Vestry Nominees

On Sunday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m., watch the Vestry Nominee Forum livestream.

Michael Baker

Nominated by: Harris Holt
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Other household members: Matt Knox (spouse)
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., several times a month

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
Room in the Inn, spiritual study group, garden work committee, co-chair foyer dinner groups

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
St. Peter’s has been a grounding source for me since I moved to Charlotte thirteen years ago, deep friendships have been made through my membership here as well as continued self-reflection on how to live a life that serves others.
I love the diversity and inclusion at St. Peters and have always felt welcome, I am proud to tell others of my relationship and membership at St. Peters.
By serving on the vestry, I will be a part of the church for future generations to enjoy the fruits of my labor during my time on the Vestry.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
I have a talent for bringing people together and making introductions that have forged everlasting friendships, I enjoy public speaking and would enjoy being a reader as well as a greeter.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
Relator/Broker HM Properties, gardening, cooking and entertaining, as well as active involvement in the Dilworth Community.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
St. Peter’s allows me to see live through others’ lenses, we can tend to see life just sometimes through our own “rose colored glasses,” but the fellow members I have met have allowed me to engage with others of all races, and backgrounds and understand and embrace that we are all here for the common goal of serving each other and our Lord.
St. Peter’s has been a voice for the voiceless and I am proud to be a part of such a strong Church and body that believes in such social justice.
I know I have become and still strive to become a better person.

Will Burton-Edwards

Nominated by: Chase Branham
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., weekly; 5:00 p.m.

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
When I first moved to Charlotte in the summer of 2018, I had a short “wish-list” of sorts for my ideal church community. I had many stipulations, but I knew I required excellent liturgy supported by a strong music program. I had planned on visiting four or five different churches before making my final decision, but, as it happened, St. Peter’s came up first on my list and, unsurprisingly, after that first Sunday, I lost track of that list and never turned back. I knew that this church (and more specifically this Choir) was the place for me. I have enjoyed singing and praying with this welcoming, beautiful, and delightfully quirky choir for over three years now, sharing our music with the congregation and lifting our collective voices up in praise and worship.

That was, however, until the pandemic changed things. We could no longer rehearse in-person, neither could we worship in-person. So, in an attempt to sustain our church’s tradition of excellent liturgy and music, I joined Rob Smith on the team responsible for live-streaming our worship services. Now, I will be the first to admit that our early attempts at streaming our worship were far from perfect, but over time our methods, as well as our equipment, improved drastically. During this time, when someone else was “behind the laptop” as it were, I also volunteered my time as a singer in the small quartets allowed to meet in the space while maintaining distancing. I felt, and still feel, extremely fortunate that my particular talents landed me in positions where I was one of the few allowed to attend in-person worship throughout the pandemic.

Before I joined St. Peter’s, before a pandemic changed all of our lives, and before the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, I lived in a suburb of Indianapolis. My mother worked as an Associate Rector and Chaplain at Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Richard’s Episcopal School. From a young age I was interested in volunteerism and I worked as a dishwasher for our church’s soup kitchen for nearly eight years, and I have more than a decade of experience as an acolyte and Thurifer under my proverbial cincture. I also joined the Usher guild and assisted in the coordination of youth retreats with our diocese. When I became of age, I was elected the youngest ever delegate to our diocesan convention and, from then, elected the youngest ever speaker on the floor of the General Convention’s House of Deputies as a member of the Official Youth Presence in 2012. The following triennium, I was elected the second youngest full delegate to the House of Deputies in 2015. As a member of that body, I was proud to vote for the ratification of The Most Reverend Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and for a measure approving same-sex marriage in our church.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
Having been raised a (nearly) cradle Episcopalian, my formation began with Rite-13, followed by J2A, and culminated with a pilgrimage to Juneau, AK and confirmation classes. Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis is similar in many ways to St. Peter’s. Both are endowed parishes in the center of large cities, both have strong youth programs, and both have an emphasis on community outreach. Where they differ, though, is in continuing Christian Education. Trinity seemed to struggle where St. Peter’s seems to thrive in fellowship, education, and enrichment opportunities throughout life. For St. Peter’s, Christian Formation is viewed as a life-long journey, not a destination reached at one’s confirmation. This is something I find tremendously valuable about St. Peter’s, and it is certainly a reason I’m proud to call it my spiritual home.

