Meet Your Vestry Nominees
A Prayer for Discerning our Vestry Leaders

Almighty and ever living God, source of all wisdom and understanding, teach us in all things  to seek your honor and glory. By your Holy Spirit, open the hearts and minds of the people of Saint John's as we earnestly ask your guidance in choosing our Vestry leaders. In all things, grant us the courage to pursue your will in our ministries, and the grace to accomplish it, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever.  Amen

Tom Keyse
Senior Warden Nominee

was deeply honored to  be appointed by the vestry  in February 2016 to complete the final year of Larry Kueter's term as senior warden of Saint John's Cathedral  and I look forward to continuing to serve in that role for the next three years.

I became a member of Saint John's Cathedral in 1988 and have served the congregation in many prior capacities.  In my early years at Saint John's, I sang in the Cathedral choir and served on the stewardship and evangelism commissions.  During this time, I met then Canon Robert O'Neill and began a friendship that continues to this day.  I the mid-1990's, I served on the vestry and, together with my wife Jen Courtney-Keyse, whom I met in the Cathedral choir, helped form and grow various young family ministries.  Later, when Jen and I began having children, I focused my time on youth Christian education and served on several capital campaign committees.   Most recently, continued to teach Godly Play and also serve d on the planned giving commission  prior to assuming senior warden duties.

My father, father-in-law, and brother all are Episcopal priests.  Jen and I were married at Saint John's Cathedral in 1994 and our three sons, Will (1 8), Ben (1 6) and Ned (1 2) all were baptized here. Jen has twice served on the Cathedral vestry and our sons have been active leaders and participants in Cathedral camp, youth group, mission trips, ushering and acolyting.

I am an attorney and have practiced commercial finance law in Denver for nearly thirty years.  I often work on transactions involving organizations in transition, and am  past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association, a group of finance industry professionals and executives who provide guidance and support to transitioning companies.  I also am a prior president of the Metro Caring board of trustees and actively participated in that organization's most recent executive director search.   I also chaired Metro Caring's recent capital campaign to build its new Hunger Relief Center and continue to serve on its fund development committee.

I believe my personal and professional skills are uniquely tailored to assist the staff, vestry and congregation  as we complete our transition work of identifying, preserving and aligning Cathedral resources to our core mission and ministries and to work with our new dean and clergy to develop and implement opportunities for all at the Cathedral to deepen and broaden our faith, support and outreach.

Amy Davis
Junior Warden Nominee

My family and I have been active members at Saint John's Cathedral since we moved here in 2003. In Saint John's we have found a faithful community and a loving church family which allows us to grow in our devotion, knowledge and friendships. My children, Macy and DeWitt, have grown up here, were confirmed here, serving as ushers and in the youth group for years. My husband, Kevin and I relish the intellectual dialogue and angelic music of all the services.  We have made many close friends here.

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, I worked in the broadcasting industry, deepening my knowledge of marketing, advertising and sales. Since I left the workforce to raise children, I have served on various boards, been a volunteer leader, and managed fundraising and special events for 18 years.

As a lifelong Episcopalian, I have been involved in churches around the country. I served St. Paul's, New Orleans on the Vestry, as Diocesan Convention delegate, and as a fellowship leader. At Trinity Church, The Woodlands, Texas, I worked with the children & youth, and as Chalice Bearer and Lay Eucharist Minister.  In the past I have served Saint John's Cathedral as a Vestry member, on Urban & Social Concerns Commission, on Stewardship and Cathedral Life Committees, as Youth Leader, as Diocesan Convention delegate, and continue serving now on the Personnel, Grants, and Outreach Committees, as a Lay Eucharist Minister, and as your Junior Warden. I helped begin our annual all-parish retreat. Each of these opportunities allows me to grow and explore service in very different ways. I am extremely impressed with the Saint John's current lay leadership and dedicated volunteers in so many areas.  Continuing as your humble Junior Warden I hope I can be a voice for the people of Saint John's and continue to help guide this great cathedral community toward financial stability, allowing for continued growth and a deeper communion with God and each other. I am honored to serve you at Saint John's.
Jennifer Allen
Vestry Nominee

Saint John's Cathedral has been a critical part of our family's life since 1997.  Kevin and I moved our young family of three children to the Denver area from northern New Jersey in 1996.  Our children started in the nursery, continued through the children's Christian education programs, youth programs, summer camps, ski weekends and youth ushering program until each graduated from high school and left for college.  I trained in the Catechesis of Good Shepherd Christian education program and served as a catechist for the first through third grade children for several years.   I also served on the search committee that identified and welcomed Kim McPherson as the Director of Religious Education. As the children's program evolved and our children became teenagers I shifted my involvement to the youth program; chairing the youth committee and participating in the search committee for the former youth director. More recently I have enjoyed my involvement with the Art of Hosting committee, the Adult Christian Education committee and serving as a delegate to the 2016 Diocesan Convention.
 
