Annual Meeting 2022 | Meet the Newly Elected Leaders

The 2022 Annual Meeting was held via Zoom on March 27 from 12 noon - 1:30 pm
The 2022 Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, March 27 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm on Zoom. A more complete update may soon follow, but please welcome the newly elected leaders introduced below.

The Nominating Committee (Linell Grundman, Lynn Kneedler, Margaret Crenshaw, and Vestry Class of ’22: Andrew  Stafford, Shay Waye and Kit Arrington [chair], Michele Morgan [ex officio]) is very pleased to nominate the following slate of candidates for leadership positions at St. Mark’s.  Elections will be held during the meeting and positions will be effective at the conclusion of the meeting.

Newly Elected Junior Warden

David Wellman – 1-2 year term (resigning from Vestry, Class of 2024)

Marge and I joined St. Mark’s over 25 years ago after being introduced to the church by several sets of friends who told us about the engaging and inspiring clergy and welcoming people. But it was the music program along with the beautiful building that drew us in.  I am a long-time member of the Choir and am currently serving on the Vestry, the Endowment Board, and the Finance Committee.

I am an Architect and retired several years ago, having spent the majority of my career managing large ($30-70 million) renovations and new construction projects.  My experiences included supervising work, developing and maintaining schedules and budgets for complex projects, and fostering dialogue between people with differing goals in order to solve common problems.  These are all useful skills for the position of Junior Warden.  My recent work with the Vestry and Finance Committee has helped me to better understand St. Mark’s leadership and financial management structure.

I believe now is a good time to be Junior Warden at St. Mark’s.  Jim Pittman, our current Junior Warden, has done an incredible job in maintaining and improving our facilities.  Many of our critical systems, including HVAC units, have been upgraded in association with other projects such as the renovations in Baxter Hall/Parish Offices.  And recent assessments of our building’s exterior have helped us identify projects needed to maintain our roofs and walls.

My primary goal as Junior Warden is to continue maintaining our spaces with the same attention they are currently receiving, which is no small task.  I’m looking forward to working with our Fabric Committee to help better understand our building’s needs and prioritize projects.  And I will work with the Vestry, the Finance Committee, and the Endowment Board to gain their support to undertake needed improvements.  Finally, I would like to build upon Jim’s comprehensive building assessment and develop a rolling 3-5-year budget for maintenance and capital improvements.

Newly Elected Vestry Members

Katherine Buchanan – 2-year term, Class of 2024 (to complete Dave Wellman’s term)

Hello, my name is Katherine Buchanan and I am announcing my interest to serve on the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church vestry. I joined St. Mark’s after moving to Washington, DC in the spring of 2017. After visiting the church, I fell in love with our choir and this community’s deep commitment to making sure all are welcomed. In the years since, St. Mark’s has become home–where I come not just to make a joyful noise on Sundays, but to follow God inside and outside our church walls.

I grew up an Episocanerd, I was very active in my home churches since my dad was a priest and my social life revolved around organizing youth retreats with my friends from around our Diocese (EDUSC) at our camp retreat center. Since moving to Washington, I’ve taken my organizational skills in a slightly different direction–working in development, communications, and events for two different think tanks (fewer pine trees and prayer books in this line of work). I would be honored to use all of my experience to give back to this community of St. Mark’s that has given me so much. I am ready to support St. Mark’s continued growth and maintenance in the coming years as a member of the vestry should I be called at our Annual Meeting in March.

Harrison “Hank” Donnelly – 3-year term, Class of 2025

I am greatly honored to be nominated for a seat on the St. Mark’s Vestry, and eager to enter a new stage of giving back to a place that has given me so much.

I feel this way because St. Mark’s has been the location of many of the most important events of my life. My wife, Kitty, and I met here and were married in the nave a few years later. Our son, Rob, was baptized here, and many years later he married his bride at St. Mark’s. Sadly, Kitty’s memorial service was held here in 2020, and she rests in the Columbarium.

So, if elected, I will be strongly committed to doing the best job as a Vestry member that I can in partial repayment for the benefits I have received. Moreover, I have the experience and knowledge to contribute effectively, with past service that has included being a Vestry member, Canvass co-chair, register, and newsletter editor, among other jobs.

