In the Episcopal Church, the vestry serves as the “Board of Directors” for the parish corporation. The vestry is responsible for determining the policies and goals of the congregation and is to communicate with the congregation about the goals, concerns, and functioning of the Church in the modern world. The Rector is a member of the Vestry and the president of the parish corporation. He or she presides over meetings of the Vestry and the congregation.
Our vestry members serve 3 year terms, and we elect a new class of vestrymen and women each year. Nominations are made by a committee and by the parish at large during our annual meeting. We encourage anyone who wants to serve on the vestry to raise a hand and let us know. This is not a closed group or a club of some kind. We draw our leaders from across our parish spectrum, and we don’t want people to be shy about expressing an interest in this kind of service. The eligibility requirement for election to the Vestry is as follows:
Canon 11, Section 4.
Only lay persons, who are confirmed adult communicants in good standing of the church, as defined in General Convention Canon 1.17, shall be eligible for election as Vestry members of such church. However, regardless of eligibility of a person for election, no person shall be elected at duly convened congregational meetings to consecutive full terms on a congregation’s Vestry or Vestry Committee.
Current vestry members include Al Rider (senior warden), Tracey Ragsdale (junior warden), Joe Cheely (treasurer), Charmaine Trice, (register), Karen Heunnekens, Kim O’Shea, Doug Pera, Betsy Rawles, Bruin Richardson, David Rose, Fay Lohr, Tom Slater, and Russell Wyatt.
Class of 2021 Vestry Members
St. Mary’s elected four new members of the Vestry at the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 28, 2018. The four new Vestry members are:
Anne McCoy is a life-long member of St. Mary’s. From tightly packed Sunday School classrooms in Little St. Mary’s to watching the building of New St. Mary’s, life here for Anne has always been exciting and joyful. Along the way, Anne observed her parents’ involvement and learned the importance of shared community and faith. She was confirmed here, she and her husband, Jesse, were married here, and their two children – Eleanor and Harry – were baptized here. As a teen, she was active in youth group and went on a mission trip to South Africa where she met Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and taught kids about AIDS. She’s been involved with the Children’s Lessons and Carols since it began 35 years ago, taught Sunday School, served on the Children’s Ministries Committee, and helped with CARITAS. As Anne wrote, “St. Mary’s is a part of me. I look forward to our monthly parish suppers, book studies, and volunteering with CARITAS. Pulling into the parking lot at night with the light glowing from the windows always touches my soul, and reminds me that this beautiful place is a light in the world for all of us, grounding us and guiding us.”
Seth married his wife Carrie (formerly Carrie Zimmerman, daughter of Pat and Barklie) at St. Mary’s in 2003, and their three children—Luke, Anna, and Hal—were all baptized at St. Mary’s. All three children also are graduates of St. Mary’s Episcopal School, for which Seth has served as Board of Trustees Secretary and Chair. Carrie and Seth have been active in the St. Mary’s community in a variety of ways, initially as Sunday School teachers and then through Carrie’s service on the Children’s Ministries, Fellowship, Outreach, and Rector Search committees, and Seth’s service as Co-Chair and Chair of the St. Mary’s CARITAS Committee. Seth is a partner at McGuire Woods LLP, where he has worked since moving to Richmond in 2006.
Patsy and her family joined St. Mary’s in January 2016 after moving here from Spartanburg, SC. Since joining, Patsy has been very active as a volunteer for the church. She has helped with breakfasts and dinners, taught Vacation Bible School and Sunday School, served as an Intercessor, Lector, and Lay Eucharistic Minister, and she is a member of the Children’s Ministries Committee. As Pasty wrote in a reflection last year, “Less than two years ago when we transferred to St. Mary’s, you pulled us in and put us to work. Consequently, we are feeling welcomed and appreciated in our new church home.”
Scott and his family became members of St. Mary’s in 2004. Married to Karen Stephens, they have two grown children, Carter and Thomas. Over the past six years, Scott has cooked many meals with the Fellowship Committee, was a member of the Finance Committee, and has served as the Building Committee chair for the past three years. In addition, Scott designed the terrace outside of the New Parish Hall and practices architecture at his firm, SMS Architects.
Class of 2020 Vestry Members
Karen has been a member of St. Mary’s Church for 20 years, volunteering alongside her husband Mike in various aspects of the Church, ranging from teaching Sunday School and assisting with high school youth group to ushering and participating in various outreach programs. Karen comes from a marketing and event planning background with an emphasis on nonprofit fundraising and currently serves as the Director of Development for the Bolling Haxall House Foundation, home of The Woman’s Club. In her spare time, Karen teaches a wide range of classes at Tuckahoe YMCA. Karen and Mike have two children, Preston and Kendall, and live in Manakin Sabot.
Kim and her family began attending St. Mary’s in 1996. Over the years she has been involved with Children’s Ministries as a teacher, with Alter Guild, and has served as an Usher. Kim currently is involved as a volunteer teacher’s aide at St. Andrew’s School. She is married to Tim O’Shea and they have three adult children – all confirmed at St.Mary’s!
Doug is married to Jane duFrane and they have two children, Gray and Lucie. He and his family have been active in St Mary’s in a number of ways, including Jane’s vestry membership, the stewardship committee, ushering and the kids active involvement in the children’s program. He has been a member of St Mary’s for approximately 4 years. Doug currently serves as the Metro DC/Chesapeake market leader for Willis Towers Watson, a global insurance broker and consulting firm. He has been with Willis Towers Watson for the past 8 years.
Russell Wyatt is married to Sarah Jane and they have two sons, Ben and Andrew. He’s attended St. Mary’s since 1994 and was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 2007. Over the years, he’s been involved by ushering, being a Sunday School Teacher, volunteering at CARITAS, and sitting on the worship sub-committee of the Discernment Committee. Russell currently works at Commonwealth Commercial Partners and serves on the Board of Governors for the Virginia Home for Boys & Girls and the Richmond Public Library Foundation.
Class of 2019 Vestry Members
Joe Cheely, Treasurer
Tracey Ragsdale is married to Duane and they have two children, Jake and Carrie. She and her family have been longtime members of St. Mary’s. Tracey held a number of sales and marketing positions including District Manager and National Account Manager with the Xerox Corporation. After retiring in 2007, Tracey became active in many volunteer activities. She is a past board member of the Commonwealth Parenting Center, a past vestry member, Junior Warden, Fellowship chair, Stewardship chair, comprehensive strategic planning chair, and current Senior Warden of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
Al Rider and his wife Liz have been members of St. Mary’s since 1979. Their two children, Ned and Ginny, were baptized and confirmed at St. Mary’s. Al is serving his second year as Senior Warden. He has twice previously served on the Vestry and is a former Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee. He and Liz regularly Usher and serve as lay readers. Al volunteers at the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Service and is the current Treasurer of the Deep Run Hunt Club. An avid fan of lacrosse, Al along with fellow parishioner Tim O’Shea, co-founded Geronimo Youth Lacrosse, established in 1994.