Prior to moving to Denver in 1996, I worked in pharmaceutical drug development for the R. W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute in New Jersey for eleven years.  After our move, I shifted my attention to community development activities including PTCO president at our elementary school, Medical Bioethics Committee member at Rose Medical Center, and president of our neighborhood HOA.  I currently serve on the Board of Adjustment and Appeals for our local community.
 
Training as a catechist and experiencing the openness with which children embrace Jesus as the Good Shepherd transformed my faith.  My prayer for Saint John's is that it continues to be a vessel for God's love to be deeply experienced, named and shared. Thank you for considering me for the Vestry.
Leo Carosella
Vestry Nominee

As the saying goes, I wasn't born an Episcopalian but I got here as fast as I could.
 
After early experience with religions that devoted more energy to rooting out "sinners" than aiding the unfortunate, my faith suffered a spiritual drought lasting a decade. But eventually, that which I thought gone and buried turned out to have life within it yet, and started rising to the surface.
 
I began to visit local churches, seeking a religious community that prioritized inclusiveness, charity and spiritual traditions. One day I found myself passing through the heavy, oaken doors of Saint John's Cathedral.  As I settled into a pew, little could I have predicted how my life was about to fundamentally change.
 
After deciding that Saint John's had the attributes I was looking for, I plunged into parish life and signed up for Catechumenate class. Unused to exploring deeper issues of faith and worship, however, I felt challenged, unsure I had that capacity. But by the time I knelt at the altar to be received into our community, my eyes had been opened by the transformative powers of the Holy Spirit. I realized that I hadn't so much chosen the Church as it had chosen me.
 
I am proud to be able to say, "I am an Episcopalian," and eternally grateful to our clergy, both past and present, and the congregation for supporting me through both spiritual journey and earthly sorrow. My heart, mind and faith are open, eager to experience the stores of wisdom and grace that come with worship and discernment.
 
In the years I have been at the Cathedral, it has been my privilege to assist in supporting its operations while on the Stewardship Commission, preserving its beauty and historic value on the Arts and Architecture Commission and planning for its future on the Dean Search Committee.
 
I've also started the 14th & Clarkson group to bring people together socially, cooked for our guests from the Women's Homeless Initiative and served as a Cathedral usher and as a delegate to the CO Episcopal Convention. I'm currently involved in the startup of the Cathedral Guild, a volunteer group designed to ensure that operations run smoothly when special non-parish events are scheduled.
 
My outside life includes serving as Chair of the Denver Commission on Aging and as a member of the City's Blueprint task force, which reviews land use relating to neighborhoods, rec centers and transportation. I have also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the Special Olympics. Professionally, I help people meet their housing needs as a Realtor and have 15 years of experience in the building industry as a marketing and communications executive.
 
I am honored to be asked to run for the Vestry in what is sure to be a year of many changes. If elected, I will work hard to safeguard that which is so important to so many of us.
Kathleen DeMars
Vestry Nominee

Saint John's Cathedral offers us so much in so many ways.  I came to Colorado in 1982 and first visited Saint John's on Easter, becoming forever connected to this wonderful place.  Our three children grew up here, were baptized/confirmed here, made friends here and are better people due to these experiences.  Saint John's is an extraordinary village of compassionate mentors who have enriched our family spiritually, socially and philosophically with peers that are lifelong friends.

I completed EFM many years ago, and bonded with others on this great spiritual journey.  Our kids enjoyed Cathedral Camp as campers, gappers and counselors for nearly 10 years and as an RN, I have been the Saint John's/Diocesan Cathedral Ridge camp nurse for as many years.  I have led our high school Sunday school, been a catechumenate table leader, worked in the kitchen and assisted our elderly, homeless and those lacking funds with flu shots and vaccinations.  I helped Dr. Frank Scott coordinate 5 years of 9HealthFairs here at Saint John's which brought medical screenings to hundreds each year and united 200 parishioners with a single noble focus.  As an acolyte, I cherish the closeness of this ministry and serving others.  I have also enjoyed working with the Diocese, representing Saint John's at the Diocesan Convention and helping Bishop Andudu communicate his Sudan ministry with the United Nations.

