Seabury Celebration of Service 2019 Honorees
Jane Anderson, Christ Congregational Church
Something sparked when Bob recounted his health crisis--a heart attack and hospitalization right before Christmas. He recognized holiday preparations were pressing, but he was hurt that only the minister visited and only one person called. Jane Anderson was among those hearing his story and knew, "We can do better." With the Minister of Care and Community and several other Deacons interested in improving congregational care, she began the brainstorming process that a year and
a half later emerged as Because We Care --- an outreach of lay visitors to persons in the congregation experiencing significant transitions, losses, and other challenges. Many of these care receivers are older members. Jane's role over the intervening three years has been to keep the formative process moving ahead. Along with a steering committee and the Minister for Care and Community, she has secured start-up funds, developed goals and procedures, incorporated SafeConduct guidelines, planned training modules, created a logo, publicized the group's emerging presence, and recruited members. They also found ways to use the church's data management software to track visits and share reports. Because We Care is now focused on broadening acceptance of what its lay visitors offer: caring, nonjudgmental companions willing to listen and accompany persons dealing with difficult life events. Because We Care members strive to give a personal face to care and compassion to members of Silver Spring's Christ Congregational Church.
Carl L. Barbee, St. Philip the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Mr. Barbee has been a faithful member of St. Philip the Evangelist since 1979. His gift is that of service to the Church, its members, and the community. Because of his mechanical and carpentry skills, he has come to the aid of many members of the congregation and the Church itself. Carl has served as Junior Warden, Vice President of the Men’s Club, and member of the Senior Choir. He is now serving on the altar as the oldest acolyte.
Mary Benson, Trinity Episcopal Church, Upper Marlboro
Mary took over as Senior Warden just as Trinity Upper Marlboro’s Rector of 17 years announced her retirement. Mary worked tirelessly to lead Trinity during this transition. She ensured thorough knowledge transfer from the long-time Rector to the lay leadership. She developed a plan for Vestry members to assume greater leadership roles in each aspect of the parish, collaborated with EDOW staff on transition details, set up the Search Committee, assisted the parish administrator, and arranged for weekly supply clergy. She managed staff members through health issues and staff changes. Her steady, calm leadership anchored the parish through the past year, as evidenced by very little drop in attendance or pledge fulfillment after the Rector’s retirement.
Mary arranged for $14,000 in private donations to repair the church bell tower and narthex ceiling. In addition, she wrote a successful grant for $49,500 to the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Historic Preservation Department to repair and preserve Trinity's sanctuary. As a member of the Property Committee, she spent many hours arranging for renovations of the rectory, so it could be rented and become a revenue source for the parish. As a member of the Finance Committee, she established budgets to guide the parish through the transition years.
Mary has a friendly nature that makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome. She is also involved with Women of Trinity, the Trinity Book Club, and Adult Forum. She serves as a Lector. Trinity is proud to recognize Mary Benson!
Jacqueline Bowen, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church
St. Mary Magdalene Church gives thanks to God for the continued presence and years of service of Jacqueline (Jackie) Bowen. For over a decade, since Jackie joined her daughter Dawn as a member of our church, Jackie has dived right in. She sings in the Sounds of the Spirit choir, helps in the Thrift Store, engages with the Bible study group, is a volunteer in the office, and her monthly joy is cooking a hearty meal for the Chase House Men Shelter. We are proud to honor Jackie this year, for the ways in which she brings light and joys to our community, and for the ways in which she honors God.
Joan Bundy, Jubilee United Church of Christ
Joan Bundy is our church's mother, historian, poet, teacher, and evangelist. She has faithfully and actively served the church since becoming a member over 15 years ago. In that time she prepared/delivered/served meals to those in need, led church service when needed, assisted interim/call/supply pastors, used her excellent crafting skills to enhance church ambiance, catalogued/reorganized church files and documents, organized yard sales, coordinated yearly Sight & Sound trips and performed janitorial tasks when needed. Her knowledge of the Bible is expansive and a great contribution to Bible study. We can always count on her to share a piece of history be it biblical, African American, general American History or history of the District of Columbia - her birthplace. Joan continues to serve the church in these and many other ways and is truly a godsend. It is fitting that she is honored during Seabury's 2019 Celebration of Service.
