Candidates for Vestry and Convention Delegates
Voting for Vestry members and delegates to the Diocesan Convention will begin this Sunday, January 19 at 1 PM. We prefer that parishioners who have internet access vote online. Voting will close on January 26 at 10:30 AM.
There are three ways to vote in the upcoming parish elections:
- Online by going to saintjameslancaster.org/vestry between 1 PM on Sunday, January 19 and 10:30 AM on Sunday, January 26.
- Using a paper ballot available in the narthex at the Saturday 5 PM, 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM Masses on January 25 – 26.
- Absentee paper ballot by contacting the parish office at 717-397-4858 and requesting a ballot which must be returned no later than noon on January 24.
The candidates will also be introduced at our worship services over the next two weeks. If there is someone with whom you are not familiar, you are encouraged to introduce yourself to the candidate and ask any questions you may have.
You will be voting for four (4) candidates.
I came to Lancaster County in 1990 as a 5-month old refugee with my Russian parents and grew up in Ephrata. In 2008, I left for New York City to attend New York University’s Stern School of Business, where I graduated with a degree in Economics and Finance. I started my career in commercial banking and commissioned as a Finance officer in the US Army where I served “part time” in the New York National Guard. In 2014, I was summoned to the Middle East to serve a tour of duty, knowing that upon my safe return, I wanted to move back home to Lancaster County.
Upon my return from overseas in 2015, I immediately began a new profession and moved back to the area, which made the readjustment process more challenging. I felt like a stranger in my own country. I felt like a stranger in my own hometown. I had grown up non-denominational protestant (religious persecution was the impetus for my family’s leaving the Soviet Union) and became a confirmed Episcopalian in college. Regular church attendance had always been a central part of my life. I knew that church could play a meaningful role in my readjustment.
I began attending Saint James as I had visited several times over the years when I was in town from New York, so it was a logical place to begin “church shopping.” Within a few services, I was connected with new people and ministries and knew I had found my next church home. Within five months, I found myself embedded in the community and finally feeling normal for the first time since my tour of duty had ended. This parish will never know how much they did for me when I needed them the most. This community has been an anchor through the manifold storms and seasons of life for many of us.
These days, I work in management consulting, where I specialize in operational efficiency, business process design, change management, and strategic planning and implementation. I love solving problems and overcoming challenges all day long. I’m still an officer in the US Army, with more than a decade of service behind me. In the broader community, I serve on the boards of two non-profits: Central PA Hugh O’Bryan Youth Leadership (empowering high school sophomores to develop leadership skills and serve their communities) and Debate for Peace (bringing together Israeli and Palestinian youth of various religious and ethnic backgrounds to foster international dialogue and promote peace), and I am an active lifetime member of my hometown VFW.
At Saint James, you can often find me hosting hospitality at various times (e.g. forum, summer refreshments, and special events), co-chairing “Food, Faith, and Fellowship,” and bringing meals to parishioners as part of Caring Cooks. In the past, I sang with the choir and volunteered with Head Start dishwashing. As a single, childless parishioner under 40, I’m a minority at most churches, and thus I’m often (unintentionally) overlooked in religious programming since there aren’t many people who fall into this category. At St. James, I have always felt valued and included for who I am—not for what I might become. I have always been offered a seat at the table and a voice in the discussion. I am honored to have been offered the opportunity to run for vestry and to work to build this community and sustain it for future generations.
In 1988 my wife Deb and I graduated from college, got married, and moved to Lancaster. Deb is from Detroit and grew up outside Philadelphia, so we chose Lancaster as somewhere in between.
We both found careers here – Deb took a marketing position and I started Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, where I work today. A few years later we started a family. Today our son Alex is 25 and lives in New York City and our daughter Kristen is 22 and is in Los Angeles.
At the kid’s Episcopal high school, we often attended the chapel services and really appreciated them, so we decided to visit Saint James. From that first visit, our family has always been warmly welcomed and ministered to in both word and music. We joined the church several years ago, continue to attend various services, and went on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land last fall.
Many of the most meaningful moments in my life are when I experience God working in the simplest way through others; in the sharing of the peace during a worship service, a thoughtful act of kindness of a fellow believer, or in the recommendation of a book or reading that helps me see my circumstances differently.