During my time at Saint John's, I have been privileged to live within a community led by three different style deans, each bringing gifts and challenges.  I am a cheerful positive person that values everyone equally and I seek those who are quietly struggling and those in limbo wanting to be connected to a stronger purpose.  As a vestry member, I will continue to be this person, capitalize on what has worked well at Saint John's during the past 30 years and to be your voice which represents our great congregation.
Jack Denman
Vestry Nominee

My wife Rae and I have been members at Saint John's since the early 2000s and have always found a home among the ministries, programs, and most importantly - the people at our church home that make this our parish home.  With her support, I have had the honor of serving on the vestry for the past three years, through some very significant and transitional times of our church.  I feel these transitions have helped us to forge our identity in the broader Denver community, empowered us to look inward at ourselves, and have inspired us to dream of what we may be capable to become.  I am presenting myself as a candidate for a second term to serve on the vestry to help to continue the transition to a new dean and the next chapter for our cathedral.

Since our early days at Saint John's, Rae and I have been long stalwarts of the kitchen, growing the best part of Cathedral Nite - the meal - to the faithful gathering of friends that it is today.  To us, there is no greater fellowship than sharing a meal together, especially one prepared by our fellow parishioners and friends.  To us, the kitchen is the ministry of our family and feeds our spiritual life as well as our community.  While we are cooking, our children Charlie (11) and Samantha (9) are usually immersed in choir practice or, having moved from Godly Play, involved with the youth group and SoWhat.  For the past several months, I have had the pleasure of representing the Vestry on the Dean's search committee, which has exposed the many wonderful ministries and people we have across our Episcopal faith and enriched me with the excitement of calling a new Dean. 

Hospitality and welcoming warmth that we felt as a family when we came to Saint John's, and the beauty of the current ministries and the possibilities of the future are the reasons I am putting my name on the ballot for the Vestry.  When not at Saint John's, I still spend by time in Capitol Hill, just as an environmental geologist and partner in a small consulting firm located a few blocks north of the Cathedral.

John Grier
Vestry Nominee

I was baptized in the Episcopal church and have been a member all of my life.  Though I have attended other religious services, this church and its traditions have always impressed me as being just right.  Open, caring, stimulating, accepting.  Never judging or critical.  Not too strict, not too loose.

Since moving to Denver in the late 80s and trying a few Episcopal churches in the area, I joined Saint John's in about 1990.  I have been here ever since.  Bridget and I were married in this church and our children baptized here. 

I have not always been an every week attendee of the church, but I have been in the last decade.  In the last 5 years or so I got involved in operating the sound board.  The old system was 70s vintage with both design and operating problems.  The new system is a remarkable improvement, a technology upgrade from 40 years ago can do that.  I think in at least some way I was helpful in that.

Our church seems to be in a time of change.  Not just in choosing and accepting a new dean, but as a group of members in an organization.  Our finances have been tough in recent years and the clergy and vestry have made some difficult, I think good and correct decisions.  They have been particularly good at explaining.  Where do we go from here and how do we get there?  I don't know though I'm optimistic.  It strikes me as a really exciting time - we have incredible people and great assets.  I want to help and I'm honored to have your consideration.

Outside of the church, I run two small companies.  One is a pipeline company that transports crude oil from production sources to refineries with assets in California, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.  The other company produces bio-diesel in California.  The headquarters for both companies is here - downtown.

Laurie MacArthur
Vestry Nominee

I am a life-long Episcopalian.  I was confirmed and married at St. Luke's in Denver.  My husband, Tim, and I moved to Florida the day after we were married and lived there for 12 years.  I was very active in our parish, Christ Church in Ponte Vedra Beach.  At the time, it was the fastest growing Anglican Church in the world.  The rector appointed me to be the representative from the church to attend Godly Play training at Kanuga, one of the largest Episcopal conference/retreat centers in the USA.  This was over 20 years ago, so I was one of the first to be trained in this form of children's exploratory worship.  In addition, I had the good fortune to learn from the ministry of the late Sophia Cavalleti, matriarch of Catechesis of the Good Shephard.  She started the Montessori form of Christian Formation that was the model for Godly Play.

When my family moved back to Denver nearly 18 years ago, we were looking for a vibrant, inclusive church with a strong children's ministry.  Saint John's was our clear choice.  As a new member to the Cathedral, I immersed myself in the ministry of Christian Formation for children/youth.  I was the first to teach Godly Play at the Cathedral.  In addition, I led Children's Chapel.  I was also a member of the youth commission and taught Confirmation.

Liturgically, I currently serve as an Acolyte/Lay Eucharistic Minister and member of the alter guild.  I have also been a lector. 

