Our Vestry

Our Vestry is our elected lay leadership. Working closely with the clergy and the parishioners, the Vestry helps steer the life of the church. Vestry terms are usually 3 years, and each member is called upon to lead an area of worship or ministry.  

VESTRY CANDIDATE TO COMPLETE THE TERM OF RICKI CARSON

Dawn Stockbridge

I have been going to St. James the Less for almost ten years. I am married for 28 years. I have two kids Danielle and Jake. Danielle has been active in the church, including being an acolyte and now is 20 years old. She is at Bridgewater College and is a junior. Jake is a junior in high school and is an acolyte right now and is 16 years old.

I am originally from Rome, New York which is mid state close to Syracuse, New York. I left New York when I was 18 years old. I have been living in Virginia for 31 years. So I have definitely lived here longer than I did in New York.

I work at Northern Motors. This is a truck repair shop in Ashland that we have had for 25 years. My husband and I started the company and we now have one partner. We started with a trailer on the back of his pickup doing mobile road service calls. We now have 19 employees total. I do all of the accounting for the company.

I have been a greeter for our church for a few years now by request by Reverend David Anderson. I suspect he suggested this to make me come out of my shell. I have been a “behind the scenes” kind of person. I hope that I can be of service to the church that I love.

 

VESTRY CANDIDATES FOR CLASS OF 2021

Mary Ann Kinser

Born in Long Beach, NY, raised in small town (Crewe) Virginia, I attended Longwood University, married Prentice Kinser, moved to Charlottesville, raised two sons, Prentice Kinser IV & Mark....all in the blink of an eye. Seventeen years later we had a daughter, Patricia . I have a brother (Galey) in Louisiana & a sister (Marsha) in Ch’ville. My four exceptional grandkids are Sacha, Quinn, Alex and Morgaine.
I have worked as a medical secretary, in retail, & as a realtor. I’m a graduate of the initial Education for Ministry program at the University of the South and was a mentor for several years. I was active in the Charlottesville Junior League.
I’ve studied Jungian Psychology & dream interpretation. I am a Reiki master 1 & do Hatha Yoga. For years my avid sport was tennis. I became a clown for a short period of time.
I love to try new restaurants, go to movies, read, play bridge, canasta, Mexican Train & am trying to learn Mahjong. I enjoy time with my family & friends, my evening happy hour, and NCIS.
I have been described as selfish, obstinate, forthright, organized (extreme fallacy!), adaptable, teachable & having a good sense of humor.
Some of my special furry companions have been Beowulf, Socrates, Confucius, Samurai, Charity, Bruneaux, Dodger, Squeaky, & Fluffy.
As you can see, I have no talents, special gifts, or outstanding abilities.
However, I did have the living experience of being the wife of an Episcopal priest during his 30 years of ministry. We were in a large downtown church in Roanoke, Va., St. John’s; a midsize church, St. James, in Warrenton, Va; and two small yoked parishes, St. Peter’s in Oak Grove and St. James in Montross, both on the Northern Neck.
I participated in the life of all those churches, as a Lay Reader, Eucharistic Minister, choir member, volunteer for Meals on Wheels; taught a group of 11 and 12 year olds some fundamentals of clowning as related to faith journeys. At various times I served on Hospitality Committees and Alter Guilds. I was the editor of countless sermons and two books! For several years I worked as Parish Secretary in Montross.
Any insights, perceptions, & understandings I’ve garnered from these & other life events along the way I’m willing to offer whenever they might be appropriate and useful.

 

Randy Marshall

A loving husband, dedicated father, a technologist by profession, and up to the challenge to stand.  “I’m humbled by this honor.”  ~ Randy Marshall

Randy arrived in Central Virginia in 1992, with his wife Kathy, from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi where he was raised by devout catholic parents.  Since that time, they and their two sons, Benjamin (20) and Jack (17), have been residents of Hanover County, moving to Doswell in 2005.   

