The Vestry is the governing body of the church with members elected for one, two, and three-year terms and organized by classes.
Are you called to serve on Vestry?
The Vestry is the Board of Directors for Grace Memorial Episcopal Church. Our community elects each Vestry member for a three-year term. Therefore, we replace one-third of the 12-person Vestry each year. It is our practice at Grace for the current Vestry to recommend a slate of candidates to the wider Grace membership. We then vote on that slate at the Annual General Meeting.
We ask that each nominee for Vestry will:
- Have a strong commitment to Jesus Christ and to carrying out Jesus’ ministry in our community;
- Be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit;
- Be a communicant in good standing, regular in prayer and worship;
- Be active in the life of the parish and willing to assume leadership positions;
- Be a pledging member of record who is tithing or whose pledge gives serious indication of working towards a tithe;
- Attend Vestry meetings (third Tuesday of the month from 6-7.30pm) as well as occasional Vestry retreats;
- Have the ability and willingness to serve Grace Memorial.
Vestry is an opportunity to do meaningful work to help this beloved community to thrive. Please speak to Louise Tippens or a current Vestry member if you think you may be called to this ministry. Nominations will close January 20th, 2 weeks before the Annual General Meeting.
The criteria for representing Grace at the 2019 Diocesan Convention and the process for electing them are identical, except that the commitment of time is shorter. Convention Representatives attend several preparatory meetings and then convention itself. This year, convention will be at the Salem Convention Center October 24-26, 2019. Representatives typically pay for the cost of their own attendance, although scholarships are available to those for whom this cost would be a burden. Again, please speak to Louise Tippens or a current Vestry member if you think you may be called to this ministry.
The current persons serving on the Vestry are:
Three Year Term
Elyssa de la Cruz
I have been a member of Grace Memorial since my family and I moved to Portland in the summer of 2014. I immediately fell in love with Grace Memorial’s community and was surprised to find that my search for a new church home was complete after my first visit. I have been a life-long Episcopalian, serving and worshiping with the congregations of my various church homes around the world– from Honolulu, Hawaii to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
In my professional life, I am an educator. I have been an Elementary/Early Childhood teacher for 11 years. I have also trained teachers, evaluated programs, and built curricula. In my personal life, I enjoy spending time with my husband and young daughter. On any given weekend, you can find us either hiking through one of the beautiful trails at Forest Park, or reading our way through a mountain of books at Powell’s.
David Goodrich, Junior Warden
Kelly and I have been members of Grace Memorial since shortly after we moved to Portland in the summer of 2011 from San Antonio, Texas. We joined the Episcopal Church prior to our wedding in 1983. I currently serve Grace as an usher, enjoy helping with the Friday Community Dinners, and assist with the Holiday Art Faire & Bazaar as a cashier. In prior parishes I have served as a lector, chalicebearer, usher, Sunday school teacher, and on a building committee for a church school addition. In my secular life I am a research hydrologist/civil engineer with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. I am excited for the future of Grace Memorial in expanding our role as both the anchor of our spiritual lives and an anchor to the wider community in Grace’s neighborhood and the larger Portland area.
I joined Grace Memorial with my mother and sister shortly after the death of my father in 1998. Although I was largely non-religious at the time, it turned out that growing up attending Oregon Episcopal School had been more formative than I had realized, and I quickly fell in love with the already familiar liturgy. I was baptized at Grace along with my sister Kristin at the age of 12 by personal choice, and was later confirmed as part of the first catechumenate class at Grace. My family quickly became heavily involved in parish activities, myself as a member of the Acolyte Guild. Today, I spend the majority of my time as chairman for Kumoricon, a non-profit anime, manga and Japanese culture convention with an annual attendance of approximately 8,000 individuals.
My family and I returned to Portland and Grace Memorial Church in July 2016 after a four year stay in Anchorage, AK*. Me and my wife, Carol, of Altar Guild fame, originally joined Grace Memorial Church back in 2000. We are blessed with a son, Ben, who is a freshman at Grant High School and a daughter, Ellie, who is a seventh grader at Irvington. The entire family is grateful for the never ending love and support of the Grace community.