Dolores Cefail, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church
St. Mary Magdalene Church gives thanks to God for the continued presence and years of service of Dolores Cefail. She has been a member of our church since the 1980s and has taken on many positions of leadership. She has been Chaplain of our Daughters of the King chapter for several years, and sings in the Sounds of the Spirit choir. With her husband, Bob, she worked as an office volunteer, staffed the church Thrift Store once a month, and counted the collections on Sundays. When our Women’s Group was in danger of dying out for lack of a leader, Dolores stepped up to the office of President. She served as a member of the Vestry, stepping in to the role of Senior Warden, as well. We are proud to honor Dolores this year as she has honored St. Mary Magdalene Church.
Trinette Chase, Seabury Resources for Aging, Ward 6
Ms. Janice Trinette Chase has always been an advocate for people and as a former resident of the Arthur Capper Senior Apartments she selflessly served older adults for three years. Ms. Chase is an active participant and president of Seniors Offering Unconditional Love (S.O.U.L.) a group that helps older adults heal and grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. As a resident at Arthur Capper Ms. Chase volunteered at the Seabury Resources for Aging Community Dining Site, lending her talents to teaching beading/jewelry making, painting, and herb gardening, as well as singing with the Arthur Capper Singers.
Jim Clark, St. Mary’s Court
Jim Clark has been an active resident at St. Mary’s Court Senior Housing since 2011, and we are honored to highlight his life of service both in our community and the wider Washington neighborhood of Foggy Bottom. His ability to engage others with trust and compassion has made Jim a well-liked member of the community whom others can look to in times of need. He volunteers to help residents when they have emergencies by getting their medications, going shopping, doing their laundry, or caring for their pets and plants.
Jim also looks out for new residents when they move in by answering their questions about how to manage the daily encounters and needs that arise in apartment living.In addition, Jim acts as St. Mary’s Court’s librarian, monitoring the supply of books, and making sure the shelves are kept orderly.
As a volunteer in the neighborhood, Jim serves on the Homeless Task Force in Foggy Bottom, attending bi-monthly meetings. He has contributed to matters ranging from how the community can respond to issues involving the homeless, such as their lack of access to public bathrooms. He also listens to discussions that involve the rising condo and co-op fees that threaten elders on fixed incomes. It is truly an honor for St. Mary’s Court to recognize Jim Clark at Seabury’s Celebration of Service 2019.
Kelsey Collie, Church of our Saviour, Brookland Parish
Kelsey E. Collie is a cradle Episcopalian, having been affiliated with the Historic St. Agnes Church (Miami, FL), St. Cyprian's (Detroit, MI), and St. Stephen and the Incarnation (Washington, DC) before becoming a member of the Church of Our Saviour (COOS), Brookland Parish, in 1997. Since joining our church, Kelsey has served three three-year terms on the Vestry and served as a licensed Eucharistic Minister. He is a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and has been a member of the COOS choir for 20 years. Kelsey created the news journal, COOS News (now the Brookland Parish Press Newsletter), which informs the congregation about activities, events, and interesting topics being discussed in the parish, diocese, and community. Kelsey conducted theatre workshops for youth in the community for four years and took several of the young people to Nassau, Bahamas, to perform and participate in an exchange with an Anglican church and visit an orphanage. As chairman of the Liturgical Committee, he created a jazz evensong, an ecumenical service with Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopal clergy, and an old-fashioned outdoor revival on the church grounds. A former professor of theatre arts, he, along with his wife, Joyce, formed the COOS Players and have staged several of her original plays, as well as dramatized the gospels during Sunday services. Finally, Kelsey has assisted with many of the Sunday School's Christmas and Black History programs.
Carol Coonrod, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
Carol has been a model leader at St. Thomas' serving as Warden, Stewardship Chair, and leading our capital campaign. Few can match her energy and enthusiasm. Most importantly, Carol has coordinated numerous events for Samaritan Ministry including fundraisers with St. Luke's Episcopal Church and the Samaritan Ministry annual gala (for multiple years). Having worked for nonprofits during her career, Carol gets service to others.