Like the Higgins family, the Marshalls are some of St. James the Less’s newest members.  Over the last decade, Randy has had a connection with the Rev. Rock Higgins and his family through the youth camps at Shrine Mont and while being a long- time member of the congregation at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Oregon Hill in Downtown Richmond.  While attending St. Andrew’s, Randy learned about the tenants of the Episcopal Church and decided to be confirmed as an Episcopalian.  Over the past 21 years, he developed his calling in the Outreach and Parish Life ministries offered through St. Andrews.  He participated in many of the volunteering opportunities, thriving in these roles, and working hard to serve as a good ambassador of the church.

Local accounts of the leadership, outreach, and the work of the youth groups at St James the Less Episcopal Church in Ashland, VA. caught Randy’s attention.  The family had also been contemplating attending a church closer to home so that they could be more active.  St James was undoubtedly calling, so with the blessing of his family, a spiritual decision was made to begin attending church services at St. James.  Over the course of 2016 -2017, the transition ensued and the Marshall’s memberships were transferred, making St. James the Less their new church home.  Shortly thereafter, Jack was confirmed by Bishop Gulick.

Off-line Randy maintains a great love of the outdoors, International travel, cooking, spending quality time with family and friends, and meeting new challenges.  He’s passionate about life-work balance, watching his kids grow, aging gracefully and of course riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle(s).    

“In knowing Randy, the distinction to serve on the vestry of St. James the Less is something he will always cherish.”  ~ Kathy Marshall

 

Alejandra Meade

Alejandra Meade (aka Alex or Ale) and her family live in the Elmont area and have been members of St James since 2004.

Ale was born and raised in Mexico City where she completed her BA in Tourism and Hospitality Management. In the summer of 1997, while visiting her sister in Richmond VA she met her now husband Matt, and married in October 1998 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, where her two older kids were baptized.

With children, they felt the need to find a local church to feel a spiritual connection with their community and began attending St. James The Less.  She has served as a Middle School Youth Group Leader for 4 years and her husband Matt has served as a vestry and search committee member.

Ale grew up Catholic but a few years after attending St James decided to be confirmed as an Episcopalian.

They have 3 children, Virginia and Hardy serve our church as acolytes, readers and nursery helpers. Joseph loves Sunday School, being part of the choir, and cannot wait to participate in youth group. 

Ale has been a stay at home mom since her children were born, but found a passion in health and fitness that allows her to stay home with her kids (read: serve as an underpaid driver) and work in a job that she loves as an exercise instructor and personal trainer.

 

OUR VESTRY

Frederica ("Ricki") Carson  (Class of 2020) - Vestry Liaison for Pastoral Care   

My life span has had some predictable courses and some not so! The first part of my adult life was the career phase and the second was the family phase.

 

I was born in 1947 in Charleston, South Carolina. Later my family moved to Norfolk where I grew up. Most summers I spent in western New York with my grandmother who was active in her episcopal church and was on the vestry in an age when few women were. Her humor, church work and volunteer ethic has influenced me all my life.

 

In 1965, I graduated from high school and went to Virginia Commonwealth University. Fortunately, I chose a career major in advertising and illustration that has happily served me 25 years and required me to organize a wide range of projects and work with very diverse groups.

 

I married Jim Carson in 1994. After years of managing artists, accounts, special events, midnight printing disasters and more, moving into a Williamsburg household with three teenagers and 2 large Labrador retrievers was a true challenge. To add to the pie, I finally could do volunteer work in the daytime! At Bruton Parish, I cooked with the “Caring Caterers”, headed the Pastoral Care Committee several years and was the leader of The Daughters of the King chapter.

 

Ashland lured us when our oldest granddaughters started kindergarten. We came to Saint James the Less services before we bought our home. The welcome was wonderful! My first volunteer effort was leading the Hospitality Committee for several years. I have served on and been a chair of the Chenery Committee and co-chaired Outreach Committee two years.  Cooking-related activities also seem to be a focus— starting Caring Caterers with Ginny Meyer, establishing the MealTrain for Pastoral Care, helping with the Parish Health Committee’s luncheons, cooking meals for the Clinic, and being the shopper/meal coordinator for Caritas for the past 9 years. I have also flower arranged, weeded, scrubbed, and painted!

