The 2021 Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 14, from noon to 1:30pm on Zoom. Instructions for participating will be sent in the eGospel. For more information, read the annual meeting Event listing.

Candidate for Senior Warden

Linell Grundman

I believe the role of the senior warden is to facilitate the Vestry’s work, which is the organizational consistent piece to the work of the St. Mark’s community as a whole. I believe the senior warden and the Vestry are also invested in helping clergy and staff be as successful as they can. It would be an honor to serve my beloved church community in this way. The issues our community faces are front and center for me due to my current volunteer engagement on various boards and committees at St. Marks. I believe my embrace of the diverse interests and issues in our community, and wide-ranging experiences in getting hard things done through a collaborative effort, well qualifies me to succeed as senior warden.

My husband and I were both raised in the Episcopal Church. After visiting St. Mark’s when we moved to Capitol Hill in 1990, we became members shortly after attending the Baptism Class. Both our children were baptized at St. Mark’s and enjoyed happy early childhood years here before we moved to Massachusetts in October 2000. During our Liturgy of Departure, I wept, expressing my love and gratitude for all I had learned at St. Mark’s. My many experiences here across that decade—taking the Adult Confirmation class and other wonderful Christian Ed classes, being on the team that brought in the Catechesis of the Good Shepard, serving on the board of the St. Mark’s Players, directing plays, leading the Arts Council; serving on the Profile Committee as we prepared to call a new minister, on the worship committee, on clergy advisory committee, volunteering in the office and, best of all, getting to know Verna Dozier and Jim Adams—all profoundly shaped a new awareness of myself as a progressive Christian and of how to do community in faith.

I carried all I had learned at St. Mark’s with me to Sandwich, Massachusetts, and it propelled me into wonderful opportunities of civic engagement. I was elected twice to the Board of Selectmen in our town. I served as vice chair and chair on that board and on the town Finance Committee as well as the Cape and Island Selectman and Councilman Association. I also served in leadership of organizations tackling urgent needs of our region—the Regional Network to Address Homelessness, the Barnstable County Substance Abuse Prevention Council, the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative, and the Joint Base Cape Cod Senior Management Board. Still, church remained a focus of my community engagement. I served on the vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church, on the Church Council at First Church United Church of Christ, on the Cape Cod Council of Churches, and on the board of Church Women United Cape Cod.

Because there was not one day during the 18 years I was away from St. Mark’s that I did not think about this community, I was especially glad when we were able to move back to Washington in 2018. Upon our first visit back, I knew I had returned to my spiritual home. Since returning I have joined the Finance Committee, the Gun Violence Prevention Committee, the Library Committee, the Incarceration Justice Ministry, and the Worship Committee. Last year, I was elected to the Vestry, and in that capacity serve on the Reopening/Regathering Committee.

As I have learned, we have important work to do sustaining the great legacies of St. Mark’s and as we move toward the future. As your Senior Warden, I will do my best to draw the community together on this mission.

Candidate for Junior Warden

jim-pittman-st-marks-capitol-hill-dcJim Pittman (running for re-election)

I’m the lucky husband of Elizabeth Arthur and father of Smith Pittman. Elizabeth and I reside in Capitol Hill and Smith attends Barrett’s Honor College at Arizona State University.

I have been attending the Episcopal church since 1995.

I grew up on a small farm in south Alabama where everyone had skillsets to teach a young lad and everyone had to work.  My father and grandfather taught me everything from setting foundations to wiring and finishing houses.  I worked as an electrician apprentice and in appliance and HVAC repair and installation for several years.  I ran off to Auburn University where I obtained a BS in Forest Products and Management.  This led me to the pulp and paper, water treatment and recovery boiler industry where I ended up as a Regional Manager for a large chemical supplier.  I then finished my career in the industry as an Application Manager for an instrument and advanced process controls company across the Americas.  Currently, I am working part-time with a controls and equipment company in agriculture.

Candidates for Vestry (3 open 3-year positions)

Chris Berendes

Outreach brought me to St. Mark’s in 1995. I co-chaired our Washington Interfaith Network effort and later co-chaired the Outreach Board. Lynda Smith-Bugge and I, with dozens of parishioners, aided her grandchild Alisa Earnest, a prisoner in Virginia. I’ve also supported Race and Reconciliation and Origami Owls against Sexual Harassment. Responding to pandemic challenges, I co-host online Morning Prayer three times a week and co-led Being Church Now (12 small-group Zooms). I’ve benefited from Life Community and Faith (now Belonging) and other Christian Education offerings.

St. Mark’s is exploring how to safely rejigger the face-to-face interactions we treasure without losing touch with those across the country newly (re)connected via Internet and those with health restrictions as well as how to join with those working to eradicate white supremacy while we face our role in it. We have the budget, the talent, and the vision to do this. Now comes the planning and the step-by-step process to get there.

If elected, I’ll bring all of me to this challenge, especially my skills in asking good—but not always comfortable—questions, in making the Internet actually work for humans, and in helping people listen to one another.

Jeb Ory

My wife, Lea, discovered St. Mark’s through the St. Mark’s yoga studio when we first moved to DC, in 2013. When we found ourselves church shopping a few years later, soon after our first daughter was born, we decided we wanted to become part of a church community in our neighborhood, and Lea—a lifelong Episcopalian—encouraged us to consider St. Mark’s.

