The vestry is the church’s “Board of Directors” and includes a Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Clerk. There are 15 parishioners on the Vestry, each serving staggered three-year terms. Five new members are elected at the Annual Parish Meeting each January. Vestry candidates must be at least 18 years of age and enrolled confirmed communicants in good standing of the parish.
Robert Sumners, Sr. Warden
I work as an attorney and supervisor for the Texas Secretary of State. St. David’s has a wonderfully rich history, and in the years ahead I think it is important that we honor but also test our heritage by maintaining existing traditions while being ever open to new opportunities to serve our Lord. One of the best things about St. David’s is that we are not afraid of the truth even when the truth is controversial, and we warmly embrace the great diversity of the world our God has created. But we cannot rest on what we have accomplished in the past. The Kingdom of God is here, the Kingdom of God is now, and there is much to do.
I began worshipping at St. David’s in 2005 and over the last ten years have participated in many ministries, including Bridge Builders, Young Adults, St. David’s Singers, Daughters of the King, Daily Office services, Eucharistic Visitors, the Episcopal Service Corps Committee, and our new adults group, Crossings. I am a Eucharistic Minister and Lector at the 11:15 a.m. service and currently head the Bedtime Story Brigade ministry, volunteer with Trinity Streets, and help at Laundry Love. My faith has been greatly sustained and strengthened by the opportunities St. David’s has given me to serve others.
Since graduating from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT, my work has focused on the utilization of technology by non-governmental organizations. In my current role at Blackbaud, I help nonprofits effectively raise money and communicate online. I also serve on our grants committee and on several internal workgroups focused on improving client and employee experience.
Bob has been active in lay ministry at St. Dave’s since 2007. From 2011-2014, he was a lay delegate to Diocesan Council. Bob serves as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and Evening Prayer worship leader. Committed to the small group process, he helped to form St. David’s local chapter of Community of Hope International, which provides a pool of lay chaplains to supplement clergy in pastoral care. A member of the Environmental Guild for many years, and now getting the ‘bee project’ up and going, Bob has also served on two St. David’s discernment committees for holy orders, on a lay committee for a seminarian, and as a youth sponsor for confirmation. He also sometimes volunteers with Trinity Center’s cold weather shelter team. His wife, Janet, is a spiritual director, and together they have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Professionally, Bob has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from UT and has worked in that career field for 35 years.
I’ve worshipped at St. David’s since moving to Austin 3 years ago, but served in various capacities in my old parish over the years, including youth leader, usher and greeter, Diocesan delegate, and vestry member. At St. David’s, I’m active in the Bell Choir and adult formation. I am a professor of sociology at the University of Texas, and a statistician/demographer by training. I also do a substantial amount of public policy work concerning income inequality, mothers’ employment and earnings, and child care. Having led various departments at the university, I know how to read a budget, how to establish new programs, and how to creatively finance operations in difficult times. I hope to use those skills to help St. David’s prosper.
Photo to come.
My husband, Gordon, and I have been members of St. David’s for over 40 years and baptized and raised both of our children in the church. As “regulars” through the years, we have attended various services and lecture series. What began as greeting once a month at the 9 a.m. service and other special services eventually evolved into coordinating the Greeting Ministry the last five years. A graduate of Iowa State University, I earned a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Professionally, my life has been challenging, fulfilling, and fun, and I was fortunate to work in Pflugerville ISD and Eanes ISD. Currently I am working in the Department of Education at UT for a group called IPSI – the Institute for Public School Initiatives. As a project editor, I work with my team in creating online English/Language Arts lessons available free of charge to secondary students across the state of Texas. I love opening the doors of St. David’s to visitors and parishioners on Sunday mornings and during special holiday services. It’s wonderful to welcome and smile at friends I know and to meet new faces as well. Ever the team player, I think I can share a voice of experience as well as a life-long learner’s vision as St. David’s moves forward with its mission.
St. David’s has been many positive things to me since I joined the parish in 1998. Though I’m a cradle Episcopalian, having been baptized at St. Luke’s on the Lake and confirmed at Good Shepherd in Austin, a career change that year, and a return to my hometown left me seeking a new experience in my faith. I found that experience here. I met Marsha, my wife of now 16 years, here. Both of our daughters were baptized here and among their Godparents are dear friends who also worship here. I quickly immersed myself in the life of our parish, joined the Young Adults and volunteered as an usher at the 9 a.m. Historic Church service. Though I no longer consider myself a ‘young’ adult, I still proudly serve as an usher team captain, volunteer regularly in Café Devine, and participate in Adult Formation Groups, and the Men’s Group. My own family and I are now regular participants in the 9:15 Bethell Hall service where I am frequently a lay reader or Eucharistic Minister. I have also served on the St. David’s Vestry during a time of transition in 2001-2003. That is why I feel called again to offer myself in this role at this important time. Professionally, my career in finance and investing will equip me to better understand the stewardship of our parish’s resources, budget, and endowment. I am excited for our future and ready to begin a new chapter in the long life of St. David’s – filled with the Holy Spirit!
I’m an electrical engineer with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. Professionally, I manage teams working in the semiconductor sector, creating software for the next generation of vehicles. With my wife, Laura, and my daughters, Maria Isabel and Camille, we attend the 9:10 Bethell service and occasionally the 9 a.m. Historic Church service. I attend the Sunday Men’s Bible Study; I am a member of the Hispanic Outreach Ministry (HOME), and I have participated and led Journey Groups. I also serve as Eucharist Minister and Lector. I’ve also served on the Stewardship committee and was the vestry’s Junior Warden in 2016. In the vestry room, I’ve been able to see the love for our church from both long time and new parishioners, and it humbles me. There will be challenges ahead, but together we must heed the call and with God’s grace we’ll find the courage to meet it.