Also, I have recently moved to Capitol Hill, and so hope to be able to participate in parish life and leadership in a way that was often difficult for someone who lived a half-hour drive away. (Of course, I understand that remote meetings are a fact of life these days. But nothing beats actually being there…)

Although the past two years have been tough, I am filled with excitement and optimism about the future of St. Mark’s and the role it can play in the world. The current financial strength of the parish is a wonderful thing, and it stands in marked contrast to some years I can recall when the need to make budget reductions could make Vestry service painful at times. In addition, the superb leadership of the clergy, wardens, and vestry members during the Covid crisis not only kept us safe but also laid the groundwork for a great flourishing of parish life when we are able to be together again more fully.

Jan Lipscomb – 3-year term, Class of 2025

To the St. Mark’s Community:

I am submitting my name to run for the Vestry. As a member for 39 years, from before our marriage here, to baptizing and raising our children with the support of so many, to the present time, I have found St. Mark’s to be a foundational place for me. Belonging here is not always comfortable though.

As a white woman of faith, who loves a Black man, it was important to be in a church home where we could both feel supported. My first time at St. Marks, Verna Dozier gave the sermon. I was struck by her fervor and wisdom and made note of the rapt attention and responses from the parishioners, who clearly held Ms. Dozier in high esteem. A good start.

Some of you may have seen me around, doing verger tasks, or hearing my announcements about Incarceration Justice. While I have been here, it has been my pleasure to teach Sunday School, participate in Outreach, and co-chair the Liturgy Planning Team, along with Loretta Veney. Over the past eight months, I have been re-adjusting to a more open-ended use of time, following my retirement as an Occupational Therapist. This is a suitable time for me to shift gears and contribute to the life of our parish. We have endured several difficult years and need to proceed with care. I believe my professional work has equipped me for the challenges ahead, to continue fostering a vibrant and inclusive faith community, which allows space and time for those seekers to ask tough questions and to find the agency to uncover their truths within this place which welcomes skeptics and believers, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or faith origin. Although I clearly fall into the “believer” category, I value the questions we ask, and recognize the mystery of life as an adventure where we learn by living – together.

Nick Rogers – 3-year term, Class of 2025

I moved to DC about ten years ago to take a job with the federal government and to be closer to family. I am a mathematician, and I currently work as the technical director of a high-performance computing organization. My job combines a detail-oriented approach to problem-solving with a strategic vision of future goals and priorities, a mix of skills that I hope to bring to the St. Mark’s vestry. I am a lifelong Episcopalian and previously served on a vestry at a church in the Boston area where I attended graduate school.

I began attending St. Mark’s when I moved into the neighborhood in the spring of 2016. That fall I joined the choir, which has been such a blessing in my life, mostly because it’s how I met my lovely wife Jordan. Throughout the pandemic, our director Jeff has worked tirelessly to ensure we continue making beautiful music together, even while we were physically separated. The balance of comfort and challenge, from singing an old chestnut to struggling with a complex and unfamiliar piece, is emblematic of my broader St. Mark’s experience — and exactly what so many of us are looking for in this church community. I’ve looked for small ways to give back to the church, including serving on the coffee clean-up crew, the fabric committee, and as president of the choir, and I view the vestry as an opportunity for further service to St. Mark’s. My priority as a vestry member would be to continue to cultivate the smaller communities within our church family, and to help others find the same sense of belonging that it has brought me.

Newly Elected Diocesan Delegates

Tom Getman – 3-year term, Class of 2025

Born in Luverne, Minnesota, I was nurtured in my teenage years by a still influential social justice Episcopal spiritual director.  Influenced by young people in the Young Life movement, I spent 15 years in college and early adulthood in youth ministry in Philadelphia and New England, culminating in serving in the field ed departments of Harvard, Gordon Conwell, and Andover Newton seminaries and managing summer camps.