I once heard a church should consider itself an outpost of God’s kingdom, with people ready to do their part when called – whether providing refuge and serving those in need, provisioning others to better face the challenges of a broken world, or celebrating in victories often delivered by grace.
I believe that Saint James has and will continue to be just such a place, rooted firmly in a world that desperately seeks out the peace and love found in the arms of our Lord and Savior.
I grew up in Strasburg, PA and attended Living Word Academy from K-12 and then got my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing from Babson College in Wellesley, MA. After college I moved to California to work full time for a Christian adventure summer camp, Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp, as their office manager and also became bookkeeper for a nonprofit organization, Star Rock Ministries. After 5 years I moved back to Lancaster and began working for Hometown Provisions as their Marketing Director and later Chief Operating Officer. Then in 2018 after the birth of our son, Timothy, I took on the part-time position, of Marketing Assistant to the Vice President in order to be more present as a mom to Timmy (1 ½ ) and step mom to Mason (10) and Liam (8).
In 2016, my husband, Gene and I began attending Saint James. We both came from separate churches and when we got married, in 2016, we wanted a church to make our own for our needs as well as our children’s needs. It has been an exciting eventful three years here at Saint James and our family has greatly enjoyed growing in our faith and community through Saint James. Our youngest was even able to play the role of baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant in 2018! I have been able to get involved at Saint James in the following areas: nursery, Godly Play, Table for Eight, House Church and on the Caring Cooks ministry.
Aside from my Christian faith and family I’m passionate about cooking, traveling, reading and staying active. It would be an honor for me to be able to serve on Vestry.
Julia Witmer Gallagher
My spiritual journey began at St. James, where I was baptized and confirmed. My family were active members, with my Dad serving on the vestry. I enjoyed singing in the choir. We had a vibrant youth group which anchored me during my adolescence. I was chosen as the youth appointee to the Vestry under Father Ted Jones. I carried the voice of our youth group to the Vestry; It was affirming that the adult vestry members prioritized youth initiatives as part of our mission. If elected to the 2020 Vestry, one of my desires is to aid in the development of youth and family programming at St. James.
I studied child psychology at Tufts University. As a post-graduate, I earned an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg in marketing. I spent my 38-year professional career in healthcare and consumer marketing, working in management roles at Johnson & Johnson and WebMD, as a partner at a marketing services company, MarketSource, and most recently as an innovation consultant. While raising my family, I was an active member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pennington, NJ. I enjoyed serving on The Altar Guild, and Co-chairing the Fall Auction.
Seven years ago, I moved back to Lancaster in order to spend time with my Mom, who had advanced Parkinson’s and my love Don Gallagher. Don and I were married at St. James in 2019. What Don and I found upon returning to St. James was a more progressive and diverse community with an open-minded, spirit-filled Father David whom we both gravitated towards. We love the variety of worship services and also gain fulfillment through participating in the meaningful contemplative offerings. I have served on the anchorage breakfast team, and recently on the mission and justice committee. Don and I shared a transformational mission trip to Puerto Rico in 2019, and are excited for our return mission trip next month. I spearhead (with Brother David Rutledge) the mission fundraising dinner at Old San Juan restaurant.
My community activities include singing in The Music For Everyone Community Chorus, and participating on The Music For Everyone’s Wellbeing task force. The music at St. James and in the Lancaster community fills my soul!
Lancaster County has been my home since age 2. I have lived in the city, the suburbs and for 45 years the beautiful country. My late husband of 35 years and I raised two wonderful sons.
My faith journey began in the Methodist Church as a child. Thirty-five years later, I joined an anabaptist fellowship and was active for the next 20 years. To further stretch my faith muscles, I was drawn to the Episcopal tradition in 2007. Two years ago, I transferred my membership from St. Edwards to Saint James to worship with my new husband.
In terms of service over the years, I directed and taught children’s educational programs, pastored a Lancaster city “House Church,” mentored teenage girls, was parish treasurer, Eucharistic minister and led a spirituality formation group. For the past 8 years I have offered spiritual direction.