Samuel Dawes, St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
Mr. Dawes is a man of few words but great action! His compassion and dedication to serving others and the church are exemplary. He has been a member of the parish for over 30 years and during that time has served as a Vestry Member, Junior Warden, Property Committee Chair, active volunteer at our monthly community dinner for the homeless, and now Men's Group Chair. He and his wife, Eugenie, are at church almost every Sunday where they participate fully in worship. The couple's gifts of delicious curry chicken, brown stew chicken, Jamaica Black Cake, and ginger beer are ever present at most church events like August Jamaica Independence Celebration, International Sunday, Mother's Union Celebration, Harvest Thanksgiving, Community Family Fun Day, and various other events. Mr. Dawes and his wife are very giving of their time, talent, and treasures to St. Michael's. We are very pleased and honored to celebrate Mr. Dawes and his accomplishments.
Carolyn N. Dia, Seabury Connector
Very active member of the Seabury Connector Advisory Council; provides suggestions and feedback on ways to improve and expand the transportation service to District seniors. An advocate in the community for the Seabury Connector
service and and in testimony at the DC Council Budget Hearings.
Carolyn Eaves, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church
Carolyn has been a member of St. Margaret's for more than 20 years. She has served in numerous leadership roles, including her current tenure on the vestry. But Carolyn is most passionate about caring for her fellow parishioners. She serves as a lay Eucharistic visitor, and is one of the most committed members of that ministry team. What has touched so many at the parish over the past year in particular is that, even after the personal tragedy of losing her home and possessions due to a fire, Carolyn continued to faithfully serve others while rebuilding her own life. Hers is a story of abiding faith, resilience, and resurrection, and St. Margaret's is honored to recognize her at the Seabury Celebration of Service.
Anne and John Elsbree, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bethesda
Anne: Member of St. Luke’s since 1961. Taught in and led the Sunday School. Served as Eucharistic Minister/lay reader, vestry member and senior warden. Member of search committee that called David Pollock. Member of altar and flower guilds. Co-chair of Garden Guild. Designed Memorial Garden. St. Luke’s Board Member at Samaritan Ministry. Active as volunteer at Bethesda Help and Bethesda Cares. Member and Chair of Diocesan Council. Member of Bishop Haines search committee. Co-chair of Diocesan Strategic Planning Committee.
John: Member of St. Luke’s since 1983. Eucharistic minister/lay reader, usher, vestry member, and senior warden. C-ochair of search committee that called Stephanie Nagley. Member of Garden Guild. Chaired the committee that managed the S3 Speakers Program for eight years. Volunteer staff member for 10 years at Samaritan Ministry. Board member of St. Luke’s House, co-chair of the search committee that recommended Pam Cudahy be appointed Director and has served as a mentor to a client of St. Luke’s House since 1997. Served on the Diocesan Personnel Committee for 10 years.
Both Anne and John were volunteers for the Loaves and Fishes Ministry at St. Stephen’s, the Bethesda Cares Lunch Program, and continue to help at meals served to the women at the Community Based Shelter. For three years they were members of the bell choir. They try to make it a point to greet visitors and new members at Sunday services. They also care very deeply for those suffering from illness or loss of a loved one and do whatever they can to help them.
Georgetown Day School, Seabury at Friendship Terrace
Seabury at Friendship Terrace is proud to nominate the Students of the Georgetown Day School for their continued contributions to the 180 plus residents of our senior community. Dozens upon dozens of GDS (Georgetown Day School) students over the past several years have chosen Friendship Terrace as the place where they want to earn their Community Service hours. Located just a short walk from Friendship Terrace, the partnership with GDS has given Friendship Terrace residents access to everything from assistance in their apartments, to getting packages, help with electronic devices, to special project events, concerts, play performances, and more. The goals of the GDS community engagement program are to gain a deepened understanding of inequities and injustice in the world, develop relationships with communities beyond their campus, realize individual and collective agency in meeting needs of others, and advocate for social justice issues through words, art, and action. The residents of Seabury at Friendship Terrace have been the grateful beneficiaries of GDS students realizing these goals at Friendship Terrace.