From the start, I was encouraged to get involved beyond the church service. I joined the leadership team of the 20s and 30s group and our family became a regular attendee of the 5 pm service.

St. Mark’s to us, and to me, means a network of intergenerational friends, fun weekends away, silly and special parties, and supporting our less fortunate (via Sunday Suppers) neighbors.

My professional experience in building and scaling a successful, 200-person software company—which works with hundred of nonprofits—has helped me understand that successful nonprofit organizations allocate funding to accomplish their missions.

The role of the vestry as we emerge from COVID-19 displacement is critical. It will help steer the church back into active community mode, and will need to proactively appeal to customers about whom we can build (the congregation) back better and continue to play an important role in the broader Capitol Hill community. I feel the calling to join and lead at this time and am excited about helping continue my faith journey as part of the vestry.

David Wellman

My earliest memory of St. Mark’s was hearing friends talk about how much they liked their wonderful church on Capitol Hill. So when Marge and I began looking for a place to get married nearly 25 years ago we knew where to start. We did take our pre-marital classes with Susan Flanders, but were not married here as our wedding date was during Jim Adams’s last weekend as rector. But we were very impressed with the community and returned as parishioners that fall.

I joined Marge in the choir several years later after completing a Master’s in Real Estate.  I have also been a long-term member of the Endowment Committee, serving as their architect representative and now as co-chair. But it was my involvement on Ryan Baugh’s Senior Warden Advisory Committee that piqued my interest in becoming more involved in leadership at St. Mark’s. I retired about two years ago from a career in managing real estate development and see the Vestry as an opportunity to once again become involved in organizational strategy and long-term planning.

The Covid-19 pandemic will continue to be a major driver in how communities, both religious and secular, serve their members. Not only are the rules changing, but we are also changing and recognizing how our parish could/should do things differently in the future is important to our continued success.

I’m interested in building upon the work of the Regathering Committee and exploring what is St. Mark’s as a post-Covid community. We, as parishioners, not only retain a degree of concern about close proximity but we are also more accepting of supplementing our practices with technology. To support our church’s mission, we should explore if modifications to our technology, web presence, staffing, and ways of doing things could enhance inclusivity in our worship; better support parish programs such as education, outreach, finances, and canvass; and enhance recruitment/retention. While our parish’s objectives have not changed, our ways of achieving them will.

I also support revitalizing the parish’s Stewardship Committee, not only as a link between the groups involved in parish finances but also as a bridge to our various parish programs. The committee could reach beyond our perceived silos and help in developing, budgeting, and coordinating parish initiatives in pursuit of our long-term goals.

Finally, as a co-chair of the Endowment Committee, I would like to promote their mission, encourage parishioners’ financial support for the future of St. Mark’s, and expand our Legacy options.

Candidate for Vestry (1 open 2-year position)

Edna Boone

A life-long Episcopalian, I moved to DC in 2007 with the intent of exploring other religions. I promptly joined the St. Mark’s Yoga Center and became intrigued by the St. Mark’s community through what I read on the bulletin boards throughout the facility. Maybe I wasn’t done with the Episcopal church after all or maybe it (I’d like to think God) was not done with me…

I have been involved in several church groups and activities over the years and am currently active in the Outreach Grate Patrol, Christian Education supply closet coordination, St. Mark’s Women to Women lead, St Mark’s Yoga Center board, Centering Prayer, St. Mark’s Women’s Investment Network, and most recently jumped in as a core member of the St. Mark’s Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) team.

Although the last year was difficult for most, it was also a reminder of how truly blessed we are. Many in our community have been deeply affected with food insecurity and abounding social and economic injustices. I hope to be able to serve you all and bring my energy and organizing skills to help us listen to each other, love each other, and be a positive force in the greater DC community.

Candidate for Diocesan Delegate (1 open position)

Susanne Allen

I’ve been a member of St Mark’s for more than 30 years and have sung in the choir the entire time I’ve been here. I haven’t run for office before.

One reason I want to serve as Diocesan Delegate is that my interest in liturgy strengthens my connection to the Episcopal Church, and the Book of Common Prayer is the foundation of our worship. The liturgy is how I see God.

I became interested in being a Delegate when our Morning Prayer group discussed the anti-Semitic language, especially in the Gospel of John, that all churches read during Holy Week. I was among those who petitioned the Vestry to seek changes in the lectionary. The Vestry and Michele agreed and submitted a resolution to the Diocesan Convention calling for the church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to recommend revisions to the lectionary readings for Holy Week. The resolution was accepted.

My interest is broader than liturgy and music, though. An important role of the Diocesan Delegates is to approve the diocesan budget at the annual convention. I would share the budget with the Vestry for their comment.

In April, a special convention will discuss a new Canon, a church law, setting up a process to assess parishes’ financial resources and spiritual vitality. With passage of this Canon, the Diocese could be more proactive in dealing with struggling parishes. I will seek input about this proposal from our clergy and lay leadership.

I want to serve the parish by sharing St. Mark’s vision with the rest of the Church, and I seek the opportunity to do that.