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
St. Peter’s serves many roles in my life, as it does for everyone. I worship here, I meet new friends here, I encounter holiness here, and experience transformation here. But perhaps the most important role St. Peter’s serves in my life is not as a gathering place, but as a sending-off point. Yes, we worship, commune, encounter, and transform in this place, but we are then immediately sent off to go in peace to love and serve the world! We are called weekly to continue the good work of changing the world from, as Michael Curry often declares, “the nightmare that it often is to the dream that God intends.” I believe it is the role of the vestry of this church to understand the needs, concerns, and gifts of the congregation, such that we can faithfully witness and participate in God’s transformation of the world.

I know that I can participate more fully in that work, and, on a more personal note, I have one specific motivation for running. I believe that the Episcopal Church Motto of “All are Welcome” fits at St. Peter’s. We are clearly a congregation that allows people of all backgrounds to participate in worship as much or as little as they feel comfortable. However, though All are Welcome at St. Peter’s, it seems that few are invited. I realize that “Evangelism” is a somewhat weighted term, but I believe St. Peter’s is doing something interesting, something tremendously valuable. And I believe it is worth sharing this place with as much of the world as will have us.

In my training as a stage actor, I became intimately familiar with the agony of stage-fright. Over time, I learned to deal with my anxieties and push through them to become, not entirely fearless, but capable of applying my apprehensions intelligently. As such, I believe I am an effective public speaker, capable of compelling, encouraging, and teaching. I am unafraid to speak my mind, but I also know the importance of listening and understanding the needs of others. In addition to my oral communications skills, I have a unique perspective on the needs of our community at-large. Touring with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte has given me a view into the lives of children and families across the region, and my work as an organ builder has connected me with parishes of many denominations, both locally and regionally across the southeast.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
I initially moved to Charlotte to work with the Resident Touring Company of the Children’s Theater of Charlotte (formerly Tarradiddle players) and toured with them for two seasons before COVID-19 demanded that we cancel in-person performances. Fortunately, in the summer of 2019 I began working part-time for Cornel Zimmer Organ Builders as a carpenter and electrician’s apprentice. After a series of conversations in April of 2020, I began working full-time for CZOB and have since been involved in several installations, including the installation of the largest pipe organ in South Carolina at the Summerall Chapel at The Citadel.

In my free time I enjoy reading, tending to my beloved house plants, trying to make music come out of my guitar, and playing board games!

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
The clergy always makes it a point in their sermons that worship is but a small part of our Christian life. Our duty, as given by the Father, clarified by Jesus Christ, and coordinated by the Holy Spirit, is not merely to participate in a worship service once a week, but to be active and loving members of Christ’s body in the world: to care for the sick and the needy in our midst, to fight for justice, to be good stewards of creation, and to love as Christ loves us. St. Peter’s gives us the tools to be active in the transformation of this world either through participation in a specific mission-focused committee, or through prayer, or through stewardship, or through any other means. I am fed by our communal devotion to follow our covenant to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Douglas Hutto

Nominated by: Jon Dresser
Have you served on the Vestry before: Yes, 1992
Other household members: Steve Thomas
Worship Service: 7:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., weekly; Morning & Evening Prayer

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
Lay Eucharistic visitor
Head Parish Verger
Lay Eucharistic minister, Sub Deacon, Lector, training of acolytes and Lay Eucharistic Ministers, Choir, Social Justice, Crop Walk, Pastoral Committee, Kanuga committee(parish program), and served where needed, Diocesan delegate a number of times, Diocesan Verger as well as National Vergers Guild, St Peters archivist with Martha Mayberry, men’s book and prayer meetings.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
The beginning group with Phyllis Ferguson for Community of Hope, prayer workshops, EFM graduate and presently co-mentorship for EFM at St Peters, SSJE associate, all these listed were and are a part of my Christian formation. I am a Daily Office officiate, serving morning and evening prayer; this has enriched my spiritual life immensely.

