The vestry is the governing board within any Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, it consists of the rector, two wardens, and a number of vestry members who, together with the wardens, are elected at the parish’s annual meeting. According to the Canons and Constitution of the Episcopal Church, the vestry manages the temporal affairs and property of the parish, which includes approving the parish budget.
Additionally, the vestry is committed to the spiritual life and growth of the congregation. Together with the rector, they have a responsibility to model the mission of the parish as they lead them in fulfilling that mission.
The vestry at St. Thomas’ Parish consists of the rector, two wardens, and nine vestry members. A clerk and a treasurer also serve.
Expectations of all Vestry Members
1. Pray for St. Thomas and regularly attend worship services and activities.
2. Model the Christian life by proclaiming the good news in word and deed.
3. Practice faithful stewardship of finances by making and paying a responsible annual pledge, and supporting the stewardship ministries of the parish.
4. Prepare for and actively participate in monthly Vestry meetings and additional meetings as required. This means missing no more than two regular meetings per year. Baring extreme circumstances, it is expected a member will resign from vestry after missing more than two meetings.
5. Serve as vestry teller and/or vestry host at least every other month).
6. Lean in when required (e.g., helping with various tasks that arise or committees that may need to be formed).
7. Listen to and deal with views of parishioners, especially their questions, suggestions, complaints, and compliments. As appropriate, share these views with the clergy, staff and/or Vestry.
8. Speak the truth in love for the building up of the body of Christ in the church. Do not participate in gossip, hidden agendas or negative after-meeting “parking lot” discussions.
9. Listen to each other carefully and respectfully. Ensure everyone has been heard, and is persuaded that the decision-making process is fair. Vestry members are not required to agree with all the decisions of the group or to conceal their disagreement, but they are expected to support the group’s decisions and the integrity of the Vestry and its officers.
- Gregory Zitterkob, Senior Warden - Gregory has been an active member of St. Thomas’ Parish since 2007. In addition to serving on the vestry, he is a Lay Eucharistic Minister and chair of the Outreach Committee. Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, he moved to DC from New Orleans where he attended law school. He is an attorney in private practice and lives in Logan Circle with his boyfriend, Ryan, who is also a parishioner. In his free time, Gregory enjoys traveling, listening to cheesy French pop music, and jumping between the news and Instagram when either gets to be too much.
- Karen Garlick, Junior Warden - Karen is a long-time resident of Washington, attending college and graduate school in the city and then, staying for a career in the city’s museum, library, and archives community. Her journey to St. Thomas did not begin with the intentional “church shopping” that brings many to a new place of worship, but rather with the spontaneous (and surprising) decision to walk into a 5:00 Sunday service 7 years ago, after decades of passing by the church on her way from “here to there.” It felt like home from the start, and she soon experienced that welcoming embrace that marks St. Thomas as an inclusive, vibrant, and nourishing faith community. She was received into the Episcopal Church in 2016, is a member of the choir, has served on the Vestry and Inclusion Committee, and co-chaired the last music director search team.
- Brian Crane - Brian started attending St. Thomas’ early in the ministry of Jim Holmes. He served one term on the vestry as the secretary late in Jim Holmes’ ministry, during which time we oversaw the dramatic redesign of the garden. Over the years he has taught Sunday school, chaired the pastoral care committee, been active with adult education, and served on several discernment committees. Last year he started singing with the choir. Brian looks forward to the opportunity to serve my parish community on the vestry again as we continue exploring ministry in our new space.
- Brett Snyder - Brett Snyder was raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, and moved to Washington, D.C. after college. Brett is an attorney who practices energy law and is married to Jason Forman. He has been a member of St. Thomas’ since 2003 and was received into the Episcopal Church in 2010. He was a member of the Building Committee for the entirety of the planning and construction of our new building.
- Reggie Greer - Reggie served as the LGBTQ+Engagement Director for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign - where he worked to include every LGBTQ+ voice in their winning coalition. After several years working in engagement-related roles, Reggie joined the Biden-Harris campaign after serving as Constituent Engagement Director at LGBTQ Victory Institute where he supported LGBTQ+ elected and appointed leaders around the country.
- Noel Miller - Noel is a lifelong Episcopalian, having been raised in the Episcopal church in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She has been a member of St. Thomas' Parish for over 10 years, having found a kind and loving family in the Parish community. Noel has served as a reader, a Godly Play teacher, and on the Children's Ministry Team. She is the mother of 2 year old Fiadh Kennedy, who was baptized in the Parish on Pentecost in 2019. Noel and her family live in Virginia and look forward to a non-COVID future when they can return to their usual Sunday trips into DC as a family.
- John Trumbo - John grew up and was baptized as a Southern Baptist. As a young adult, he became an active member of the Metropolitan Community Church. He was then confirmed as an Episcopalian at St. James’ Parish Capitol Hill by the late Bishop Jane Holmes Dixon in 2002 where he served as Lector before attending St. Thomas’ Parish in 2004. John has served on St. Thomas’ Pastoral Care, Communications, and Discernment Committees, as well as Lector, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Healing Minister, and Taize Homilist. He has volunteered with outreach ministries at Christ House and the Transitional Housing Corp.
- Jasper Knight Champion - Knight is a cradle Episcopalian and an Army brat, so he has been involved with many Episcopal Churches. He served on the Vestry at St. Thomas' in the mid 2000s, and is happy to be serving again. He has worked in several career fields, including the Air Force, law, real estate, and higher education. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, adventurous dining, hiking, watching movies, abstract painting, and walking along the Potomac with his dog.
- Jennifer Mahle - Jennifer was raised in the Episcopal Church and started attending St. Thomas' Parish in 2013. She is a Lay Eucharist Minister and was appointed in November to fill the remainder of an open vestry term. She has also served on the flower guild, as a Godly Play instructor, and assisted with Parish childcare. She moved to Washington, DC after graduating from college and lives in Logan Circle with her partner Colina. Jennifer is a Data Scientist who enjoys travel, entertaining, and baking.