Joyce Fleury Graf, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Potomac
St. James’, Potomac honors Joyce Fleury Graf. A 37-year resident of Rockville, Joyce has lived many places, but identifies as a Vermonter. A graduate of the University of Vermont, she holds master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a member of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), the American Chemical Society, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). A life member of AAUW, Joyce has served at state and local levels. She holds a teaching certificate from the University of Connecticut and a certificate in Education for Ministry from the University of the South. Joyce’s work career included quality assurance management, teaching high school and college chemistry, and serving as director of environmental science for a major trade association.
At St. James’ Joyce has served on the Vestry and the Children’s School Board, as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, Sunday School teacher, member of the Flower Guild, and head usher. She applies her skills to rummage sales and youth group work camps. She is one of those saints who perform necessary, but often unnoticed, tasks.
Community activities include stints as a Scout leader, Montgomery County election judge, and volunteer at Shepherd’s Table. She supports Shepherd’s Table, Samaritan Ministry, and Interfaith Works by delivering donated food and clothing. Joyce’s experience as a private pilot sparked her interest in geology, landscapes, and their formation. She enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, and crafting. She traveled with her late husband Bob to every continent. She has two adult sons and four brilliant grandchildren.
Ed Joyeusaz, All Saints Episcopal Church
Ed Joyeusaz was born and baptized in the mid-1920s. He served the United States Navy in World War II, committing himself to Jesus Christ during terrifying Pacific theater battles. Ed married Ann Livingston in 1953. They joined All Saints Church in 1962, and raised their family (a daughter and two sons) here and along the East Coast. Ed shepherded his boys through Boy Scouts, with each achieving Eagle Scout. In 1995, Ed served as Junior Warden during a critical phase for All Saints Church. Looking to upgrade our facility, we had been through a discouraging decade of fundraising and design missteps. Building on the past efforts of many, Ed teamed with Reverend Philip Cato, Senior Warden Todd Miller, and architect Jack Samperton to bring the project to a beautiful conclusion. Ed used his professional expertise, his faith, energy, and determination to champion the project through design, permitting, funding, and successful construction. The resulting facility expansion has made possible the revitalization and growth of our congregation. We are now a vibrant and thriving celebration of the Body of Christ. Ed continues to guide staff and lay leadership through facility enhancements, contributes substantially to these, and participates in our Rector and clergy searches. As Ann noted, “He loves this church.”
Jane Hardin, Cleveland Park Congregational Church
Jane has served our church in multiple ways during her many years of membership. She has held lay leader positions, preached about her experience at the 1963 March on Washington, taught Sunday School, and served on pastoral search committees. However, the most important role Jane has played at our church is reaching out and connecting with individual members on a regular basis through phone calls, emails, cards, and small gifts. From the boy with dyslexia who received a congratulations card after he read scripture, to the siblings of a new baby who received little books, to people who lost loved ones, to teens she mentored for Confirmation, Jane has shown (and continues to show) our congregation what it means to love our neighbor. Our church's mission is "to nurture love of God and neighbor in the world." And we are so lucky to have Jane nurturing us!
Ruth Kulvi, Knollwood Episcopal Congregation
Ruth Kulvi, 87, is an integral member of the Episcopal congregation at Knollwood, the Army Distaff Foundation’s military retirement community in Washington, D.C. As a young child growing up in Mount Greenwood, Illinois, now incorporated into Chicago, Ruth attended a Methodist church. After it burned to the ground, she was baptized in a neighboring community’s Baptist church at the age of 11, since there were no other Protestant houses of worship in the area. After graduating from high school and nursing school, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps at the age of 21. Her career took her to Colorado, Okinawa, Walter Reed, and Germany (twice), and after further studies, she became a pediatric nurse practitioner. Along the way, Ruth raised her two nieces as a single parent after their parents’ deaths, and was active in churches wherever she was stationed. After her retirement from military service at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and several years in Georgia, Ruth moved to Knollwood in 2009. She serves on the Knollwood Chapel Committee as Protestant Coordinator, and supports and worships with the Episcopal congregation as usher, greeter, and general go-to person. Reflecting on her life, its blessings and its challenges, Ruth recalls that her faith and the support of friends helped her immeasurably. “Without being ‘Under His Wings’ (Psalm 91), I would not have managed. Problems arose; problems solved.”