After serving on St. David’s vestry 2004-2006 (as senior warden in 2006), I feel called to seek this rewarding opportunity again. At St. David’s, I am a member of St. David’s Singers and attend rehearsals weekly. I also regularly attend the Sunday morning adult formation class. I have been a Sunday lector and a Daily Office worship leader for over 20 years and currently coordinate St. David’s worship leaders for Daily Morning Prayer and Daily Evening Prayer. I have led two Journey Groups. I am a member of the Amos Guild, St. David’s ministry for social justice, and regularly attend its meetings and community organizing activities as a part of Austin Interfaith. In 2006 I served on the special strategic planning/discernment committee “Envision St. David’s,” setting goals for the parish that are still being accomplished. I have also served on the stewardship committee and on discernment committees for seminary students and graduates seeking ordination as deacons or priests. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Music Literature and a master’s degree in Business Administration. After previous careers in film production and oil and gas exploration, I have worked for 30 years as a residential Realtor, specializing in buyers’ agency. I am currently semi-retired.
St. David’s has been my home church for more than 13 years. I participate in many Journey Groups and regularly attend Sunday Adult Formation offerings. The availability of these classes has given me the opportunity to continue my spiritual development and is one of the reasons I consider St. David’s such a treasure. As I feel it is important to participate in St. David’s various ministries, I am an usher and a greeter. I also serve on the Vestry, Altar Guild, Amos Guild, and the Finance Committee. I appreciate the social interactions with fellow parishioners, enjoying my involvement in the Movie Group, and Hispanic Outreach Ministry & Education.
I received a BA in Government and Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and the degree of Master in Public Administration from Harvard University. In the professional arena, I have worked in federal and state government.
I am a Daily Office reader for morning services in Grace Chapel, an usher, and co-leader of the Flower Delivery Guild. In the past I have also served as a confirmation teacher. I typically attend the 11:15 a.m. Sunday service in the Historic Church, but since my vestry service began, I am enjoying the project of attending a variety of St. David’s services to get a sense of the range of our worship styles. My wife, Kirsten, and I occasionally participate in Journey Groups, and I began the multi-year EFM course in 2014.
I grew up attending St. David’s; my mother (Ann Moody) and my sister and her family (the DeGrasses) are still active members. As well as anywhere I know, St. David’s demonstrates how, in the best Episcopalian tradition, spirituality and inquiry and fellowship can coexist and strengthen each other. My hope in serving on the vestry is to help preserve and extend this essential character of St. David’s and provide the prudent oversight to give parishioners confidence that the church they love will also be a source of spiritual enrichment for their children and grandchildren.
I am an attorney with the Texas Department of Transportation, where I specialize in contract and real estate law. I began attending St. David’s as an undergraduate student at UT. My husband, Charlie, and I were married at St. David’s. Our two children, Ryan and Avery, were baptized here and are part of the wonderful Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. My family attends the 9:10 Bethell Family Service, where I serve in the music group. I am a member of the St. David’s Singers, an assistant in children’s Sunday school, and a mentor for elementary students through St. David’s Kids Hope program. For the past year, I have had the opportunity to serve on the Vestry, and to understand the upcoming challenges and opportunities facing St. David’s. I am so proud to be part of this wonderful community that is truly filled with Christ’s love, and I would be honored to continue serving our parish.
Photo to come.
I’ve been an active member of St. David’s Church now for over 20 years. Through the years I have participated in a number of small groups, programs, and activities and namely am currently involved in Altar Guild and St. David’s Singers. I’m active in Women’s Group, Community of Hope, St. Agnes Guild, Foyer’s, St. David’s Singers, Bridge Builders-Arbor Terrace, and Kid’s Hope USA mentoring program at Travis Heights Elem School. St. David’s has given me numerous opportunities to engage in service to and stewardship of our worshiping community and church life. For me it provides a balance of fellowship, spiritual formation, and worship while helping serve and meet the needs of others within our immediate and greater community. This is my first time to run for Vestry, and I feel that I can draw my experience as a budget analyst in both the public and private sectors together with my commitment to serve the life and work of this church. It is a privilege and honor to have a chance to help manage, and balance our given resources of time, talent, and treasure.
I regularly attend Wednesday Evening Bible Study, Prime-Timers, and Foyers. I have taught Sunday School, been a member of the Altar Guild since 1972, serving as director, served on the Vestry in the 80’s, served as co-chair of Middle Marrieds, been a member of the Transitional Committee at the time of Jim Bethell’s retirement, “clerked” at Next-to-New, was a founding co-chair of The Forum at St. David’s, and served on the long range planning committee that resulted in the addition to the church. I am a lector and an usher and have served as an evening prayer lay reader. In addition, I currently am a member of the Endowment and Stewardship Committees. I taught elementary school in AISD for 26 years. I am especially interested in the educational programs for children and youth. I consider them vital to the spread of the Gospel and the growth of the church.
Photo to come.
I completed Education for Ministry (EfM) in 2009. My wife and I have served together as ushers at the 11:15 a.m. Historic Church service for almost 10 years. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a Minor in Applied Mathematics. I am the Senior Director of Product Management for SolarWinds, a software company. In my job, I lead a large team of senior professionals who drive high business growth and profitability. I am responsible for defining long-term product strategy and ensuring we remain #1 in our market. I believe the creativity and discipline necessary to lead a competitive and successful company equips me to be successful addressing the problems faced by our church and the opportunities to fulfill our mission to Christ. I feel called by God to serve on the Vestry because my greatest joy is that my daughter is a 5th generation parishioner at St. David’s. I feel called to be a steward for this church so that it will be for others what has been for my family and me.