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2016 Senior Celebration Honorees


On April 27, 2016, more than 300 people gathered at Washington National Cathedral to recognize the contributions of 43 special people: the honorees of Senior Celebration 2016. Nominated for their service to the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the United Church of Christ Potomac Association, and Seabury Resources for Aging programs, their stories are truly remarkable – so we are pleased to share them here. Hats off to you, Senior Celebration honorees!

Murad Akbar, Seabury Resources for Aging, Ward 5

Murad Akbar is a DC native who graduated from Spingarn High School and served 30 years at the Department of Treasury. He started his volunteer service with The Halal Kibar Nutrition Center located at 1519 4th St, NW on 3 June 2013, and has remained committed to providing our seniors with the best service possible. He is certified by the DC Department of Health as a Food Safety Manager, and serves as Kibar’s lead kitchen volunteer. Mr. Murad maintains state-of-the-art kitchen services, follows established Department guidelines, pays attention to details, and willingly accepts responsibility. He is also a self- starter who is flexible even though requests may be outside of his normal duties. Lastly, Mr. Akbar is held in high regard by our senior participants as he provides positive interactions with them on a daily basis. His performance and approach to his responsibilities is exemplary.

Pamela (Pam) Alexander, St. George’s Episcopal Church, DC

Pam Alexander is a longtime leader of St. George’s, DC, whose countless hours of volunteer service reflect her deep faith and commitment to serving Christ in our community. Pam directs the St. George’s Parish Voices and Children’s Choirs, while also serving as the organist/pianist during worship services. Pam also directs several concert series and special musical performances during the year – most recently “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a full opera production starring the young people of St. George’s. Her longstanding dedication to young people is evident in her leadership of our “Free To Be Me” summer camp for neighborhood youth. Pam has been an active member of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of St. George’s, where she serves currently as Vice President. She coordinates our annual ECW Christmas Bazaar, stewarding the silent auction and poinsettia sales as well as the overall event. However, Pam’s many affiliations and numerous activities tell only part of the story. Pam embodies compassion, creativity, and joy in abundance as a true disciple of Christ in community. Quick to smile, Pam is generous of heart and shares her many gifts freely. She always has time to listen, to share a bit of wisdom or a moment of comfort. All of us at St. George’s are grateful for Pam and her ministry – and the ways she shows us Christ’s love in ways big and small. We are honored to celebrate Pamela Alexander as part of this 2016 Senior Celebration.

Dr. James W. Baldwin, Episcopal Church of the Atonement

James Baldwin was confirmed at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement in 1960. His record of service to the church includes: Senior Warden; member of the Vestry (two terms); Sunday School teacher; Vice-superintendent of Sunday School; Vice-director of the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew; member of the Counting Team; teacher of the Adult Bible Study Group. He is currently Acting President of the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew; President of Many Stars Daycare Center Planning Committee; Assistant teacher of the Adult Bible Study Group; Interim Secretary for the Episcopal Church of the Atonement Young Adult Employment Ministry Board of Directors. “Whatever you do, do it all for the Glory of God.” 1Corinthians 10:31 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10

Quentin Banks, Jr., Christ Episcopal Church, Clinton

Quentin Banks has been an active member of Christ Episcopal Church for many years. He serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Lay Eucharistic Visitor. Quentin is also an active member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. He always makes himself available to help set up tables and chairs for the church’s Easter Sunrise service, jazz concerts, International Sunday, Christmas Eve, and countless other church activities. He is one of the welcoming faces that greet both visitors and parishioners on Sundays.

Ellen Baynard, St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church

In 1968, St. Stephen’s Church members noticed that people were drifting in from the street to join the church coffee hour. It was obvious that doughnuts and coffee alone were not going to be enough to fill our guests’ needs. Parishioners began to volunteer to prepare a hot meal and serve it in the dining room, and thus Loaves and Fishes, St. Stephen’s hot meal program, was born. Today, 48 years later, Loaves and Fishes continues to serve more than 150 meals every Saturday, Sunday, and federal holiday, when many other feeding programs are closed. Ellen Baynard has been a mainstay of the Loaves and Fishes program for many decades, coordinating the preparation of the first Sunday meal and serving on the program’s management committee. Her unflagging dedication to providing food for people in need has helped thousands of hungry people and inspired hundreds of volunteers. For her service, St. Stephen’s Church says, Thanks be to God!

Ruby Brackett, Transfiguration Episcopal Church

Ruby Brackett has been instrumental in directing our Community Thrift Shop. She has also been a prime mover for the annual elegant Altar Guild Tea. She gives greatly of her time and talent to make both things run smoothly.

Lloyd Brooks, Transfiguration Episcopal Church

Lloyd Brooks is now the retired president of Transfiguration Men’s Group after seven years of service. Under his leadership we have refurbished the kitchen, installed a new informational sign, and accomplished mold remediation. Quiet but effect would describe his leadership style.

Beth and John Cartland, All Saints’ Episcopal Church

Individually, Beth and John Cartland merit recognition for long, distinguished and productive service to All Saints’ Church and their community. Together, they are an even better choice, with 50+ years of marriage and a wonderful family to be celebrated. Beth and John exhibit remarkable integrity, strength, joy, humor and love. Their Christian faith is deep, challenging, welcoming, and forward-looking. John is an engineer and logistician who has served his country in the U.S. Army and private sector his full career. Beth is an artist who both teaches and practices her craft – with work exhibited worldwide. These seemingly opposite careers complement each other beautifully. The Cartlands contribute deeply to All Saints’ Church’s spiritual life and activities. For over 25 years, each has been a key member of Covenant Groups and has contributed to Christmas in April/Rebuilding Together (John regularly as House Captain). Each has served on Vestry and key committees (John: Safety Security, Men of All Saints; Beth: Local Mission, Flower Guild, and Parish Retreat). They have been go-to volunteers in numerous Fall Festivals, Community Based Shelter dinners, Martha’s Table turkey drives, and Christ House support. Their welcoming hospitality is legendary – opening their house frequently for parish functions. John and Beth’s Cursillo training with the Diocese was a key growing point for them. Individually and together, John and Beth are a joy to be with and a pleasure to honor.

