2011 Annual Parish Meeting – Meet the Candidates

St. Stephen’s will hold its Annual Parish Meeting this Sunday, January 16, 2011 following the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist.  There will be only one Eucharist on this day.  There is no 8:30 a.m. Eucharist. Following the meeting, there will be a potluck lunch; please bring a dish to share.

Adult forum will be an opportunity to meet the people offering themselves for service on the Vestry and Diocesan Council and to discuss those ministries. Adult Forum will be at Havens Center.

The agenda of the meeting will include the election of new vestry members and diocesan council delegates, a review of the accomplishments and financial report of 2010 and a look forward to 2011.  The Vestry would like you to contemplate the following question in preparation for the meeting:

As you reflect upon this new year of your life, where and how do you see putting energy into your own spiritual growth during 2011?  When you consider our parish’s life in the coming year, where shall we put our energy for growth?


The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

11:50 a.m – Opening Prayer – The Reverend Lisa Hunt

11:52 a.m. – Welcome/ Nominations from floor/ elections – Randall Lamb

11:56 – Major Accomplishments – Staff
Mark Smith, Dave Knoll, Nancy Camp (B&G)
Sharla Mikeska & Sarah Becker (Havens)
Betty Sierra and Casey Due’ Hackney(School)
Lisa and Randall (overall)

12:10 – 2010 Financials; Stewardship and Budget 2011 – John Cornwell
12:16 – Small Group Question for consideration
12:30 – Q and A – All
12:40 – Adjourn and Grace for Meal

The candidates are as follows…

Sarah Beauchamp
Gail Creech
*Gerald Franklin
David Kelley
Sue Marsh
Ken McClain
Mike Robson
Jean Ross

Diocesan Council
Kathy Cenatiempo
Laura Thewalt
Marilyn Wilking

Let’s Meet the Candidates

Sarah Beauchamp

Sarah Beauchamp: an Episcopalian since birth, who has, blessedly, been able to understand who God is and what being faithful or spiritual means despite her profound hearing loss.

Sarah studied Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (and also spent a year abroad at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland), graduating in 2003.  She also received an advanced degree in Paralegal Studies at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and served as an AmeriCorps member at the American Red Cross.  She relocated to Sugar Land, Texas, from Alameda, California, in October of 2009, and is currently employed by YES Prep Public Schools as an At Risk Data Specialist and a part time middle school soccer coach at one of the YES Prep campuses.

Sarah is presently serving as an acolyte, a crucifer, a thurifer, and a chalice bearer during the 10:30 Sunday services at St. Stephen’s.  She also co-teaches Sunday school’s middle school level class.  She participated  in the most recent missionary trip to Honduras with St. Stephen’s and Christ Cathedral last July.  (She went once to Belize for a different missionary trip with St. Luke’s Episcopal church, Durham, North Carolina.)  And, she volunteers by bringing food for Grace Dinner at Grace’s Lutheran Church.

As diverse St. Stephen’s is, she hopes to increase membership in younger people, primarily hard of hearing and deaf folks since signing interpreter services are now available (yay!).  Sarah feels she can bring in different, new ideas and perspectives at St. Stephen’s.  Sarah visited many different churches in the Houston area before discovering St. Stephen’s, where she feels the Holy Spirit is alive and kicking!  If elected, Sarah would be honored and will work tirelessly for St. Stephen’s ministries and missions.

Gail Creech

I am humbled and honored to be nominated for the vestry.  I am a native Texan and was brought up in the Methodist Church.     I was taught to give back to to your community and to give to what feeds you spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

I have been a member of St. Stephen’s Church for seven years and feel this is the right time for me to share my gifts of listening and speaking with the heart.  I have served as a member of the Linen Guild, as an Usher, and on the Pastoral Care Committee.  Presently I am on the Hospitality and Fellowship Committees.  I am now in my second term as Co-Chairman of the Outreach Ministry Committee.