My professional career began in a long-term care facility as director of therapeutic recreation. Promoted to vice president of human resources and administrator of personal care, I found that creating an environment that enhances the well-being of residents and staff was vital to offering quality care. Prior to retiring, I was an adjudicator for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination.
I hold a BS in Therapeutic Recreation, an MS in Human Organizational Science, a certification in spiritual direction and certification as an enneagram coach/trainer.
Serving Saint James as a member of vestry would be an honored privilege. As together, we grasp hold of the truth that the Holy Trinity is eager to strengthen and guide us through these changing times.
I have been a member of Saint James for 23 years. My husband, Nelson and I moved back home to Pennsylvania at that time after raising our children and living in Virginia and Texas. We had an extensive evangelical journey through the years which finally led us through the doors of Saint James where we found our home in this wonderful faith community. I realized tremendous support and care from friends at Saint James when Nelson suddenly passed away in April, 2016. My life was changed forever but God’s amazing grace is continuing to carry me forward.
I have enjoyed administrative assistant work for various employers during my career. Currently, for the last 16 years I have worked at the law firm, Russell, Krafft and Gruber, in the reception area.
Through the years I was involved in various committees at Saint James. I am presently a Eucharistic Minister during the 10:30 worship service. It is a fulfilling and joyful experience for me when I serve. I am the secretary for the Harriet Lane Johnston Chapter of The Daughters of the King, committed to prayer and service for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom.
My prayer is that the friendliness and joy that I found many years ago at Saint James will continue to serve as a beacon in the city of Lancaster, calling us all to worship, service and fellowship.
I live in Lancaster County with my husband Jim Keener. I moved to Lancaster in 2005, began coming to St. James soon after and officially joined in 2008. I was immediately impressed with the affirming and welcoming atmosphere I found here and began singing in the choir soon after joining the church in 2009. I’m Global Design Manager for Godiva Chocolatier, and my responsibilities have taken me around the world, travel which I enjoy.
I’m originally from Northern Chester county, (Elverson/Morgantown) growing up I attended St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. I then worshiped at Harmony UMC for 20 years where I held every major office (Head of Trustees: 1996-2005), Chair of Pastor Parish relationship committee, Chair of Family Ministries). I learned what’s involved in church leadership and hope to bring that experience to Saint James vestry.
Since moving to Lancaster I’ve enjoyed being involved in the arts and culture community. Current board member of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre (2008 – to present), Past President Neighborhood Association of Old Town (2007-2012), Lancaster Historical Society – Gala fundraising committee member (2008-2014), Fulton Theatre – Gala committee member (2006-2011), Volunteer Lancaster Public Library – Promotions chair, First Friday committee 2008-2015, The Elegance at Hershey Concours, – Promotions Director/Designer 2014-2019 where we raised over $1.5 million for JDRF, AACA.
Jim and I collect classic cars and raise Scottish Highlander cattle. An odd combination perhaps but we love them both for different reasons. The “Ladies of Meadow View” as we call our cows keep us close to the land and remind us of simple pleasures. The cars have allowed us to travel and share them at concours events all over the country. As each concours is affiliated with a charity, we get to share our love of fine automobiles and raise monies for worthy charities. I must add the friends we’ve made through the hobby has eclipsed the cars themselves.
I grew up in an Episcopal church in Olney, Maryland where I was baptized and confirmed. I studied biology at the University of Maryland and then at Penn State. I am married to Chris and we have a son and a daughter. Since the birth of our son, I have devoted my time to managing the household and raising our kids. I also oversee our family farm in Ohio that has continued to grow with each generation. My hobbies include jogging and learning French.
We have been attending Saint James for about 6 years. We love the beautiful liturgy and the emphasis on mercy and acceptance of all people. We also appreciate that different generations worship together at Saint James.
I am the lead acolyte director for the 10:30 Sunday service and am also a Eucharistic minister. My children also serve as acolytes, and my son is a Eucharistic minister and verger.
I’m looking forward to a chance to serve the congregation of Saint James as a vestry member and to use my organizational and spiritual skills to help Saint James move forward in the years ahead.
Diocesan Convention Delegates
You must vote for eight (8) candidates.