Robert Lau, Christ Episcopal Church, Clinton
Bob Lau has been a member of Christ Church for most of his life. Prior to becoming church treasurer, Bob was our Junior Warden. He did such an outstanding job, that he became known as "Junior Warden Emeritus." Bob, in addition to engaging vendors for larger tasks, would not hesitate to change locks, replace door handle
hardware, light switch plates, trim trees on the church grounds, get the church ready for Easter and Christmas services, and take care of whatever needed work. One year he single-handedly stripped and waxed the hardwood floors in the sanctuary just before Christmas. When the decking in our Fellowship Grove worship space needed to be replaced, Bob was there with the Men's Ministry every Saturday until it was completed.
He has done a marvelous job as treasurer and comes in every week to help volunteers with counting the pledge and plate offerings from Sunday services. Every year since becoming treasurer, Bob has submitted an incredibly detailed financial report for the Christ Church Annual Report. Bob has always offered to help no matter the size or type of task at hand. Christ Church is blessed to have him.
Meg Maguire, First Congregational United Church of Christ
Meg is a beloved member and servant leader of First Congregational UCC Church. Her steady presence and guidance is felt throughout the church. On Sunday mornings, she may be teaching our Middle School children or leading a discussion in our Theology reading group. During the week, she can be seen all over the city: as a Trustee on the Committee of 100 on the Federal City (a DC planning advocacy organization), convener of our Affordable Housing Task Force, or tutor for elementary school children at Shaw Community Ministry. Her perseverance and vision helped make our beautiful space -- the sanctuary where we worship each Sunday -- into a reality. From 2004-2012, she served as the Chair of the Sanctuary Site Development Task Force, shepherding the construction of this beautiful building, including 25,000 square feet of new church space. This award-winning building has brought energy to the congregation by allowing First Church to maintain its downtown location and serve as a witness of love and justice to the city, the nation, and the world. Meg truly is a dynamo and First Church is very proud that she is our dynamo!
Susan Maske, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Susan Maske has been a member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church for most of her life. She has also been a teacher of 3-4 year olds at St. Matthew's Parish Day School for over 35 years. During this time, she helped conduct the monthly children's chapel. In the past, she was on the vestry and served as clerk of the vestry for several years. For almost 20 years, she served as part-time sexton. In addition, she has worked part-time for the Children's Rights Council for 25 years. Susan has sung in the St. Matthew's choir for most of her time there and continues to do so.
Doris Minor, Calvary Episcopal Church
Doris has faithfully served Christ at Calvary Church for decades, as a secretary to our Church School and our Seniors Group, and as a faithful member of our Altar Guild, St. Monica's Guild, and Sunday Bible Study Fellowship. Doris inspires us all with her joyful and faithful presence.
Ruth C. Moore, Transfiguration Parish
Ruth C. Moore has been a member of Transfiguration Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland since May 11, 1982. In addition to being an excellent source of wisdom on many topics, she serves Transfiguration in a myriad of ways, as an usher (the captain of her team), Altar Guild member, Eucharistic Visitor (EV), enthusiastic member of the Stewardship Committee, a superior card and letter writer, and bulletin folder when needed. She attends the 11th Hour Bible Study group on Wednesday mornings, and has been a member of the Vestry, and Sunday School Administrator. She completed the satisfying and rigorous four- year curriculum, Education for Ministry (EFM), a few years ago, and recommends it highly. Transfiguration is currently in transition, searching for a new Rector, and Ruth is a member of the hardworking Search Committee. An excellent mother and grandmother, her children and grandchildren have grown up in our parish, serving as acolytes and participating in the youth program, and many remain active members of the church. Ruth is indeed a blessing to Transfiguration.
Janet Moyer, Westmoreland Congregational Church
Janet Moyer is a pillar of Westmoreland Congregational Church. If community is made up of webs of connection and compassion, Janet is the one who carefully knits the threads of common life together. In her 42 years as a member at Westmoreland, Janet has served multiple roles in the life of the community. She has welcomed literally thousands of people who have entered the doors of the sanctuary and has been a presence of authenticity and welcome for each one of them. She has cared for those who were ill, grieving, lonely, and lost while always remembering every person's name and birthday. Janet has served the Westmoreland and broader UCC communities with commitment, diligence, and compassion. Our Congregation is honored to nominate her for this distinguished honor.