I was mentored in Jungian spiritual healing by senior representatives of the Episcopal Order of St. Lukes’s. Urban engagement at the time of school desegregation led to an eight-year career as legislative director and chief speechwriter for Senator Mark Hatfield. Legislative work on  Palestine, South Africa, Uganda, and Sudan, opened doors to the NGOs. I founded World Vision’s DC government affairs office in 1985.

After 12 years of establishing a USAID partnership, with my wife, Karen, we went with Desmond Tutu’s challenge to 5 years in Palestine and Jordan.  Eight years as WV’s international affairs director and UN representative in Geneva followed.   This assignment culminated as an NGO representative to the UN Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs.

After retirement in 2009, along with Karen, I have spent volunteer time working on  Israel/Palestine pilgrimages, education, peace, and refugee advocacy on boards and St. Mark’s Mideast Working Group, with mentoring to Hill staffers and seminarians.  My goal as a St. Mark’s delegate is to deepen the informative and healing circles in the DC Diocese, the National Church Episcopal Peace Fellowship,  and international partnerships.

Mary Neznek – 2-year term, Class of 2024

I have attended St Mark’s since 2001 as a member of the choir and later as a member of the Middle East working group,  co-chair of the Green Lions, and member of the Incarceration Justice Committee.

Professionally,  I have worked in disabilities and nonviolent conflict resolution advocacy for all of my career, and for the last 20 years have been an educator working with students having severe behavior and trauma-informed behavior in public and private settings, as well as an Instructor in the Department of Education at the Catholic University of America.  Nine of those years were spent at one of the first psychiatric treatment centers for children in DC, the Episcopal Center for Children.  As an undergraduate student, I spent a year at the American University of Beirut and later was a teacher volunteer for the YMCA in a remote village in South Lebanon.  I was a founding member of the National Capital Presbytery’s Middle East Working group, a board member of a restorative justice program in the DC Juvenile Justice System, and I participate in our local Brookland NE garden club which works to expand and enhance green spaces in our quadrant of the city.  2022 will be my 40th year on the Altar Floral Guild at the Washington National Cathedral where I am also a member of the Holy Land Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Early in my career, I was the executive director of a network of US Congressional spouses who were advocates for nuclear nonproliferation, nonviolent conflict resolution practice, and environmental justice.  I seek the role representing St Mark’s at the Diocesan Convention to widen the Diocesan voice in policy advocacy including restorative justice in Israel/Palestine, in the US criminal justice system, and in other areas of public policy. I believe that the voice of the church can make a significant impact at a local, regional and international level as the diocese works to create healthy, diverse, compassionate, and growth-filled congregations.  Having been a DC resident since 1979, I moved from Boston to continue my graduate education in Middle East policy and Arabic language at Georgetown University and later completed doctoral studies at George Mason University where I am ABD in conflict analysis and resolution.

Shortly before Covid closures, I traveled to Israel/Palestine with the USA Palestine Mental Health Network and later presented a paper in Gaza at the Community Mental Health Conference.  That was my 4th trip to the region as well as having taught university-level English for a summer in Taiwan after which I traveled to Japan.  At the end of 2019, I had the opportunity to meet with leaders of the Ahli Arab Hospital In Gaza, a hospital supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Episcopal Church USA.

I would welcome the opportunity to represent St Mark’s for a two-year term as delegate to the Diocesan Convention, after having served in 2022 as an appointed delegate to fill a term vacancy.

Ruth Roman – 1-year term, Class of 2023

I have enjoyed being a member of the St. Mark’s community for 20 years. During this time I have participated in many aspects of church life. I married my husband at St. Mark’s in 2004. When my children were very young, I volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and in youth activities such as a chaperone for the middle school service trip. Over the past two years, I volunteered with others from St. Mark’s in the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)’s campaign for housing affordability at Reservation 13. I have also deepened my relationships with others in the St. Mark’s community through participation in the Centering Prayer group. In addition, I serve as a member of the Senior Warden’s advisory committee. I would be honored to represent the Parish as a Diocesan Delegate and look forward to learning more about the broader Episcopalian community as well as the legislative processes of the church.

The committee offers our thanks to all of these individuals for their willingness to contribute their talent, their time, and their care for our community by running to serve in these positions.

 

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