I grew up in Northern Bergen County New Jersey with parental visitation to Harrisburg, PA starting in the middle school years. I attended a vocational high school and focused in cosmetology. Within months of working as a cosmetologist, I changed direction and started attending the Pennsylvania State University where I earned a degree in Communication Disorders for Deaf and Hearing Impaired and later a Master’s Degree in the area of Reading. I’ve been working with students who have hearing losses within Southern York School district since 1991. I’m fortunate in that I work with my students in a one-to-one environment and over years. This means I get to see them grow through the years, graduate, and celebrate their life achievements and milestones.
Keith and I met in college and married a year after graduation in 1986. We both grew up within the Catholic Church, however, his family converted to Episcopalian while he was a teen. We married in Keith’s family church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, in Sewickley, PA. We have two daughters; Kaitlyn, twenty eight and currently an optometrist in North Carolina, and Kristen, twenty six, an occupational therapist, and recently married, living in Exton, PA.
Prior to attending St. James, we lived in Glen Rock, PA, where we attended St. Benedict’s in New Freedom, PA. As a plant church, Keith and I were both involved with many areas of the church. We were both Vestry Members. I participated with Altar Guild, and did all floral arrangements, and attended a few activities and meetings with the Dioceses in Harrisburg. Keith was responsible for book keeping, treasury, and ushers. Our girls were weekly acolytes. Upon moving to Lancaster in 2011, we started attending St. James. We participate with Ushering, the Women’s Shelter and Building and Grounds Committee for several years.
I grew up near Pittsburgh, PA and attended St. Steven’s Episcopal Church in Sewickley. I worked at my Dad’s gas station growing up and went to a trade school for Auto Body repair after high school. My last class I had to paint a car and found out I was allergic to car paint. This was the first time I truly felt God was working in my life and changed the direction of my life completely. Since Auto Body was no longer an option, I went to Penn State (my mother was thrilled) and received a degree in Industrial Engineering.
I met my wife and best friend at Penn State. We have 2 daughters (Kaitlyn and Kristen). Our younger daughter just got married this year to Patrick by Father David and Andy Woolworth. I worked at General Motors in Flint, Michigan; Becton Dickinson in Hunt Valley, Maryland; and now work at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Exton, Pennsylvania as a Project Manager.
We moved to Lancaster in 2011 and have been attending Saint James since then. Saint James has been an amazing blessing in our lives. I volunteer for the Buildings and Grounds Committee, ushering, Fresh Express Food Bank in Columbia and the Winter Shelter.
I am honored to stand for election as a delegate to the 2020 Diocesan Convention.
In the past, I have been a member of the Saint James’ youth group and served during worship services as an acolyte and crucifer. For the last five years I have served as Eucharistic minister, lector and as a member of the mission and justice committee.
My spiritual journey in the Episcopal Church began at The Cathedral Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, PA where I was baptized and served as a member of the boys choir. When our family moved to Lancaster in 1971, we began attending Saint James. The jazz Masses at the 5 PM services have ignited deep meaning in my spirituality through their unique approach to understanding the Gospel through popular music and Fr. David’s inspirational sermons which often focus in issues of social justice. I look forward to sharing my inspiration with other members of our congregation and with new visitors to Saint James.
I recently graduated from Penn State University with a doctoral degree in Adult Education. Although I retired as a high school biology teacher in 2011, I currently teach human anatomy and physiology and microbiology full-time at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences here in Lancaster, as an adjunct instructor of microbiology at the York Campus of HACC. I am an usher at the Fulton Opera House and an advisory board member to New Choices, a non-profit organization empowering women in need by giving them the education and tools to find their voices.
Being elected as a member of the 2019 Diocesan Convention would allow me to make deeper connections with the Episcopal community and share my vision of fostering meaningful understanding of the Word of God through one’s daily cultural practices.