Judy Mutty, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
Judy Mutty has engaged in service to the United States, the community, and the Church for all of her adult life. She began by teaching public school and coaching sports. As a woman, she was a pioneer in the US Air Force. Beginning in 1968, she held administrative and leadership positions in Texas, California, New Jersey, and the Pentagon; she was also stationed in Taiwan, Germany, and Norway, retiring in 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Judy directed Environmental Services at Collington Episcopal Life Care Community for nine years before 'retiring' in 2003. She is a concert lover and avid dog owner, and has taken biking trips around the globe. At St. Christopher’s Judy has been a Vestry member, Junior or Senior Warden for several terms; lector, Counters’ ministry leader, Community Garden manager and local government liaison. She holds the best institutional memory of St. Christopher’s. The National Zoo and the Annapolis Maritime Museum are two other recipients of her volunteering.
Judy’s indomitable spirit, cheerfulness, intelligence, sense of humor, and commitment have endeared her to many. Having beat cancer twice previously, multi-organ cancer brought her greatest challenge to date at the start of 2018. Facing surgery with her customary faith and courage, Judy worked hard the entire year to recover, and inspired all of us who surrounded her on the journey. At. St. Christopher’s, those of us in our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s want to be like Judy when we grow up.
Florence Pritchett, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, DC
Mrs. Florence Pritchett has been a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church since 1953. She has served in many church organizations. She is the immediate past president of the Order of the Daughters of the King, Dorcas Chapter and has been a member since 1979. On the Diocesan level, Mrs. Pritchett served as the Corresponding Secretary and served as the Chairperson of the Extension committee. It that role, she was instrumental in chartering the Grace Episcopal Church’s Daughters of the King chapter by teaching classes to prepare the members to join the Order. On the chapter level, Mrs. Pritchett spearheaded the Pennies (now Coins) for the Homeless project. Mrs. Pritchett also assisted with the Angel Tree project, which provided Christmas gifts for the offspring of the incarcerated. She helped adopt a group from the Washington Home for the Aging to provide them gifts and social activities. In addition, she has been a member of the church choir, the Episcopal Church Women, the Progressive Club and is currently a Lay Eucharistic Minister. In the latter capacity, Mrs. Pritchett serves on the altar at St. Luke’s and administers communion to the sick and shut-in. Mrs. Pritchett was the coordinator at The First Baptist Church of Deanwood’s Senior Citizens program. She coordinated trips, workshops and social activities for the many senior citizens that attended the meetings. Mrs. Pritchett has been a devout Christian all of her life. She thoroughly enjoys all aspects of St. Luke’s and is always willing to assist in endeavors that foster spiritual growth.
Janice Schiavone, Christ Episcopal Church, Prince George’s Parish
Jan started singing in the choir and acting as music librarian shortly after she and her husband joined Christ Church, over 60 years ago. At that time, there were about 300 titles of music, all anthems, to keep track of. Jan has worked with three music directors and during that time, the music library has more than quadrupled in size and also in the different types of music, to include psalms, descants, and original compositions. She also organized the handbell choir music. Until a recent reorganization, filing the music required her to climb a 15-foot ladder to reach the files. When the budget was strained, Jan often bought supplies with her own money. Her system for organizing the music has made the transition between music directors much easier than it would have been otherwise. After services on Sunday she re-filed all the music and on Thursday, prior to practice, she retrieved the necessary music and organized it for the choir to rehearse and have available on Sunday morning. Jan recently retired from her job as music librarian. In addition to her music activities, she has also been active in church guilds, in the Lenten Luncheons, and in the Christmas Bazaars.
Susan Sedgewick, St. Mark’s, Capitol Hill
Let me tell you a story about Susan caring for a couple of men in our parish. One had serious heart problems and a minimal job. The other had not worked for many years, but was not old enough for Medicare. Susan determined that the best thing to do was get one on disability since he really couldn't work. Susan got the paperwork, got them to fill it out, and got the doctor to sign it. Then she took them down to Social Security. She called to see how it was coming and got the runaround. But she kept calling and calling and finally: Now they had not only a steady monthly payment but also they got a retroactive payment for all the months since they applied. Then their housing fell apart, so Susan helped them find a new place to live.....and moved them truckload-by-truckload. She went over to their place and made them give away a lot of books and records and furniture so they could walk around in their apartment. When one became really sick, Susan looked ahead, concerned that the underemployed man would not be taken care of. So she arranged for their wedding. It happened at St. Mark's. We all helped, but without Susan, I can't imagine we would have made all that happen. And many other jobs all over the spectrum of work here. If you give Susan a job to do, she does the best job you can imagine.