 

It is an honor to be nominated to serve on the vestry of Saint James the Less. This is my spiritual home and community.  If elected, I will work diligently to help Saint James continue to be such a welcoming parish and to be a center for Christ’s work in the world.

Ricki Carson

 

 

Rebecca Cline, Junior Warden  (Class of 2020) - Vestry Liaison for Property

Rebecca grew up in Springfield, VA and attended Virginia Tech where she earned a BA in History.  She moved to Ashland in 2001 with her husband Bryan, and their two daughters Annika and Corinna.  The Clines started attending Saint James the Less in 2006; since joining, Rebecca has served as a High School Youth Group leader for 5 years, and as a member of the Search Committee.  Her biggest passions include her family, reading, travel, and Welsh Corgis.

 

 

Dawn Davis   (Class of 2018) - Vestry Liaison for Parish Life  

I have been a part of the St. James the Less community since 2006.  In fact, I am an Episcopalian by choice, thanks to the people of St. James.  I knew right away I had found the right place for my children and me.  Both of my children, Katie and Liam Penland, have grown up in St. James, being baptized and confirmed here and serving as acolytes and active Youth Group members from middle school to now.  I currently serve as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and have also acted as a member of the Chenery Fund Committee.  I have enjoyed working with CARITAS and Heavenly Creations, as well as participating in Supper Club for a couple of years and formal parish discussions around topics including parenting and worship.

 

I grew up in Ashland (both sides of my family are from the area – all the way back) and graduated from Patrick Henry High School and Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (the other one…in Lynchburg).  Although I studied abroad for a year during college and lived briefly in Richmond, I decided Ashland was the only place for me to raise my children.  St. James is a very important part of my life and I am honored to be asked to serve as part of the vestry.  I think that St. James is a very dynamic parish with lots of energy and I would appreciate being able to bring my perspective to the table and help support and further our growth through a time of change and into the future.

 

 

 

 

Richard Grosse  (Class of 2018) - Vestry Liaison for Newcomers and Welcoming

Richard Grosse and his family have been members of St. James the Less for about fifteen years.  He and his wife, Debra, have been married over twenty eight years.  They have two children, Rachel and Dylan, both graduates of Virginia Tech.  Richard came to St. James the Less from Fork Episcopal Church where he taught middle school Sunday school for seven years.  At St. James the Less, Richard was a co-leader of both the middle school and high school Youth Groups for eight years.  He is currently the Director of Adult Christian Education at St. James the Less.  Richard is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with thirty years experience working with adults and adolescents who struggle with emotional, behavioral and substance abuse problems.  He is a partner at Dominion Behavioral Healthcare in Chesterfield County.  He has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Social Work. He has presented at the University of Virginia's Adolescent Health Symposium and Penn State's Symposium on Bruce Springsteen and American Culture. Richard is active in faith-based treatment programs and he often teaches at North Star Community Church (www.northstarcommunity.com).  He presented at the first faith based Recovery Conference in Los Angeles in 2010. 

 

 

John Hoar  (Class of 2019) - Vestry Liaison for Communications

I have attended St James the Less since October 1984. I had recently met Melissa who grew up in this church. Melissa and I married here in February 1985. We have two grown children.

 

I work as VP of Creative for Planet Central an advertising agency in Richmond, VA. While working in the industry for over 40 years I have been in two partnerships, art director for Richmond Magazine and a couple of other companies before joining Planet Central.

 

Jeff Fishwick, the rector, asked me to serve on the search committee for a new organist In the spring of 1985. Since then I have served on the vestry six times, and as a junior and senior warden during some of those times. I was the chair of the building committee, from 1989 until 1991, that renovated and expanded the facilities.

 

I have also been on the Chenery Committee several times, including the chair at times. I have been on many committees including  most recently the planning for the 150th celebration.

 

I sing (or try to) in the choir, serve as a lector and Eucharistic Minister. I also bake communion bread.