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
I have been a member at St Peters for 38 years, at least, with my husband Steve Thomas; we visited quite regularly before becoming members. It has been a spiritual growth journey, God’s journey that I participate and belong. The growth that I have experienced through the years with fellow parishioners, seeing a granddaughter baptized as well as a grandson, being the second couple to be able to get married in the church, St. Peter’s is my spiritual home. A wonderful priest once told me that when the call to be on the vestry came, one would know. Maybe this is that time. I leave that for the Holy Spirit to guide the process. I will be placed where I should be.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
I am a good listener. Being empathetic by nature, I strive to be present in a situation. I am a doer/follower and strive to excel in whatever asked. As a professional in the business of hair cutting (I have my own business), I have been told the above by clients and consider that a consultative nature to have since people in confidence tell me much. Discernment is a great part of anything I do. I seek to discern what is placed before me. Faith is a major part of the leadership of our common ministries.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
As stated above I am in the beauty industry for over 45 years. I have been an educator with major branding and traveled to teach. I am currently involved with education via zoom in my salon. I place high priority in God and family; whether my own personal family or extended family and indeed my parish family. Hobbies are varied. I love to read. Education is another priority. Music has been part of my life. I enjoy refreshing my self as a rusty pianist(took music and piano since early childhood) trying to keep the muscle memory going. I did enjoy singing in the choir. I dabble in drawing and enjoy gardening with Steve.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
I have been placed in a position that I take very humbly and seriously as Parish Verger; it is indeed part of my worship of God. I am benefited from the guidance of Father Jacob, Mother Amanda, and all our leaders that offer the forums for adult formation. I am fed weekly by our worship together, working with our youth acolytes, being part of hospitality and seeing new faces as well as those for whom I have known as family these may years. Our participation in social justice/equality and furthering God’s kingdom here and now, to paraphrase, “the word has come very near you.”

Peter Morgan

Nominated by: Ann Miano
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Other household members: Ashleigh Morgan, Wesley Morgan, Samuel Morgan (now at college)
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., several times a month

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
Financial support, concert attendance, and past participation in Choir School (Samuel was a long-term student and eventually Master Singer). St. Peter’s Youth Ministry – fundraising and support (Samuel completed Pilgrimage and has graduated; Wesley is currently participating). Currently serve on Board of Directors – Latin American Chamber of Commerce.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
Regularly attend Sunday Adult Formation
Past participation in Evening Bible Study Group – Acts of the Apostles – led by Father Murdock