Mildred Stewart, St. Thomas’ Parish, Upper Marlboro
Mildred Stewart is a life-long member of St. Thomas Parish, having grown up at St. Simons Mission, and having served her entire adult life in just about every ministry of our parish. Over the last several years she has continued to faithfully assist at the 8am service, and many of our community outreach events. We are blessed in incalculable ways by her faith and love.
Susan and John Symons, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norwood
John Symons and Susan Symons have been faithful members of St. John’s Norwood parish for over 37 years. John has served as a distinguished leader at St. John’s in many areas to include: four years as the Junior/Senior Warden; many years of Stewardship, Parish Life, the Property Committee, and continuous service as a choir member. John has also held several critically important positions within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. With quiet grace, Susan has served as a Sunday school teacher, laying the foundation of the Christian faith for St. John’s children. Susan has also faithfully served as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. Susan has volunteered with food preparation in support of Shepherd’s Table and other organizations. Additionally, Susan served as a Stephen Minister, a caregiver who listened in confidence to parishioners who sought spiritual support while facing personal challenges. Susan also dutifully and consistently served each week at the St. John’s Thrift Shop. Both John and Susan are active members and engaged in many areas of our Serving Seniors ministry. Specifically, during 2018, Susan served as a St. John’s representative to Oakview Elementary school in Silver Spring, delivering donated books in support of the Serving Seniors/4th Grade Church School Book Drive in partnership with Redeemer Episcopal. For their leadership and many services to St. John’s, John Symons and Susan Symons are honored for their tireless efforts to the Glory of God and for their outstanding service to neighbor and children.
Toni Thompson, Transfiguration Parish
Toni Thompson embodies God’s presence vibrantly, quietly, and wisely within the community of God’s people at Transfiguration Parish. Toni is a force for goodness, a truth teller, and a deeply rooted Christian who follows Jesus closely.
In professional work Toni crossed cultural boundaries with grace. She practices sacrificial love daily, with her beloved family members, fellow parishioners, neighbors, church staff, and friends. Though it’s been some years since Toni was actively involved with the youth of Transfiguration Parish, “Miss Toni” was the first name vigorously mentioned when I asked: “If your family members were not available and you had a problem, to whom would you go?” Toni is the “go to” person for many - regardless of the need. She is a careful, wise, and perceptive woman who uses those gifts in tandem with a living faith to make Jesus present in the daily joys and struggles of life. Toni has a gift for “going deep” and celebrating joyfully.
People across the spectrum of age, ability, and culture have been the grateful recipients of Toni’s ministry whether in the realm of pastoral, liturgical, administrative, or teaching ministries along with multiple social ministries to the wider community. In embodying prayer and a continual hunger to be formed into the image of the Lord of her life, she models for all of us what it means to be a daily follower of Jesus in sacrificial, beautiful, and fruitful ways. It is indeed a privilege to recommend Toni for this well-deserved honor.
Mary A. Tillman, Seabury Resources for Aging, Ward 5
Mary A. Tillman grew up in Washington, DC, attending and graduating from DC Catholic schools. She realized early that helping people less fortunate than she was her passion, and she became an active volunteer. Mary is an 81-year-old single African American female who resides at the Green Valley Apartments. Mary has been volunteering for over 18 years. She volunteered in the leasing office for five years, assisting the manager with filing, organizing files, and taking rent payments. She also worked in the school system as a cafeteria aide and crossing guide. She currently volunteers for Seabury at the Green Valley Community Dining Site. There she wipes and sets the tables, ensures that the participants sign in for lunch and activities, empties the trash, and preps for the next day. She has truly been an asset to the Seabury site manager.
Mary says for her, volunteering is a way of life. We can all make a difference in the lives of so many. Even if you think you aren’t doing much, a little goes a long way. That’s why Mary volunteers.