I teach life skill classes to prevent child abuse and to educate underserved families and families at risk at ESCAPE Family Resource Center.  I also volunteer through Communities in Schools as a mentor to pregnant teens at Lamar High School.  I have been married to Stan Creech for thirty-eight years.  We have two adult sons. Stayton, his wife Rose, and daughter Sloane live in Greenwich, Conn., and Jason lives and works in San Francisco.

Gerald Franklin
Born in 1942, baptized and confirmed at St. Stephen’s. Graduate of Lamar High School and Sam Houston State University in 1964. Served as a commissioned officer in the US Army.

I’ve served several terms (probably 4) on the Vestry and have been the Senior Warden.

I’m the President of the Gerald Franklin Agency which is involved in the alcoholic beverage industry in Texas. I serve on a number of nonprofit entity boards involved in the prevention of child abuse and neglect.

My wife Evelyn ( a retired teacher) and I live near Rice University.

David Kelley

I have been blessed to be a member of St. Stephen’s for 16 years.  During that time my involvement in the parish has included two vestry terms, senior warden, treasurer, stewardship chair, school board member, endowment trustee, rector search committee, capital campaign committee, finance committee, usher and lay reader.  Professionally, I am the chief operating officer for a commercial real estate investment and development company.  I also serve on the board of directors of Memorial City Bank and Harris County Municipal Management District #1.

St. Stephen’s continues to be loving, open and diverse community that has provided me a nurturing spiritual home.  It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to give back to a parish that has given me so much.  If elected to the vestry I will focus on church growth, support of clergy and outreach.

David Kelley

Sue Marsh

John and I have been attending St. Stephen’s regularly since about 1997 and I transferred my letter soon after. We were   looking for a well-rounded church with a warm atmosphere. One visit to St. Stephen’s and we had found our church home.  Two children, multiple jobs and a couple of household moves later and we feel fortunate to be part of a positive and ever-evolving Episcopal community.

A little about my background:  a cradle Episcopalian, I graduated from Millsaps College with a degree in Theatre Arts, but really found my niche as a computer salesperson and Systems Engineer. In fact, it was while working at Compaq that I met       John. Since then, I’ve worked as a software consultant, project manager, director of software development, practice manager      for a physician and – oddly enough – bookkeeper. Throughout, my strengths have been communication and organization.

At St. Stephen’s, I’ve had the opportunity to teach Sunday School and to lead several of our community’s efforts, including the Christmas Pageant, the upcoming Haven’s Center Auction and the food at the Parish Retreat. Now it is time for me to offer my candidacy for the Vestry, where I would be honored to serve the Parish.

Ken McClain

My wife Sandy and I have been members of St. Stephens since 1987. The warm welcome we received at our first visit immediately attracted  us to this congregation and the many friends we have here makes St. Stephens a central part of our life in Houston.

In the 1990’s I was on the vestry for 2 years and have since served on the endowment fund committee and am currently a member of the alter guild. This coming summer I plan to go on our pilgramage to Honduras to be part of the medical team.  I am a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Texas Children’s Hospital.  My reasons for wanting to serve on the vestry are to help carry out the mission of our church and work for improvements in our buildings.

Mike Robson

I have been attending St Stephens along with my wife Ida for 5 years. During that time I have mainly offered my time and resources to the Outreach ministry program. My main contributions for the past 3 years has been as the St Stephens delegate to the board of Directors of The Amazing Place, an adult day care center for those affected by early and medium stage memory loss. As a St Stephens board representative I chaired the Facility committee for the past 2 years. The committee oversaw the planning, building and moving to a new state of the art $3.4M facility allowing us to triple our participant capacity while expanding services.  Upon the successful completion and adjustment period I was elected to the Executive committee as the VP giving St Stephens an even greater voice in this ministry.