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
St. Peter’s is my spiritual home. Both Ashleigh and I have demanding jobs and must constantly work on balancing competing claims for our time and attention between work, family, and leisure/personal growth. On top of that, we all must also face a completely new set of challenges in a post-pandemic world. I feel like it has never been more important than now to find a place of solace, renewal, and reaffirmation of the path toward living a life that follows the example of Christ. I am interested in serving on the vestry to help the Church fulfill its Mission to provide that place and hope that I can in some small way contribute by offering up my time and talents.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
Legal training and professional experience based on more than twenty-five years as an attorney in private practice, which can be useful in a wide array of contexts. I do view being an attorney as a “helping profession,” and my law practice has helped me develop extensive communication, analytic, and problem-solving skills. In addition, my time as an attorney has helped me to develop empathy and compassion for individuals from all types of ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds and has fueled my strong belief in the importance of social justice.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
I own my own law firm, Morgan Law, specializing in real estate and business law. The term I often use is “lawyer-preneur” because I am both an attorney and small business owner trying to grow my client base. Currently, I am trying to utilize technology to help people become better informed about legal services and make seeking legal counsel less intimidating. I have also taken a particular interest in working with and helping the Spanish-speaking community here in Charlotte, which builds upon my past interest in the culture and people of Latin America and extensive travel in Mexico and Guatemala (travel is definitely a hobby for me). I am a bit of a foodie and enjoy reading. I appreciate quiet hikes in the outdoors, which always reminds me of the Christian idea of stewardship. I also really love music, including live performance and collecting music on vinyl. Wesley and I have found a great martial arts academy where we both take classes, which is great way to relieve stress, stay in shape, and bond as father and son.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
I come to St. Peter’s from an interesting spiritual place, in that I did not grow up attending church. I was baptized as an adult in the Methodist tradition and attended a Methodist church for quite a number of years before Ashleigh and I both found that we were longing for something different spiritually. We both felt after visiting St. Peters that we had finally found a spiritual home that fit what we were looking for in terms of liturgy, music, diversity, tolerance, and intellectual engagement. Those same elements have continued to help me grow in my faith and discipleship. I love the tradition and ritual involved in our worship service, which provides a calming sense of continuity in troubled times. For me, our worship music has always and continues to feel like a special connection to God and the Spirit. I love the unique fellowship provided by the diverse and tolerant congregation at St. Peters that is so enriched by its wide variety of backgrounds. Finally, I appreciate that at St. Peters, we are encourage to reason, think, discuss, question, and engage our minds as we struggle to understand what it means to be Christian and Episcopalian in the 21st century and how to best serve by example in thought, word, and deed.

Charmaine Welch

Nominated by: Tony Craghead
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Other household members: Carmella Simmons
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., several times a month

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
Here at St. Peter’s, I presently serve as an Usher and prior to COVID I was involved with the Coffee Morning Ministry. I am also a member of the Social Justice Ministry.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
I’ve participated in Bible Class, Book Group and on the Social Justice Committee, leading a presentation on the Impact of Economic Disparities on the Aging.

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
My Father retired to Charlotte in 1996, shortly after he made his Church home here at St. Peter’s. I would visit often, and it indeed felt like home. Albeit I lived in New York, I considered St. Peter’s my Church Home and looked forward to my visits with Daddy. He cherished the community of love here and believed and held dear the St. Peter’s mission. I overwhelmingly concur.
I am very interested in the continued growth of St. Peter’s and the “…Vision to be a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love…” God call each of us to be a servant leader. I would very much like to be a servant leader from the Vestry. I’d considered it a sacred honor and trust should I have the opportunity to serve.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
My previous work within Finance Equity Research and my current work experience as a platform Data Analyst provides me the ability to look, listen and interpret in a manner that compliment operational strategies for problem solving. I am hopeful these skills along with my ability to manage from the bottom up could prove useful to the vestry.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
I work for JLL as a Platform Data Analyst on the Wells Fargo Account. This translates to managing a platform which executes and maintain account and statutory policies around Property Management. My family, St. Peter’s inclusive, remains my priority. I hold the philosophy of everything begins at home and with the Grace of God extends outward. I enjoy cooking. I am currently on a mission to re-create every recipe within my Mum’s repertoire. I’ve mastered 2 thus far. I’ve a long, delicious journey ahead.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
The enthusiastic leadership and ministry make my soul sing!! I remain grateful and never disappointed with each Sunday’s “TEDx talk” (aka Amanda and Jacob’s Sermon) that keeps God’s intention/word relevant. The very authentic St. Peter’s family provoke my soul.

Mary Virginia Woodall

Nominated by: Candace Armstrong
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Other household members: Dan Woodall
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., weekly; 5:00 p.m.

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
I served briefly with Sue Coonen at the Soup Kitchen and volunteered in the church office before I was invited to join the staff at the church to manage membership. I serve as leader of the altar guild which is my main offering of volunteerism. At special times of the year (Greening of the church at Christmas and preparation for Easter services), I coordinate the cleaning and preparation of our worship space.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
In the past I have attended evening classes led by laity. Since most of my time on Sunday mornings is devoted to preparing for services as a member of the altar guild, I do not have the opportunity to participate in formation offerings.

