis from Washington, DC.
Name(s) of Household Members: I am married to Ryan Gibbs and together we have two energetic young boys; Cameron, age 8 and Brennan, age 5, as well as our dog, Georgie.
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: St. Mathew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: Sunday, 10:30 a.m., weekly
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: My family attends Sunday 9:15 formation/Atrium classes.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: I am happy to serve on the Church Athletic Committee as the Youth Sports Program has brought so much joy to our sports loving family.  In addition, I teach Youth Confirmation Classes and help to facilitate the Parents Connect Ministry.  These roles have given me much appreciation for the hard work and talent that exists at Grace St. Luke’s Church.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Grace St. Luke’s has become a big part of my family’s life here in Memphis.  Our boys attend Grace St. Luke’s School and we love the continuity between their church and school lives.  The clergy members have made a deep impression on me spiritually.  For us, Grace St. Luke’s is more than church - it is community, friendship and an opportunity to serve.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? I am truly honored for this Vestry nomination.  If elected, I will bring my passion, energy and the perspective of a parent with young children.  I am eager to share the exciting things happening at Grace St. Luke’s and to attract more families to the community.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) I hold an M.Ed in Counseling and Educational Psychology and worked as a School Counselor in the Washington DC area prior to staying home with our sons.  In addition to teaching group fitness classes and holding school volunteer positions, I have enjoyed my increased engagement with Church programs and ministries throughout these past few years.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? We are grateful to have found this open minded, loving community in which to worship and raise our children.

Sandra Garner Ireland

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? I served on the vestry at Grace Saint Luke’s beginning in 2007
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 18
Name(s) of Household Members: Mary O’Connor (granddaughter)
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: Calvary Episcopal Church
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: 10:30 am, weekly
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: I have attended countless weekday classes. Most every Sunday, I also attend the Sunday Morning Adult Forum. When I’m able, I greatly enjoy attending Wednesday noon Eucharist.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: Currently, I serve on the the pastoral care, fellowship, and alter guild committees. I’m also a lector, verger, and scheduler of Eucharistic Ministers. In past years, I have taught vacation bible school, served on two search committees (Dean Richard Lawson and the Reverend Ollie Rencher), and the outreach comittee. I have audited classes at Memphis Theological Semenary for 12 years. I volunteer at Calvary Waffle Shop and am a member of the Junior League of Memphis.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Luke 12:48- “To whom much is given, much will be required...”. This piece of scripture describes why I want to serve on the vestry. I have in my time at GSL received such an outpouring of support and love. I hope to use my time and talents to return to Grace Saint Luke’s what I have been so generously given. Grace Saint Luke’s means family, faith, and the future to me. Wherever I turn, whether it be in the beauty of the building, the uplifting music, the challenging sermons, or the faces of the parish community, I feel hope, love, and a deep sense of the Holy Spirit.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? I have a professional background in public relations, sales and marketing, and fundraising. I have previous experience within the Episcopalian church, which gives me insight into the workings of the ministry.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) Since I’ve retired, I love to travel and explore the world. I enjoy reading, playing mahjongg, and furthering my knowledge with continuing my education. It is important to me that I spend time with my friends and family, and my beloved 4 kitties!
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? Life at Grace Saint Luke’s allows me to participate in activities such as serving as a lector and a verger. Being a lector affords me the opportunity to study the scripture, which deepens my understanding of the Word of the Lord. Verging allows me to connect with my parish community. In doing this, I am able to see the face of Christ in each person I encounter. All of these things greatly contribute to my spiritual journey and growth.

Jonathan Large

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? No
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 11 years
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: Second Presbyterian Church
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: I attend the 8 o'clock service weekly
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: I very occasionally stay for the Rector’s Forum.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: I volunteered with the EYC at Grace St. Luke’s for one year and taught Sunday school to middle and high school students here for three years.  I am currently one of the readers at the eight o’clock service as well as a weekly volunteer at More Than A Meal and one of the team captains.  I also volunteer weekly at Idlewild More Than A Meal, tutor weekly at Balmoral Ridgeway Elementary School, volunteer monthly at the Salvation Army Purdue Center and the Ronald McDonald House, and deliver a weekly Meals on Wheels route for MIFA.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? I love the beautiful worship at Grace St. Luke’s, the loving community, and my friends here.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? I hope that my volunteer and ministry experience could provide a useful perspective for the vestry.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) I am the Colonel Ross McCain Lynn Chair of History at Memphis University School, where I teach American history, serve as the faculty advisor to the Civic Service Organization, and help coach the trapshooting team.  My hobbies are reading and walking.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? My friends here bring joy and laughter to my life.  The worship brings me beauty and guides me to a deeper relationship with God.  Volunteering at More Than A Meal has made me a small part of a truly delightful and godly community.

