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Seabury Celebration of Service 2018 Honorees

Each spring, Seabury co-sponsors a service honoring the contributions of older adults to their congregations and the community. Episcopal and UCC congregations and programs are invited to select as their honoree an older adult who has made a significant impact through service and leadership. The Seabury Celebration of Service 2018 will be held on April 24, 2018, at Washington National Cathedral. Read about this year's honorees below!

Monica Abdul-Saleem, Seabury Resources for Aging, Seabury Ward 5

Monica Abdul-Saleem has been a volunteer with Kibar nutrition site since its start five years ago. She provides exercise for the seniors three times per month. Ms. Abdul-Saleem has been a teacher for all of her professional life. For more than 25 years, she served the District's public school system as an elementary school teacher, library media specialist, and computer education specialist. Ms. Abdul-Saleem was twice awarded "Teacher of the Year" from D.C.'s Ward 5. She has pursued a life-long interest in physical fitness. She is a personal and group fitness trainer, maintaining a Zumba license, and cycling and piloxing certifications. She practices Yoga and is a Reiki Energy Healer. She enjoys traveling with friends and spending time with her granddaughters and family. Seabury - Ward 5 is pleased to honor Ms. Monica Abdul-Saleem.

Gordon B. Avery, M.D., St. Alban’s Episcopal Church

During his three decades at St. Alban’s, Dr. Avery has been a stalwart leader on its vestry, including service as junior and senior warden. His terms covered a capital campaign, and the retirement of a tenured rector and subsequent rector search, which he chaired. His service includes lay reader, head usher, Eucharistic visitor, instrumentalist, Cathedral liaison, baptism orientation, member of numerous committees, and 20 years in the choir. He has continually deepened his faith through Bible study, St. Alban’s Core Curriculum, and Education for Ministry. Gordon is active in Foyers, OWLS (older wiser laity), and continues to befriend all who come through the doors. For 17 years Gordon—a cellist—provided musical leadership each Sunday for his parish’s worship service at the Washington Home, becoming a beloved friend to residents. He participates in the supportive lunch program at Harriet Tubman Elementary School. Gordon Avery has been a major contributor to our nation’s child health advocacy. He was a long time member, then chair, of the NIH Child Health Institute’s committee on data safety and monitoring. A well-respected neonatologist, he devoted 35 years of service to Children’s National Medical Center.

Helen Barnes*, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, College Park

It is quite difficult to adequately summarize the impact that Helen Scroggins Barnes had on those who were blessed to know her. Helen's life exemplified the Christian ideal of understanding the entirety of one's life as a vocation. Her deep and profound faith in God and love for others pervaded every aspect of her life and shaped all of her personal and professional relationships. Helen, unfortunately, passed away in February. She possessed a deep interest in and concern for vulnerable populations, especially the aging. Her career was spent in geropsychiatric nursing, often in underserved communities. After officially retiring, she continued to serve as a consultant in this field, and she facilitated support groups, both within and outside the church, for those caring for aging family members. To this day, I encounter people who speak in great detail about their appreciation for Helen's support and guidance in caring for family members. Helen worked tirelessly within the church community, educating fellow parishioners as to ways they might best support others aging in place, and she served on two local government boards doing the same. Our parish community at St. Andrew's, along with the larger community as a whole, is better off because of the efforts of Helen Barnes.

Marilyn Boyd, Trinity Episcopal Church, Upper Marlboro

Ms. Boyd is our Outreach Committee chair, overseeing a great number of activities. These include hosting Marlboro Churches Food Bank at Trinity every month, providing Food Bank breakfasts, creating trail mix packs for Martha’s Table, coordinating Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for food bank clients, coordinating Gifting Tree and Holiday breakfast for food bank clients, arranging Lenten collections for Bishop John T. Walker School, setting up two African Team Ministries craft sales, and supporting Christmas in April. Trinity has an ambitious outreach program and Ms. Boyd makes it all go off smoothly! Ms. Boyd is also our Pledge Chair on the Stewardship team. She meticulously and confidentially handles all pledges and statements. As an Altar Guild team member, Ms. Boyd ensures the church is beautiful and ready for Sunday services, as well as for special occasions. She coordinates the Seder Dinner Trinity hosts on Maundy Thursday every Holy Week. Ms. Boyd does this work quietly, carefully, effectively, and reliably. She lives her faith through service to Trinity and our community every day.

Frances Brown, Christ Episcopal Church, Kensington

Frances Brown has graced Christ Church for decades. As an active member of the Women of Christ Church, she organized and staffed many fundraisers, receptions, events, and pastoral care responses. Frances continues to serve on the Flower Guild and as one of the essential contributors to parish life functions. If there is a parish celebration or funeral reception, Frances is there lending her hands and heart. We honor her for her many years of devoted service!

Robert O. Brown, Jr., Christ Congregational Church

Bob Brown became a member of Christ Congregational Church in 1972, joining the Board of Christian Education on behalf of his five children, all of whom progressed through Sunday School and youth activities. During his continuous membership with CCC, he has served in multiple capacities, including Chair of many Boards and Moderator. He served on searches for Senior and Associate Pastors; sang in the choir, and he now leads prayer at choir rehearsals. In 1998, he was general co-chair of renovation efforts that sought to make CCC physical facilities more accommodating and hospitable. His experience on the boards of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Lancaster Theological Seminary is reflected in his ongoing work with CCC. Bob helped support a meditation group and contemplative spirit in church programming. He co-chaired a transition committee and was instrumental in launching Because We Care, a pastoral calling support group that emphasizes being a healing presence to members in need of comfort or support.

Yadira and Carlos Castillo, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church