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
St. Peter’s is a large part of my social, spiritual, emotional and educational life so I want to serve this parish that has given so much to me.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
Having been a member of St. Peter’s for 27 years, I have observed and been a part of several phases of growth and change. I have the ability to see things from different perspectives and keep an open mind to progress that change can produce, being mindful of the responsibility for maintaining our awareness of our history and the historical presence of St. Peter’s in our city, our diocese, the state and beyond. For 21 years I served on the staff here, and I believe that I bring a unique understanding and perspective that, I hope, would be beneficial to the vestry and this parish.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
Retired. My hobbies include listening and playing music, reading, doing needlepoint, being with friends, and playing with our dogs, Lilibet and Rosie. My priorities are to family, friends and church. I am totally committed to the work of the altar guild, being fulfilled by being a “stagehand” and taking care of the work behind the scenes.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
Being given the responsibility of leading the altar guild has provided me with a new path in my spiritual growth. Handling sacred objects and being mindful of their purpose and significance in the service have helped me to be more mindful and open to the experience of worship. I suppose I am more aware of the nuances of worship-all that makes it special-and I am more open to the opportunity for my own growth. I am often deeply moved by a particular sermon or hymn or anthem or psalm in ways I have never been.

Chris Zulick

Nominated by: Chris Cudabac and Katie Nelson
Have you served on the Vestry before: No
Other household members: Phil Zulick (spouse)
Worship Service: 11:15 a.m., several times a month

Ministry and volunteerism within and beyond St. Peter’s:
Besides trying to maintain the wellbeing of my daughters and husband, I spend my time volunteering and maintaining the atrium at St. Peter’s. I also have several elderly friends that I keep in touch with to offer them any help needed.

Describe any participation in the Christian Formation programs:
I was raised in the Roman Catholic church growing up in Erie, Pa. After moving to Charlotte, I met and married a wonderful man who was raised in the Episcopal church. While we were exploring different churches in Charlotte, we brought our three year old daughter to St. Peter’s Atrium one Sunday. I was intrigued with this gentle way to be with children and wanted to know more. This led me to Anna Hurdle and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. I decided to train to become a catechist and began working at St. Peter’s in the level one atrium. That was 25 years ago and I continue to the present day.
I also had the good fortune to experience being confirmed by Bishop Curry!

What does St. Peter’s mean to you and why are you willing to serve on the vestry?
St. Peter’s appeals to me on so many levels! First of all, the church itself is a valued, well cared for and beautiful space. It was evident how many others thought so too by the renovations done several years ago. To travel uptown on a peaceful Sunday morning and see the lovely old church nestled among so many modern buildings, surrounded by trees is inspiring! The liturgy, music and choir all enhance the beauty and peace inside.
I have always felt very welcome and accepted and have made many dear friends here. I value the philosophy of inclusion that I witness by the leadership here. It is important to me that this church continue to thrive and that is why I am willing to serve on the vestry.

If elected, what gifts and talents would you bring to this leadership ministry?
I feel that I could offer some perspective simply because of having been here for many years. I could draw on my nursing background if needed. I am interested in others points of view and am willing to listen. I was happy to hear that I could join a meeting via zoom if I was out of town.

Current or recent work or profession, priorities, hobbies:
I was fortunate to have a wonderful career at Atrium Health for thirty years as a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist). I retired in July of 2020.
I am an avid gardener, both here and in the mountains. Love to practice yoga and am fortunate to be active and healthy! My husband and two beautiful daughters are my main love and priority.

How does St. Peter’s feed your spiritual journey and growth?
My work in the Atrium and my friends and colleagues at St. Peter’s have been a constant and stabilizing presence for me through the years. It is a part of me now!