As a 3rd generation member of the church and where I was baptized, confirmed and married, Saint James has always been my church “home” even though our family life has found us attending Episcopal, Lutheran and Mennonite churches through the years. Most important for Rick and I is that we worship together wherever that may be. Through our experiences at other churches as the “new” members, I have come to know that becoming involved in the life of the church even in the smallest way enhances your sense of spirituality, community and belonging. Here at Saint James, I have been involved with the Pathways to Parish Engagement, Faith Food and Fellowship, Dinner for Eight, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the St. Nicholas Mass, Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper and other parish-wide events. I served 5 years as the Hospitality Coordinator until this past fall when I made the difficult decision to take a break. Through Hospitality I have been interactive with all generations at the church, volunteers, staff members and other groups.
By profession, I am a Registered Nurse and have worked in the areas of critical care, care management, office manager and presently, I work at a Surgery Center as a Post-Anesthesia Care Nurse, Quality Assurance and Patient Safety coordinator.
My vision for Saint James would be to grow as a church through small personal and group interactions, so that those sitting in the pews are not just attending church but belonging to the church. With a sense of belonging or a sense of family, we will inspire others to become involved and volunteer with in the walls of the church and then be able to share Saint James with the community and beyond. I have felt that sense of belonging and family at Saint James and with my experiences and skills, I am willing to serve as your delegate.
I was born and raised in Lancaster County. I was raised in the Lutheran church, baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church right down the street. My family moved to Lititz in 1962 and attended St Paul’s Lutheran Church. A four-year tour in the US Air Force took me to Washington D.C. as a church business administrator stationed at Bolling AFB.
Freda and I, after dating for many years, yes even in high school, were married at St James in 1979 by The Rev. Canon Stan Imboden and my home pastor, The Rev. James Shannon. Graduating from Millersville State College with a B.S. in Business Administration, I spent 2 years in retail management at BonTon. Realizing that was not my career path was lead to the computer field. That led us to Farmington Hills Michigan to work for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) on the General Motors account. We found an episcopal church in Michigan, became involved there and I also was confirmed into the Episcopal Church. We returned to PA in 1989 with a Christmas baby to start our lives close to family. After spending time at St Thomas Episcopal Church and a few years in the Mennonite faith, Freda and I decided we missed the liturgy, going back and forth between churches during the holidays, we knew that Saint James was home.
Since returning to Saint James I have been active in hospitality, ushering and currently working the sound boards for any of the three weekend services. When asked which service I attend, my response is depends on what I am working, I enjoy all the services, they are different and unique in their own way.
I currently work for RKL eSolutions as the procurement and vendor relations manager. One thing you will learn about me is I cannot say no, ask Freda. I am coming off Vestry this year and would appreciate your support in my standing for delegate to the convention.
I moved to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1977 for a nursing career, but I ended up working in banking. I worked for Bank of Lancaster County beginning in 1980 and continued with BLC, and later with PNC, until I retired in 2012.
Initially, I was a bit bored with retirement, until a fellow parishioner suggested I try spending some time as a volunteer at Carter & MacRae School. About the same time, I was invited to join the Friday morning team serving breakfast for Anchorage. Sometimes now I feel so busy volunteering I don’t know how I would have had time for a job.
I still mentor two afternoons a week at Carter & MacRae, and have accompanied the students on some extra field trips. When my husband, Rex, retired I talked him in to serving at Anchorage also, and we both continued doing that when the program moved to First United Methodist Church. We started ushering a few years ago. Noticing that we were regulars at the Saturday evening mass, Carol Hartley asked me if we might be interested in serving as Eucharistic Ministers and I immediately said we both would be happy to do that. When the Altar Guild expanded to include Saturday, it was an easy extension for us to do that as well. Our participation in the Mission and Justice committee is a big focus of our involvement at Saint James.
Last year, I was a delegate and found it a moving experience to meet and interact with people from other parts of the diocese, to have opportunity for conversation with our bishop, and to participate in the decision-making process for the diocese.
My family has been in southern Lancaster County for generations, and I still live just outside of Quarryville. After high school I attended Penn State where I graduated with a degree in psychology. I have worked in social services, sales, and customer service.
I first came to Saint James in the late 1980’s, but eventually drifted away from church. Moira and I have been back at Saint James for about ten years and have become active in a number of groups. One of my attempts at a joke is to tell people I’ve been to church on Sunday only about 3 times in the past few years…because we attend almost every Saturday evening!