I continue to be active in various committees. I have served on a discernment committee and am on the social committee for the new Dean.

My entire family has been spiritually fed by the Cathedral community and given of their time and talents.  Tim was the chair of the youth commission and a delegate to the diocesan convention.  My children, Marlena and Mitch, were counselors at Cathedral Camp.  Marlena was the summer intern for several summers.  She worked for Kate Eaton when Kate was introducing the Wilderness at the Cathedral. My parents, Bob and Genie Enders, were table leaders for the Catechesis.  My father also served as a vestry member.  In short, all three generations have been very active at Saint John's.

Professionally, I started my 25 year career as an educator at an Episcopal school.  I have taught at my current school for 17 years.  As the representative to the homeless, I organize an annual school-wide sock drive to support Saint Francis Center.  We collect well over 1,000 pairs of socks for the homeless every year.  This has been featured in the newspaper.

Whether I am privileged to serve you the Blood of Jesus Christ, greet you with the peace, serve on a committee with you, host you in my home for a prayer vigil, or have yet to meet you personally, I am thankful to be considered to be a member of your vestry.

Rebecca Richardson
Vestry Nominee

Saint John's is a living example of what it means to serve and be a follower of Christ, and it would be a privilege to be considered to be one of the many lay people who exercise a vital role in the governance and ministry of our church.
 
I first came to Saint John's Cathedral twenty years ago, and chose it as a spiritual home because of its active ministry, powerful liturgy and its sacred sense of place. Saint John's holds a special place in Denver, that of being both parish and Cathedral.  I have watched as we have become an increasingly vital parish, with ever increasing programs that serve our parishioners as well as our community.  Saint John's is an emblem of our faith in the community, a leader in spiritual growth, and a voice of faith for all searching for deeper answers to life. 
 
Previously, I worked as a stewardship and governance consultant to the Dean and Vestry of Saint John's and am familiar with parish finances, endowment. pastoral, educational, music, building and grounds, and stewardship needs. In that capacity, I taught Stewardship for the Catechumenate classes, was liaison to the Abrahamic Initiative. and served on the Clarkson Community Project (now St. Francis Center).  I am currently on the Arts and Architecture Committee at Saint John's.
 
My professional background has been focused on helping non-profits develop strategic and working plans to accomplish their missions.  This includes my previous work as Director of Public Programs at St. John the Divine in NYC, President/CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, Governance and Fund Development Consultant, and numerous board commitments.  I currently serve on the Board of the Academy of Urban Learning, a charter school in Denver for homeless, or at-risk of homelessness teens.  I hold an MBA in Finance/Economics and an MS in Museum Administration.
 
I have raised 3 girls to happy adulthoods, love 3 sons-in-law, adore 5 grandchildren (3 or whom were baptized at Saint John's), and in April will happily marry Larry Kueter, former Vestry member and Senior Warden at Saint John's .


Priscilla Shand
Vestry Nominee

Gandhi is quoted as having said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." That, of course, implies that one must first, herself, be changed! The past six years have been transformative for me, and Saint John's Cathedral has blessed me with the place and the spiritual space to allow those changes to happen. It seems only right to give back through this church, in some measure, what has been given me. As I am learning to listen for God's guidance, I find before me now a new opportunity-a willingness to serve on the Vestry.

I have been a member of Saint John's for approximately five years. Before relocating to Denver, I lived in Durango, Colorado, for 42 years where I was a long-time member of St. Mark's Church. During those years, I served on the Vestry a number of times, regularly served as a lay reader/chalice bearer, and helped to establish a chapter of Daughters of the King. Today, I continue to wear the cross of the Order and have served on the Diocesan Board as secretary for four years. Our life-long vow is premised on asking daily, "Lord, what will you have me do?" 

Some of the ways in which I might further serve Saint John's come from a variety of life experiences over the years: 
~I taught middle school for 27 years, working with teams of teachers and on various District committees to establish policies, objectives, and priorities for the language arts curriculum. I also worked with several student teachers to pass on my passion for teaching. 
~I am a trained spiritual director, graduating from the Benet Hill Spiritual Formation Program in 2014. I maintain memberships in Spiritual Direction Colorado and Spiritual Directors International and meet monthly with other directors for growth and support. 
~Five years ago, in answering a "better late than never" call, I have been in a 12 Step Recovery program, actively engaged in weekly study and work with a sponsor and others in learning how to heal the brokenness incurred from growing up in an alcoholic home. 
~As a "cradle Episcopalian," I have a life-long love and commitment to the "faith of my fathers." However, involving myself in the Wilderness services in planning, setting up, and taking down prayer stations is teaching me another approach to worship. I can be found in the Cathedral on most Sunday nights, learning new ways to draw others into the Church I love!
 ~In the fall of 2015, my spiritual journey brought me to Dagwell Hall, where I now volunteer in setting up and spending time with the homeless women. I am neither a counselor nor a "fixer" as I visit, pray, or just listen to those who ask; rather, I step into a role as companion; as Ram Das once wrote, "We are all just walking each other home." 