My previous Vestry experience was serving as a Vestry member for 2 years at St Paul’s, Abbeville LA. At St Paul’s my main vestry involvement was the promotion and support of the Cursillo movement, promoting strength of faith and member bonding which was very active within the SW Louisiana Episcopal diocese.

I recently opened up my own consulting firm Robson and Partners after working as an engineer for 35 years in the Oil and Gas industry. If elected I commit to bring my direct and frank voice to the Vestry by providing practical advice and actions to the ministries of St Stephens.

Jean Ross

After receiving a BA and MAT from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, I taught Gifted and Talented student, then found my true calling teaching students with a wide variety of handicaps and learning differences. Later, I was hired to write and implement the original Life Skills program in HISD. After retiring I volunteered in NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital, traveled widely, visited by grandchildren in Germany, participated in book clubs, took various classes at the Jung Center and at the Water Color Society, and created an Art Car – the Free-Tibetmobile.

Before coming to St. Stephen’s three years ago with my daughter Mary and grandson Liam, I was a communicant of St. Thomas in Nassau Bay. At St. Stephen’s I participate in Grace Place and as a reader at the early service and would be grateful for the opportunity to be of service as a member of the Vestry.

Kathy Cenatiempo

I have been at St Stephen’s since 1971.  During these many years, I have been a member of the Vestry, School Board, Ministries Council, and Search Committee.   I have also been an Acolyte, Fellowship Committee Leader, Chalice Bearer, Junior Warden, and Senior Warden.  Most of all, I have been a wife, parent, and a parishioner.

I have been employed by PULSE for the past 10 years.  I am an Implementation Manager with the company.  I bring on new clients unto the PULSE system.  For the past two years, I have been the Implementation Manager for the Asia Pacific region and have traveled throughout Asia.

I am also a member of the Society for the Companions of the Holy Cross for six years.  This is a wonderful Episcopal Women’s organization that has been very meaningful in my spiritual journey.

I feel fortunate to have found a spiritual home at St Stephen’s.  It has been a constant in my life.  I would like to represent St Stephen’s as a Diocesan Council Delegate because I feel that I can express what it means to be a parishioner of St Stephen’s, help represent our interests, as well as communicate our diversity. Thank you for your consideration.

Laura Thewalt

I’m Laura Thewalt and I’m on the slate of candidates for delegate to Diocesan Council. I know that I would honor St. Stephen’s position’s on the issues at Council well because I value and appreciate our progressive Christianity and respecting the dignity of every human being, as well as being fiscally responsible with balanced budgeting and spending. I also have a solid understanding of the Episcopal way and it’s organizational structure; so much so that many of my pals often call me an ‘Episconerd’ or ‘Episcogeek’!

Last year, I was elected to the Vestry and have served on the Marketing, Search, and Worship Committees. I also serve as a chalice bearer and bread baker and participate in foyer dinners and with the St. Stephen’s Young-er Adults group.  In previous parishes and dioceses I’ve represented my parish as a delegate to convention as well as a Deputy to the wider church’s 2006 General Convention.

I attend St. Stephen’s with my sister, Sondra, who has been a member of St. Stephen’s for about 7 years.

Currently, I am the Church Administrator at First Christian Church, Houston managing their day-to-day operations and communications. Through that work I also advocate for CCSC.

Marilyn Wilking

My family and I have been members of St.Stephens for approximately 15 years. We came because of the openness and welcome we received from the rector, Helen Havens, and the community of parishioners.  I have served as Sunday School teacher for two years, as a three year vestry member during the transition from Helen, through David, to Lisa and more recently as a member of the Outreach Ministry and Endowment Committee.

I have worked as a general pediatrician for 30 years. In that capacity I have served on the board of Casa d’Esperanza and provided medical backup care for the foster children in their care.  Raised as a Presbyterian, I have worshipped in the Episcopal Church since marrying my husband,Andrew.  During our time at St. Stephens, I have become more interested in the policies of the national Episcopal and international Anglican community.  I would be pleased to serve as a delegate to Diocesan Council.

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