Before our sojourn in Alaska, I worked with Grace’s middle school youth and served on the Vestry. Recently, I have been helping Kristin with the kids in Church School. I want kids of all ages to worship together and to be certain that Grace is a spiritually nurturing place for everyone.
Note: *When visiting Anchorage, don’t miss the welcoming community of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church and the theatrical views of the Chugach Mountains from their sanctuary.
I moved to Portland from Tallahassee, Florida, in June 2013 following the death of my husband, and joined Grace Memorial shortly after I arrived here. I have been an Episcopalian since college, and I was an active member of my Florida church for 30 years. At Grace Memorial I have participated in Benedictine Way, the Catechumenate, and the 2017 Auction Committee, and I was a delegate to diocesan convention in November 2016. I have been very impressed with the enthusiasm and sense of mission here at Grace Memorial ever since I arrived, and I look forward to serving you.
Andrew grew up in rural Pennsylvania where his family attended a Methodist church. After college he began his first line of full-time work in the retail furniture business managing stores in upstate New York. He went to graduate school in Southern California to study religion and philosophy, and it’s there that he began attending an Episcopal Church. After his first teaching job at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, he moved here six years ago to chair the philosophy department at the University of Portland. He and his wife, Alice Gates, live in NE Portland.
I have been a member of the parish since my son, Riley, was born in 1999. A lifelong Episcopalian, I am proud of the church’s emphasis on inclusiveness and social justice. I am married to Peter West. I am Founding Director of Camp Blue Spruce, a summer camp for kids with food allergies. I have a background in political campaigns and project management and program planning with non-profits and the City of Portland.
I am a Portland native and fifth generation Oregonian. I attended The Catlin Gabel School, received my BA in Geology at the University of Oregon, my Master of Social Work at Portland State University, and my School Counseling Licensure at Lewis and Clark. I retired from Portland Public Schools in 2016.
I have two adult daughters, Gwynneth and Avery, of whom I am extraordinarily proud.
I joined Grace Memorial in 1999. My grandmother, Margaret Watt Edwards, attended Grace Memorial as a child.
Two Year Term
Steve Lovett, Senior Warden
My wife Connie Sullivan, our two children, Patrick and Rosalind, and I have been congregation members since 1999. I am a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives LLP, where I have worked for over 25 years. I am currently on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Northwest, served eight years as a member of the Board of Trustees at Oregon Episcopal School, including five years as a board officer, and previously served a term on the Grace Memorial Vestry, including two years as Senior Warden.
Born in Los Angeles, California, the third of six children, I spent 40 years in Southern California before moving to Portland in 1994. Higher education was an accidental career after graduating from college, and developed into a vocation as I found my way from Johnston College at the University of Redlands to Cal State Long Beach, finally landing at Reed College, where I serve as the Registrar.
When I arrived in Portland, I explored different churches, looking for a good match. When I found Grace Memorial, I decided I had found the right church home. I continue to affirm that decision, finding sustenance in Grace as a welcoming community, in its commitment to social justice, and by volunteering as a Friday Community Dinner cook, and lector.
When I’m not working, I’m adventuring to visit family and friends and discover new places. I also spend time singing with the Oregon Repertory Singers, and enjoy a variety of hospice and other volunteer work, gardening, and walking my dog.
One Year Term
Clerk: Alicia Lehrle
My family came to Grace in the mid-1960s, and I maintained contact with Grace during the 20 years I migrated around the Northwest before returning home to Portland for good in 1993. I am a past member of the Altar Guild and Church School staff, and currently participate in the Bell Choir and Healing Prayer Ministry, and I am a professed member of the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis. For the past 15 years, I’ve worked at Standard Insurance Company with the last 11 being in the contract drafting department. Prior work experience includes bookselling, printing, and a short stint in a pet store, which I fortunately left as I kept taking my work home with me. I’m in my 13th year as a volunteer with SMART (a literacy program in schools for Kindergarten through Grade 3), and I am also a volunteer and board member of Off The Couch Events, which is a socialization program for differently-abled adults. Additionally, I very much enjoy my family, gardening, the beach, a good book and a good beer.