Catherine Morehead

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? Yes, 2011 at GSL and served as clerk for one year during the rectorship of Fr. David Fikes.
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 31
Name(s) of Household Members: Robert,Turner, Henry and Hannah
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: First United Methodist Church, West Point, MS
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: 10:30
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: Have served on altar gild for 8 years, previously was on board of Mother’s Day out program and was active with GSL school.  Have worked on special committees during bishops visit, etc. and enjoy the gsl book club.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: President of Hedgemoor neighborhood association, active in Hedgemoor garden club, leader of Mid-South Dystonia Support Group
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? I have been a member of GSL for over 30 years and feel a real sense of family and community here.  I would be honored to serve on the vestry.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? I would bring my love of GSL and eagerness to serve this team as well as my energies and leadership abilities.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) I love spending time at the beach and when I’m not there, you can most likely find me in the kitchen, entertaining our large family, relaxing reading a book on the screened porch or riding my bike.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? The older I have gotten, the more I have relied on my church community to sustain me and am excited to continue my spiritual journey and growth at GSL.

Anna Robbins

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? I have served two terms on GSL’s vestry, the last about 18 years ago.
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: About 35
Name(s) of Household Members: Gwin, husband
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: I am a cradle Episcopalian. I grew up at Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta, GA and am also currently an “associate” member of Church of the Good Shepherd in Cashiers, NC
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: I attend the 10:30 or 5:30 service each Sunday that I am in Memphis
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: I attend Sunday and special weekday Formation offerings occasionally. I completed the EFM course a number of years ago.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: I have been involved in a variety of activities at GSL over the years, including serving as junior and senior warden, two rector search committees, endowment committee, altar guild, nave renovation project, and so on and so on. I am currently on the funeral guild and Diocesan Convention Steering Committee. I have also been an active volunteer in the Diocese, including serving as Board Chair of St. Columba. I have volunteered for a number of agencies in the community and am currently on the Board of Trustees of Memphis Theological Seminary.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Grace-St. Luke’s is my faith community and that is the reason why I am interested in serving on the vestry. My family and I have a stake in the health and well being of this church and I want to do what I can to help this community thrive.
If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? Assist with organization, provide some institutional memory, and help in finding new ways to grow.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) Tennis, pickle ball, hiking, traveling, and reading.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? Attending Sunday services provides some structure and discipline and formation programs offer insights and questions to ponder ---   but what really gives me strength for the journey are the fellowship and community of this church.

Katie Savage

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Have you served on a Vestry before and if so, when and where? Yes at Church of the Holy Communion
Number of Years at Grace-St. Luke’s: 8 years
Name(s) of Household Members: Millie, Charlie and Ryan Savage
Faith Community before Membership at Grace-St. Luke’s: Church of the Holy Communion - Episcopal
Worship Service Regularly Attended and How Often: 8:00. We attend 3 weeks out of the month, on average
Describe Participation in Formation (Education) Sunday and Weekday Offerings: My children and I enjoy going to church on Sundays, being apart of the 8 am service is important to us. My weekday participation has mainly been through Outreach opportunities.
Ministry and Volunteerism Involvement Within and Beyond Grace-St. Luke’s: I have served on the Outreach committee for the past five years and co-chaired it with Jim Drummond (2018-2019). Julia McDonald and I chaired Angel Tree for five years. In addition to these commitments, I also enjoy helping with VBS in the summer and food pantry.
What does Grace-St. Luke’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the Vestry? Grace St. Luke’s has played an important role in the faith development of my children and my adult life. Outreach is at the core of who I am and I have enjoyed being apart of this ministry and also having my children participate. Switching my letter  from Holy Communion to Grace St. Luke’s was a big decision for me, knowing that this is where I would raise my children in faith. My commitment is strong and I want to do everything I can to support the church.

If elected, what gifts and talents might you share with this leadership ministry team? I am a cradle Episcopalian and have served in many roles of the church throughout my life. I grew up in the youth program at Holy Communion, served as Director of Youth Ministry, ECW president, and vestry. At GSL I have co-chaired the Outreach Committee and Angel Tree. I am thankful for the many roles I have served and look forward to bringing with me past experiences as I walk into new ones.
When you are not at Grace-St. Luke’s, briefly describe or list how you spend your time? (Include current or recent former work/profession, priorities, any hobbies, etc.) Two years ago I started an organization business with Brooke Levy, Blue Pencil Home. Growing our business takes up a lot of my time during the day. When the kids get out of school, my time is spent with them and their activities.
How does life at Grace-St. Luke’s feed your spiritual journey and growth? There are so many opportunities to become apart of the GSL family and I have enjoyed participating in the many offerings. From Sunday service to outreach commitments, GSL always finds a way to fill my spiritual needs and I am thankful for being apart of such a wonderful congregation.

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