As we enter a new chapter in the life of this place, as we continue to grow outward into the wilderness around this space, I am honored to be considered for the Vestry.


Mike Vente
Vestry Nominee

I've always looked for a church where I felt at home.  A place that felt safe.  A place where I could express and live the various aspects of my identity.  Saint John's has become that home for me.
 
I came to the Episcopal Church when I was in college.  It was through the beautiful music and wonderful liturgy that I became hooked.  As I learned more about the church, I was drawn to our message of being welcoming to all.  I appreciated the ability to wrestle with complicated spiritual subjects without fear of reprisal.  I embraced the ability for Saint John's to be a force of good in our community.  It is my hope that Saint John's can be an even greater force for good in Denver by shining a light on the needs of the homeless, increasing outreach to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and being a safe place for all those who feel "in the shadows" of our society.  Now, more than ever, the role of the Church found in our Book of Common Prayer resonates with me: "to restore people to unity with God and each other in Christ."
 
During the past several years at Saint John's, I've served in many roles including acolyting during Sunday morning services, bringing Communion to homebound individuals through the Lay Eucharistic Visitor (LEV) program, organizing the Saint John's involvement in Denver PrideFest each year, participating in the 20s and 30s ministry, and most recently serving on the Search Interview Committee for our new Dean.
 
It is truly an honor to be nominated for election to the Vestry and I welcome the opportunity to continue my service to this place that means so much to me.



Don Wood
Vestry Nominee

In 1991, I decided to make Saint John's my church home as I really liked the 3 legged stool basis of the faith which is:  1) Holy Scripture, 2) Tradition, and 3) and Reason. What really sealed the deal is the understanding that we can "agree to disagree" (something sorely missing in secular society). After a couple of years, I decided to attend Christ Episcopal Church where there were more people my age and I met the woman who became my wife Stephanie. In 1997, we decided to moved back to Saint John's which offered traditional worship, high quality Christian education for all ages, music, outreach, and service opportunities. 
 
In the time we have attended Saint John's, we grew our family by adding Joe in 1999 and Catalina in 2002.  I have participated by singing in choir, taught Sunday School, served on the Finance Committee, chaired Finance Committee, served as the Treasurer, co-led Children's Chapel; and am currently serving on the Investment Committee and co-teaching the SOWHAT class for 5th and 6th grade children education class.
 
I fully retired in 2013 and became Mr. Mom but before that I worked for the State of Colorado as a Budget Analyst for 20 years. Under the Joint Budget Committee and multiple state departments I analyzed and developed operating and maintenance budgets. I retired from the State in 2009 and then proceeded to work for the the City of Denver in the Budget and Management Office for one year and then for 3 years as the Manager of Capital Planning for DIA where I managed the development and prioritization of annual capital budgets.
 
I see the Vestry as a policy board and I would like us to: 1) encourage the continued use of our excess capacity of our physical assets to serve the community; 2) encourage greater marketing to retain current parishioners and to reach potential parishioners; and 3) after extensive study, encourage the direction of our limited resources to those activities that retain current parishioners and reach potential parishioners. 
 
Over the years I have learned to appreciate the vast multitude of talents that Saint John's parishioners possess and actively use for our purpose of "to know Christ and to make Christ known".  My talent appears to be in the non-profit financial world. The next several years will require us to realign our work to our resources which is my strength. Therefore, I would like to offer my talents to Saint John's by serving on the Vestry.  Thank you.


VOTING

Communicants in Good Standing may vote for Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and members of the Vestry.  

A Communicant in Good Standing is a: 

* Baptized Christian whose membership is recorded in this parish, and is 
* 16 years of age or older, and 
* For the past year has been faithful in corporate worship, faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God. 

Communicants in Good Standing may vote either in person at the Annual Parish Meeting on January 29, or online. Communicants who cannot attend the Parish Meeting may vote online and assign a proxy to vote on their behalf for any subsequent ballots.

PLEASE VOTE ONLY ONCE

Your first vote will be recorded. Any subsequent votes (either online or in person at the Annual Parish Meeting) will be disregarded. If you vote online, please do not submit a ballot at the Annual Parish Meeting on January 29.  

Click HERE to vote online.