Johanna Turner, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
Jo Turner, a native Washingtonian, has faithfully served St. Alban's Church for over 25 years. Compassion and care-giving define a life that has included a career in hospice administration and consulting with end-of-life- and grief-related programs. As a volunteer, Jo served on the board of a regional AIDS ministry and as a long-term-care ombudsman in a nursing home. Since joining St. Alban’s, she has twice served on vestry and as a diocesan delegate, led a stewardship campaign, chaired numerous committees, blogged for the parish website, and joyfully sung in the choir. She was one of the first parishioners trained to lead the parish’s Stephen Ministry, a role she still fills. She recently completed a three-year commitment to serve as a non-stipendiary staff member, creating the role of lay pastoral care coordinator. Jo continues to be a supportive resource for St. Alban’s parishioners and staff.
Peggy A. Wade, Episcopal Church of the Atonement
Peggy A. Wade is a life-long member of Atonement and is committed to God and His people. She serves as an usher, is a faithful member of the Altar Guild, and is a committed member of the Counting Team. Mrs. Wade is also a regular volunteer with our monthly Food Pantry Ministry and consistently supports the Welcoming Committee in their ministry. Her faith and love for Christ’s people is demonstrated daily by her dedication and work. Atonement is blessed and grateful for her service.
Etta M. Williams, Faith United Church of Christ
Etta M. Williams, moderator of Faith United Church of Christ, led the church in hiring a new pastor who has engaged more young people in leadership roles. Over more than three decades of membership at Faith, Williams has engaged in numerous activities including collaborating with other churches to sponsor vacation Bible school. She served as chair of Faith’s West African Ministry including co-leader for the church’s educational and cultural tour to Ghana and Liberia. The West African ministry supported Liberians while they were refugees in Ghana during the war in Liberia and now supports Liberians in entrepreneurship and educational endeavors. In 1987, Faith church became involved with the Adopt-A-Family program and for more than 30 years Etta has consistently supported members of one of the families. Further, she served the UCC at the Potomac Association and Central Atlantic Conference levels. A life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. she has held many leadership positions and annually prepares food for more than 60 seniors who come to Monday Activities at the Sorority’s center. Monthly she picks up a 98-year-old friend to ensure she attends special events. Former president of the Chums, Inc., Williams volunteers with Safe Shores, which provides intervention, hope, and healing for children and families affected by abuse, trauma and violence, and prevents child abuse through education and training. Etta takes seriously her responsibilities and commitments to the organizations to which she belongs.
Elaine B. Wise, Jubilee United Church of Christ
Elaine Wise is Jubilee's "Martha." You can always find her at the church doing something. She's our office manager/treasurer who ensures that bills are paid timely and who manages our finances appropriately and in order. In addition, she is one of the first people arriving at the church to prepare it for use, be it Bible study, worship service or communion set up. Elaine helps prepare/deliver/serve lunch at the Community Café in Hyattsville, generates our Sunday Order of Service handout, helps coordinate the pastor's schedule, and as an Usher, greets everyone with a smile or hug. When the church fire alarm was malfunctioning Elaine drove to the church to investigate the problem on more than one occasion and met contractors at the church on short notice. She takes our fire extinguishers for servicing, changes altar colors according to the liturgical season, cleans the church when needed, and even cleans the bathrooms. Elaine is faithful to her church and is a blessing. Last but not least, one of our favorite blessings is her one-of-a-kind delicious pound cake! Elaine is truly deserving of recognition.
Albertha Workman, Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ
Deacon Albertha Workman has been an active member of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ for more than 50 years. During this time she has served in many capacities including the Usher Board, and president of the Fellowship Committee, an organization that sponsored activities and fundraisers to support the church including, for many years, an annual Christmas Bazaar and dinners. She is an ordained Deacon and presently serves as chaplain, chair of the Sick and Shut-in Committee, and helps to train new deacons. She assists with the Maundy Thursday service each year and volunteers with other deacons to provide repasts following funeral services. She also visits sick and shut-in members and serves them communion. In addition Deacon Workman coordinates weddings at the church. Deacon Workman works behind the scene, going quietly about her duties. She can be relied upon to help whenever there is a need. For the reasons listed here it is recommended that Deacon Albertha Workman be the 2019 Seabury Celebration of Service Honoree for Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ.