2023 Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body or board of directors of the parish. Its members are elected at the annual general meeting for staggered three-year terms.

Serving on the Vestry at Grace

Vestry Minutes

Current Vestry Members (bios below)

Charles A. McGee II, Co-Senior Warden (Vestry Chair)
Kevin Walsh (2026), Co-Senior Warden (Rector’s Advisor)
David Waldow (2025), Junior Warden
Curt Germundson, Treasurer
Alicia Lehrle, Clerk
Keri Beck (2025)
Roosevelt Carter (2026)
Myra Clark (2024)
Andrew D’Antonio (2024)
Sally Fraser (2025)
Yetunde Laniran (2026)
Bindhu Newell (2024)
Calvin Richardson (2025)
Stephen Weeks (2024)
Jennifer Yeast, (2026)

Scroll down for an archive of Vestry Minutes.

Vestry Communication Covenant

Current Vestry Members

Charles A. McGee II: Co-Senior Warden

I am humbled to once more be called to serve as a member of the vestry, for I believe service to God is the rent we pay for living on earth. I come with steadfast faith and am blessed with a wealth of experience in administering the affairs of a church that makes me a suitable fit to work in unison with like-minded individuals to articulate what God has called Grace Memorial Episcopal Church to be for this and succeeding generations.

My family history in the Episcopal Church spans four generations. And, I have been very active in the church from my formative years, serving as a youth, acolyte, and so forth. I also attended church schools, both Catholic and Episcopal,  throughout my academic career in Liberia and the US and recently graduated from the College for Congregational Development. Earlier, I served three terms on the vestry, as well as delegate to the Diocesan Convention. Currently I am an usher, acolyte, lay reader, chalice bearer, Licensed Lay Eucharistic Minister, member of the Pastoral Committee, and Verger.

I fled the Liberian Civil War and joined my brother, James Skirving Smith at Grace Memorial 1991. I was later reunited with my family. I holds B.Sc. in Political Science, B.A. in Secondary Education, M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Diploma in Criminal Justice Administration, and graduate of the College for Congregational Development.

I worked in the Office of the President of Liberia, before becoming Chief of Staff to the Chief of Police. In the United States, he has served as a school and licensed nursing home administrator, Policy Assistant to the Mayor of Portland and is an adjunct professor and Lead Community Account Manager at the United Way. I serve on many boards including the Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon where is a member of the Diocesan Program Assessment Committee, and IRCO Africa House Board. My wife, Cecelia, and I have five children and eight grandchildren.

Kevin Walsh: Co-Senior Warden

When I was asked to join the Vestry, I looked at this as an invitation from God. It is an opportunity and I would be happy to serve. I sang at Trinity Cathedral for 30 years, where my husband John was Canon Musician for 38 years. I was not able to be considered as a Chapter member as a result of being partnered to a staff member.

We have been coming to Grace since 2011. John and I were married at Grace by Fr. Steven Schneider and Mother Esme Jo Culver on Monday September 8, 2014.  I manage a $500,000 Recording Department Budget, multiple and concurrent recording projects in Portland and across the United States, South America and England. I am adaptable, a good listener, and well-liked by those with whom I have worked.

I am a professional musician and have performed as soloist and in ensemble throughout Oregon in concerts, liturgical celebrations, and Church/Cathedral performances. I have sung for countless weddings and funerals for the past 45 plus years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Portland State University and a Master’s Degree in Church Music from University of Portland. I was a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Portland for three years. In 1993 I was received into the Episcopal Church at Trinity Cathedral.

David Waldow: Junior Warden

For the past 15 years, my son has been my responsibility while my wife worked. Now that he is becoming more independent, I feel that I can start to be more engaged with the various communities that I am involved with.

I worked for many years in the Portland architecture community prior to becoming a caretaker for my son and am fairly familiar with some of the development processes that need to occur in order to build a multi-use urban building. I might be of additional assistance in aiding the Vestry with the potential task of developing the campus. 

David is age 48, Married to Rachel Sanborn, son Brennan Waldow. Church member since 2008.

Born in Santa Rosa CA, Architecture degree from U of Oregon. Worked in architecture in Portland from 1996 until 2010. From 2010 until last Spring, home schooled our son.

Alicia Lehrle: Clerk

My family became members of Grace in the mid-1960s, and I maintained contact with Grace during the 20 years I migrated around the Pacific Northwest before returning home to the Portland area for good in 1993. Over the years, I have participated in the Altar Guild, Church School, Bell Choir, and Healing Prayer Ministry. I am a professed member of the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis. My work life has included a long period at Standard Insurance Company drafting contracts, and also bookselling, commercial printing, and a short stint in a pet store many years ago, which I fortunately left as I kept taking my work home with me (dogs, birds, fish, reptiles, etc.). My volunteer activities outside of church have included many years with SMART (a literacy program for elementary school students) and work as both a volunteer and board member with Off The Couch Events (a socialization program for differently-abled adults). I very much enjoy time with my family, including the non-human members, gardening, the Oregon coast, a good book and a good beer.

Curt Germundson: Treasurer

I have been a member of Grace since 1992.  The Grace community has been a key component of my growth as an individual, as a husband and as a father.  Grace has always been an organization that is close to my heart.  Because of this experience and the spiritual guidance I find as I walk the journey I wish to pay it forward to help others.

Executive experience, accounting and financial management experience, non-profit and low income housing development experience.  Certified public accountant and a die hard do-it-yourselfer; just ask Susan.

Over the course of his career, Curt has led a variety of organizations. Most recently he served Evosus holding position of Chief Executive Officer and VP of Finance. Prior to co-founding Evosus he founded and practiced public accounting for Germundson & Company, CPA’s. Curt holds a Bachelor degree in Financial Accounting from National University.

Keri Beck

My husband Robb and I first came to Grace Memorial nearly 15 years ago. We were immediately drawn to this welcoming church that had such a strong focus on the arts and service within the local community. Very quickly we joined the Catechumenate and volunteered with the Friday night dinners. The Catechumenate was a moving experience, which gave me a greater depth of understanding about the Episcopal church. Robb and I were married at Grace, both our daughters have been baptized at Grace, and of course our beloved pup has received several blessings at Grace on St. Francis Sundays throughout the years. I would be honored to serve on the Vestry. Grace has given me and my family so much over the years and I would be excited at the opportunity to give back. In my professional life, I’ve worked in Marketing and Visual Merchandising with several large brands, such as adidas and The North Face. My work experience has given me a robust background in design, project management, budget allocation, and the overall ability to juggle multiple priorities at once.

Roosevelt Carter

I grew up in the Baptist church of my parents in Louisiana. I attended both a nondenominational church and a Covenant church here in Portland. When my wife, Gwen, and I moved to North Carolina, we joined a traditional Baptist church. But once exposed to the Episcopal tradition by Gwen’s mother, we found ourselves drawn to attend an historically Black Episcopal church in Raleigh.

When we moved back to Oregon in 2015, we searched for an Episcopal church, close to downtown Portland, and found our spiritual place, and community home, at Grace Memorial. The warmth and the welcoming have only grown; even through the pandemic. Now there is excitement and energy around redeveloping our campus and engaging new partners and ministries.

My professional career encompassed managerial and operational positions in airport, solid waste, community development, and public safety. Being a part of the vestry allows me to use those skills in program and capital budgeting and project management. This is work I enjoy and commit to in collaboration with others on vestry. I’ve been led in the past, in service at other churches, to various stewardship roles. Here and now, at Grace, I am ready to continue my contribution.

Myra Clark

One of my strongest experiences of Christian community was as a leader at a church camp in the Diocese of Olympia. Looking back, it is easy to see how that college experience shaped my continued work in education and recreation, finally leading me to found and operate a year-round literacy-based day camp and tutoring partnership between Oregon Episcopal School and the Beaverton School District. There, we formed a learning community with non-native English-speaking children and high school students rooted in experiential education and service. During those 17 years, my identity and calling as an artist also continued to grow, and many of my projects were centered in spirituality. That journey led me to where I am now as a member-owner at Blackfish Gallery, the oldest artist collective in Oregon. I don’t think it is a coincidence that my experience of Christian community has informed the rest of my life as well.

All this makes me hungry for even more community at Grace, and I pray for the Spirit to move us deeper and further than we would ever have imagined possible in our lives as Christ’s beloved. It would be a great honor to team with the vestry to provide lay leadership at Grace in tandem with the clergy. I am grateful for this opportunity. 

Andrew D’Antonio

Grace Memorial has become a spiritual home for me and my husband since we moved to Portland in 2019. I would like to deepen my involvement with the community, get to know people better, and offer my particular skillset as a resource to help further the church’s mission. I am excited about Grace’s new building project, and I would love to be a part of making this come to fruition. I bring to the Vestry a background working in music schools & arts administration including strategic planning, event planning, donor relations and fundraising. I have worked in supervisory rolls for the past 10 years, and I would say one of my strengths is setting goals, creating timelines, and helping make sure things stay on schedule.

Sally Fraser

Grace welcomed me and my husband in 1990.  Although many faces have changed over the years, the warm strength of the community remains.  Grace offered us an opportunity to be part of a church that is supportive of one another and cares for the greater community beyond itself.

It was a privilege to help launch the Friday Dinners and see them grow, to be part of the three parish Bridge Committee, many other ministries as well as the Interfaith Alliance on Poverty of which Grace is a founding member.

Community service has been a large part of my adult life including 13 years on a local school board, the same as a volunteer coordinator for the NW chapter of a research foundation,  service on a governor’s advisory board and a variety of other commitments.  My work as a lawyer opened interesting new avenues to volunteer and for personal growth, including some unique experiences mediating for victim-offender reconciliation and small claims court, and serving as a hearings officer for animal control.

Grace is at a critical point as we: work to  maintain and build our church community during a pandemic, formulate a greater role in the digital world and, develop Grace Commons to provide a community/art facility and affordable housing that will benefit Grace, the tenants and the larger community in new and wonderful ways.

Among the many blessings in my life, my family and friends who bring me joy, laughter and growth are the greatest.

Yetunde Laniran

Yetunde Laniran “found” Grace Memorial in 1999 with her two boys, Mayowa and Yinka, and Grace’s community and service have been an integral part of our lives. I am a cradle Episcopalian, and St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Ibadan is still my family’s home church in Nigeria. My search for a church with the same Anglican tradition was and is still the most appealing part of Grace and the friendships I have formed in the past 20+ years.

My first love and career are teaching and Linguistics, and I occasionally still teach Yorùbá, my mother tongue, to those interested in the culture and tradition. Professionally, I work for Kaiser Permanente from home in the IT department supporting electronic health records. While not curing cancer, I love my job, given that I support the bedside caregivers in providing the best possible care for our patients.

Grace has always been an exciting place to be, and I am always excited to see the same members year after year. The art camps and fair make Grace an exceptional and diverse community of artists. I think it is important to get involved in the church’s life and I look forward to serving on the vestry again.

Bindhu Newell

My husband, Cary, and I first started coming to Grace when we moved to Portland about 12 years ago.  We loved the warm welcome and truly open arms that the Grace community embraced around us.  Since then, we have grown within the church as a couple and as a family alongside our now 9 year-old twins, Rowan and Marlowe.  We have witnessed many and have been a part of some of the ministries that Grace shares to not only its members but to the community at large outside its walls. For the love, care, and good works of our Grace Church community, I would like to be considered to be of service to the Vestry in any way I can, to continue its vision. As a vestry member, one of the things I can offer is the perspective of being a person of color, daughter of immigrants, and mother to extremely active and inquisitive 9 year-olds!  From my prior professional work as an executive recruiter, I have gained valuable business relationship, interpersonal, negotiation, and organizational skills.

Calvin Richardson

I moved to Portland in 2017 and found Grace in 2019. Since then I’ve participated in Catechumenate, Greening of Grace, and numerous other events that our community has to offer. I’ve spent my career working to make health care more affordable and accessible, and have focused my volunteer efforts on social justice in education. I’m currently on the Board of Greater Than here in Portland and am on the management team of a health technology startup based in Boston. I’m honored to be nominated for the Vestry at Grace and hope to add my passion and skills to a faith community that has been so welcoming to me over the past several years.

Stephen Weeks

 My wife Denise and I started coming to Grace over twenty years ago. Our daughter Lily was baptized here.  I have served on the Grace Institute Board for two terms and on the search committee that hired Martin.  I have contributed in other areas of life at Grace, as an usher, a lector, and a volunteer at Friday night dinners.  Two years ago, I retired from my position as Chair of the Theatre Department at Lewis & Clark College, and I find I have more time to be of service to other institutions.  I hope to be of use in supporting and furthering the missions of Grace, including the build-out of the campus.  

Jennifer Yeast

I moved to Portland in 2016 and first attended Grace shortly thereafter (on the feast day for St Francis so my beloved dog, Ben, could be blessed!). Less than a year later I showed up with 10-month old twins who were welcomed with open arms (literally) – for which I will be forever grateful.

I am very interested in seeing Grace grow, thrive and become even more integrated within the local community and look forward to helping that happen in whatever way I can. 

Convention Delegates

Matt Haines

At Grace Memorial I have found a spiritual home. I have been blessed to serve as an acolyte, Eucharistic Minister, and even as guest preacher!  I have gotten to know many of you better at Zoom coffee hour.  Grace is a special place for sure.

Previously, I served as: a youth minister, lector, stewardship chair, and diocesan delegate.  I worked for the inclusion and welcoming of LGBT people through Integrity within the diocese, Province 8, and nationally as VP and president. My faith and my love for the Church have grown because of these opportunities to serve!

As a Diocesan Delegate I would represent Grace in both the Annual Convention and regularly within Convocation, where we will work with Bishop Diana to better equip the Diocese to share the Good News to a world hungering to experience God’s love. This is exciting and vital work, let’s do it together!

Evelyn Prater

When I moved to Portland in 2018, I knew one of the first things I wanted to do was to find a church family. Not just a church that I could attend on Sunday mornings but an actual community. Grace has been that and so much more for me these past five years. I quilt with the ladies in the St. Mary’s Guild and serve on the Board of Directors for Grace Institute. I also manage the live stream production on Sunday mornings.  

I work at Portland Community College with the Environmental Health & Safety team and before that I was a chemistry lab coordinator for a small university in Georgia. In my free time I enjoy all forms of fiber arts including quilting, knitting, and embroidery. I also volunteer with the Rose City Rollers and manage their live stream productions. 

Jeff Ewen

Jeff is retired and lives in Washougal, WA with his spouse Sibby Tower. He is a “cradle Episcopalian” and was confirmed at St. Joseph of Arimathea in Elmsford, NY in the mid-1960s. He served three terms as a Warden at St. Margaret of Antioch Episcopal Church in Staatsburg, NY, a small parish in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. During that time he participated in the Diocese of New York’s Indaba program, which linked larger parishes in New York City and its suburbs with smaller inner city parishes and those in the more rural areas of the Diocese.

Jeff spent most of his career in the graphic design business in New York City. He has a B.A. from the University of Vermont and a J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law. When he and Sibby retired, they bucked the Florida trend and relocated to the Pacific Northwest. They enjoy hiking (particularly on Mts. Hood and St. Helens), and have two horses and four cats.

Deb Pratt

Deb, active member at Grace since 2015 is happy to be a convention delegate and continue to learn about the inner workings of the Episcopal Church.

Vestry Minutes

August 22, 2023 Meeting Minutes

No Meeting in July of 2023

June 20, 2023 Meeting Minutes

May 16 , 2023 Meeting Minutes

April 18 , 2023 Meeting Minutes

Mar 21, 2023 Meeting Minutes

Mar 7, 2023 Meeting Minutes

Jan 17, 2023 Meeting Minutes

December 20, 2022 Meeting Minutes

November 15, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

October 18, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

September 20, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

August 16, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

No Meeting in July of 2022

June 21, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

April 19, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

March 15, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

February 15, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

January 18, 2022 Vestry Meeting Minutes

December 21, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

November 16, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

September 12, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

August 2, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

April 20, 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

February 9 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

January 19 2021 Vestry Meeting Minutes

Grace Memorial Episcopal Church Bylaws 2020

December 15 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

November 17 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

September 15 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

August 18, 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

June 16 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

May 19 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

April 21 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

March 17 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

February 18, 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

January 21, 2020 Vestry Meeting Minutes

December 17 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

November 19 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

October 15 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

September 17 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

August 20 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

June 26 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

May 21 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

April 16 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

March 19 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

February 19 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

January 15, 2019 Vestry Meeting Minutes

December 18 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

November 27 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

October 16 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

September 18 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

August 28 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

June 19 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

May 15 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

April 17 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

March 13 2018 Vestry Meeting Minutes

January 30 2018 Vestry meeting minutes

Special Vestry Meeting Jan. 21, 2018

December 19 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

November 21 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

October 24 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

September 19 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

August 15 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

June 13 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

May 16 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

April 18 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

March 14 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

February 14 2017 Vestry meeting minutes

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