CHAPTER NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT UPDATED
We are pleased to announce that four members of our Cathedral Congregations have been nominated to serve three-year terms on Chapter; Stan Boone, Katharine Nelson, Denice Leslie, and Aaron Schuelke.
On Sunday, October 20th, the Cathedral Congregation will vote to name four people to Chapter. Those four names will be forwarded for affirmation to this year's Diocese Convention on October 25th and 26th. Upon affirmation by Convention, the new members of Chapter will be installed at January's Annual Meeting.
Each nominee was asked to respond to the following question: Please write a statement discussing your vision for St. James Cathedral in the next three years. Also, please briefly share your qualifications and leadership experience.
My vision for St. James is that it continues to be the heart of the diocese and a guidepost for good worship, liturgy and education. I recognize that St. James is a congregation blended from multiple worship families and each has unique hopes for St. James. I also realize the St. James is growing, and new people arrive each week. We need to hold tight to our foundation as a welcoming liturgical church while honoring the vision of the Bishop and the National Church. The Cathedral should be a vibrant congregation that welcomes all in the true spirit of "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You." Our congregation faces challenges of our aging facility but also great opportunity to grow in our current location. The Chapter will need to continue to be good stewards of the physical plant while determining how best to meet the needs of the congregation. I have served as the Senior Warden for both St. James Cathedral and Holy Family Church, both terms during great transitions for both congregations. I possess the ability to bring people together and to keep the vision focused on animating a sense of tradition while being progressive. Both are important to the growth of our church congregation.
St. James is such a warm, welcoming and progressive community with great clergy, beautiful liturgy, growing music ministry and outreach missions via the food distribution ministry and the Cottage Thrift Shop-I envision us continuing to implement our plans for Christian Education with children and their families, expanding the use of our terrific facilities for our expanding ministry. I hope we can work on marketing- getting the word out about one of the best kept secrets in Fresno and Clovis: St. James!!
Along the way I would love to see us engage in implementing a system for connecting new arrivals into the life and ministry of the church that meets their needs and grows their faith and helps them discover an area of ministry that makes their heart sing or cry out for justice; and find new life long friends in this community. I hope we can offer spiritual nurture to support us all in our journey by expanding our spiritual life opportunities too. This is a lot! If we can work together on coming to a common understanding of our core values and vision and out of that identify in a few words what our mission is we can align our ministries with God's good purpose in Christ Jesus.
As for leadership, I am a retired United Methodist pastor and spent most of my active vocation focused on revitalizing churches in steep decline. Along the way I came to love those who I had the privilege to sojourn with; was always humbled by their spiritual gifts, and realized that the journey is our home (as the song says!). My guiding scripture from is from the Letter of the Apostle James who exhorts us to " Count it all joy!": the ups , the downs, the work and the play. I have found a spiritual home here at St. James that makes my heart sing and believe that good leadership is lay based and operated ministry in which the whole body of Christ exercises its spiritual muscle for the transformation of the world through God's Shalom.
KATHARINE NELSON My vision for St. James Cathedral in the next three years brings to mind an actual image of a young mustard bush. We are no longer just the seeds of our faith planted on our new (old) property. Rather, we are starting to grow and take shape. St. James Cathedral is becoming a purposeful tree that provides some form of needed sanctuary for all those who relate to it. I see people deepening their relationships with God and each other, ministries growing in spiritual formation and outreach, and creativity flowing as we invent new ways to maximize our talents and finances in a time where no one seems to have time. I feel qualified to serve on the chapter because I am invested in the life of our cathedral. I want to help discern how God is helping us shape our mustard bush into a tree! I have served in some church leadership roles in the past. I was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and served 2 years on the session, which is the equivalent to the chapter. I chaired the Christian Education team and taught Sunday School. I was a member of the staff/parish relations committee in the United Methodist Church. I hope my diverse church background will help me in my role on chapter as I might be able to offer a different perspective as we plan. It is an honor to be considered to serve on the chapter of St. James Cathedral.
AARON SCHUELKE I began worshiping at St. James last year. It is wonderful to witness all the new life that has come into our congregation over this past year and the exciting ways we are growing as a community. I am very interested in discerning as part of chapter how we might continue to find new ways to serve Christ in each other and our neighbors. I feel it is important that we have a broad and bold vision of what it means to be the Episcopal Church for the Fresno community. We also need to be mindful that we are the Cathedral church for the diocese, and expand our reach and offerings in that regard as well. I have worshiped in Episcopal congregations, both large in small, across the country. I have served on the vestry and as a delegate to diocesan council in my home parish in Texas.