We are ushers, eucharistic ministers, and serve on the Altar Guild. What engages a lot of our “church time” is that we are members of the Mission & Justice Committee, where I am co-chair. And, as something of a carry-over from the past, we serve one morning a week at Anchorage Breakfast at First United Methodist Church.
What I think we do at Saint James, in ministries ranging from contemplative prayer to a Saturday night mass with incense and accompanied by music played on a sitar, and in all the opportunities for missions and service, is invite people to feel loved. Maybe that has something to do with why we are a growing church.
As a native Lancastrian, I grew up in the Methodist tradition but as a young adult left Lancaster and church behind in search of a career. After 50 years away, punctuated with periodic visits home, I am very happy we found our way back to Lancaster, now seven years ago. Saint James is the 5th Episcopal Church in which Jeanne and I have been involved. Each departure was a very sad occasion. However, each move also brought us to a still better church situation, especially the last one.
Since returning to the church more than 30 years ago, I have served in many capacities and learned as much as I could of the Bible and church/Christian history. What we found at Saint James is a place where many of those experiences would find a welcoming home. At Saint James I am honored to serve with my fellow vergers and Eucharistic ministers; I also enjoy working on Bible study forums and our Men’s Spirituality Group. As a verger, we work with all the groups that make our liturgies beautiful. As Eucharistic Ministers, we interact directly with our parishioners as we offer the blood of Christ. As anyone who serves in these ways will tell you – it is a very wonderful and highly recommended experience.
I was taught that ‘liturgy’ translates as ‘the work of the people’. We have found that to be taken very seriously at Saint James. It is that level of participation and community that is what deepens our lives as Christians. The variety of experience available here is remarkable, and for me it is a call to greater service.
I was baptized into the Episcopal Church at ten years old. My family did not attend church on a regular basis, so I often took myself to services on Sunday mornings. I felt comforted there and at peace, away from the noise and chaos of my home. My life’s work has been in various forms of customer service, at Talbot’s, spa concierge manager, and most recently at Marshall’s. I learned that listening is a part of my gift and spiritual journey. I have found that everyone is suffering from some form of loneliness or loss, and I believe these two conditions are what unites us with one another. Before moving to Lancaster, I was privileged to be a part of a ministry called ‘Church without Walls’; a street ministry in which we provided a Eucharist, lunch, and a little solace to those marginalized families and individuals on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. This project was started about 2005 and continues to this, day rain or shine, every Sunday after the two regular services. I am at Saint James because each service invigorates and inspires me through tradition, teaching, thought-provoking sermons, shared humor, magnificent music, all of which brings joy and serenity to me. Recently I have discovered contemplative practices, teachings, and, masses which are an unexpected but welcomed add on to my spiritual journey. I embrace the opportunity to be nominated as a delegate to diocesan convention, to experience how my beloved parish is part of the larger church community.
I am a retired high school counselor and college instructor and a professed Anglican Franciscan Friar in the Community of Francis and Clare and serve on Chapter Council of the Community.
I am a long-time member of the Saint James Mission & Justice Committee and volunteer at Power Packs at Carter and MacRae School. I have been active in a variety of ministries in education, worship and social justice. I help plan and organize Mission Trips to Jersey Shore, PA and Puerto Rico.
I enjoy leading Wednesday Evening Prayer at Saint James and Wednesday Morning Prayer at St Luke’s in Mount Joy. I serve as a Eucharistic Visitor at Saint James and Eucharistic Minister at Saint James and St Luke’s. Over the years, I have facilitated a variety of half-day, full-day and multi-day silent retreats for various groups in the Lancaster area and in the Diocese of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
In the past, I served as Assistant Convener of the Lancaster Convocation and was a member of the Diocesan Council of Trustees. I was elected to represent the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania as a member of the House of Deputies at the 2018 General Convention of the Episcopal Church held in Austin, Texas. I have been elected to represent Saint James to Diocesan Convention many times in the past and it would be an honor for me to represent the parish again. I have a strong commitment to the parish, diocese and wider church and have found the variety of worship and educational experiences to be our greatest strength moving forward.
The people of Saint James are passionate about the City of Lancaster and our ministries of service and that level of enthusiasm bodes well for the future of our parish!