MaryRose Chappelle, Calvary Episcopal Church

MaryRose Chappelle is an active member of Calvary Episcopal Church, DC, where since 1956 she has thrice been elected a member of Vestry. She served as the first chairperson of the Pastoral Care Committee, a rewarding challenge. She has chaired several guilds, organizations, and the 93rd and 100th Anniversary Committees of Calvary. She thoroughly enjoyed serving the youth of Calvary, as advisor to the Youth Committee from 1961-1994; as Church School teacher; as co-director of programs and dramas for 28 years; and, as Church School superintendent for 10 years, retiring in 2005. Over the years MaryRose was a member of and chaired the Music, Evangelism, Worship, Stewardship, and Christian Education Committees. She currently serves as Lay Eucharistic Minister, Bereavement Officer, President of the Episcopal Church Women and Girls of Calvary, Chair of the Senior Group, Steering Committee member of the Parish Council, and is a newly elected member of Calvary’s Vestry. MaryRose has served on the Washington Diocesan Racism Ad Hoc Committee and as delegate to the Diocesan Convention. She thoroughly enjoyed chairing the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE), Washington Chapter’s Absalom Jones Day Celebration for 12 years. One of Mrs. Chappelle’s labors of love is the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, which she joined in 1956. She remains an active scout of 59 consecutive years.

Bernice Chuku, St. Mary’s Court

Bernice Chuku has been an active resident of St. Mary’s Court since 2011. Her gift for inviting others into activities and creating opportunities for seniors has made her our honoree. As president of the Residents Association she orchestrated the first Residents Talent Show – a big success! This year, she recruited residents to take part in a dramatization of Holy Week’s Passion. She designed the script, adding slides of visual art representing Jesus’ journey to the Cross. Bernice shares her own musical gifts when she plays piano and sings for our annual Remembrance Celebration for residents who have died. She has been a member of the community guitar and glee club group since she moved here. She is a faithful participant in weekly exercise, yoga, and tai chi classes. For a woman of 86 years, Bernice is a model of healthy aging and hard to keep up with! Bernice participates in a Senior-to-Senior Storytelling group that matches high school students and residents in learning to tell stories about their lives. Bernice actively recruited other seniors to participate in this group. Before retiring, Bernice’s lifelong career was as a registered nurse in her native Nigeria, and in England and Australia. She still pursues that calling when she notices residents who need help, and she is able to assist them in quiet ways. Bernice is the mother of four children and has 10 grandchildren. It is a joy to honor her as St. Mary’s Court’s senior volunteer.

Mary Cooper, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill

Mary and her husband Bert joined St. Mark’s when it was newly revived following a long period of decline. They did everything they could to help get things going again: chaired the canvass or were canvassers, put out the newsletter (he edited and she typed). Mary was treasurer of the church for many years and later Registrar of the Vestry several times. Mary and Bert were the Parish Historians. They prepared a booklet describing various features of the church, especially the stained glass windows. They went to Germany to see the workshops where the windows had been fashioned. Right now the windows are being restored with money given by the Coopers. Mary is now a member of the Altar Guild, the Historic Preservation committee, the Archives committee, and the Liturgy Planning committee. She answers the phone in the office on a regular basis and while she is there, she sorts material for the archives.

Robert Bruce Crane, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

Bruce Crane has been a faithful member of St. Augustine’s Church for over 30 years. He has served as Senior Warden, a member of the Vestry on several occasions, as Summer Coordinator for our weekly Bread for Life Meal Program, and as the Chair of our Stewardship program for many years. Bruce is a member of our seasonal choir, a weekly office volunteer, on our hospitality team, and the coordinator of our monthly Game Night. Bruce is a quiet presence and a bright light, always ready and willing to serve Jesus in others.

Anona and Wayne Fowler, St. Columba’s Episcopal Church

Anona and Wayne are pillars of our parish. Anona has worked on staff for decades (currently two days per week as Pastoral Associate ) and she has served in the healing ministry, coordinated the prayer chain, led book groups on healing, managed the book store, and has served in many other ways too numerous to list here. Wayne began his service at St. C’s as Acolyte Master and worked with our former Rector, Bill Tully, to develop the Sacristan Program. The role he is most known for is as our Verger (that many of us best understand as our “stage manager”) for our services. Wayne has held this role and trained countless acolytes, sacristans, and assistants since the early 1970s. They are both amazing people and St. Columba’s is extremely pleased to have them represent our parish as our 2016 Senior Celebration honorees!

Patricia Frye, Westmoreland UCC

Patricia Frye has long stood out for her remarkable blend of compassion and commitment. A member since 1973, she first made her mark in dried arrangements workshops sponsored by the Women’s Guild. In addition to her time as a Deacon, she was a member of the Board of Christian Education and chair of the Board of Community Action, where she was a prime mover in the re-establishment of Vacation Bible School. Patricia has been a faithful member of the chancel choir for more than 35 years and more recently has also performed with the bell choir. An avid reader, Patricia has been one of the most loyal participants in the church’s book clubs. In recent years she planned and hosted the pot luck dinners that bring Virginia-based Westmorelanders together. Above all Patricia is known for her contributions of floral artistry to church services of all kinds. Long the chair of the Flower Committee, he