 

Yancey Jones, Senior Warden  (Class of 2019)

 

I was born and raised in Ashland, Va.  My family members have worshipped at St. James the Less for over 100 years; I was baptized and confirmed here.  As a youth, I sang in the boys’ choir and served as an acolyte.  As an adult, I have served as acolyte master and youth group leader; also on the vestry, as both senior and junior warden, and on three search committees. I have been one of the assistant treasurers for over 25 years and today serve as chairman of the Finance Committee.  My wife of 40 years is Jane and we are blessed with our two sons, their wives and three granddaughters.  I bought my father’s office supply store in Ashland in 1981 and continue working in that business with my sons.  St James the Less and its parishioners are a vital part of my life.  I would be honored to serve. 

 

 

Beth Markwood  (Class of 2018) - Vestry Liaison for Christian Education

Beth Markwood has been a member of St. James the Less for the past 5 years.  Prior to joining SJTL she has been a member of Christ and Grace Episcopal Church in Petersburg, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond and Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg, VA.  She currently serves as a Middle School Youth Group Leader at St. James the Less. 

Beth grew up in Elkton, Va and attended High School at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg, VA.  Beth completed her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising from Radford University, where she obtained her Professional Collegiate Teaching Certificate in Marketing Education.  She obtained her Master of Science in Education, majoring in Vocational Technical Education, from Virginia Tech, and her Postgraduate Professional License in Pre-K12 Administration and Supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Her professional careers involves being a teacher and school administrator for the past 26 years.   She is a Marketing Teacher/Coordinator at Patrick Henry High School, for the past ten years and taught Marketing at Prince George High School for ten years.  In between her classroom teaching career, Beth served as administrator with Prince George Public Schools, Colonial Heights Public Schools, and at Patrick Henry High School. She is a DECA Advisor for an award winning DECA program at Patrick Henry High School.   

Beth is married to Tim Markwood, who works as a corporate insurance underwriter, and has been married for 10 years.  They have three children, Ryan, Wright, and Flory.  Beth is a Girl Scout Leader and is very active with Boy Scout Troop 700 in Ashland.  In her spare time, Beth  enjoys golf, reading, beaching, and spending time with her children.

 

George Spagna   (Class of 2019) - Vestry Liaison for Finance and Stewardship

I am an “almost life long” Episcopalian (baptized as young child, not infant), member of St. James the Less since 1986. Married 42 years to Sylvia. We have two daughters who grew up at SJL.  The Rev. Amy Spagna is currently Assistant to the Rector at Christ Church, Westerly RI. Kim Cruz is an attorney working for the DC Superior Court. She and her husband Mike reside in Ft. Washington, MD.

I teach physics and astronomy at Randolph-Macon College, where I also direct the academic internship program and the Keeble Observatory. I am in my fourth 4-year term on Ashland Town Council where I also served 4 years as Vice Mayor and 2 years as Mayor. I also serve as Treasurer for the Hanover Interfaith Free Clinics.

At the parish level I served four terms on the Vestry and have been Senior Warden twice – coincidentally in John McDowell’s first and last years as our Rector. I have been lector and Eucharistic Minister for many years, and once sang with the choir. My contributions at the Diocesan level have included many years on the Committee on Priesthood and 3 years on the Executive Board. I have been SJL delegate to Diocesan Convention/Council several times as well.

Janet Taylor, Register  (Class of 2020) - Vestry Liaison for Outreach/Chenery

Born in Ashland, christened at St. James the Less, and a member of St. James since 1987. I bring to the vestry many qualifications, both through employment and service at St. James the Less. Through J Sargent Reynold’s Community College and VCU I have budgeting, management, and finance experience, while running departments and labs. I also have education experience, as I am a certified teacher, and taught for 9 years in the public schools.

 

For church I served several years with the nursery and Christian Education, and have served two times on the vestry. Right now I am liaison for Ashland Open Doors, help with the Ashland Food Ministry and Parish Life, and the Outreach Committee.

 

I feel called to serve on the vestry as a way to help Anna and the congregation form a new vision for St. James the Less, combining my past experience with a vision of the future, propelling us to be a formidable entity in the community.

 

 

Our current Vestry:

  • Yancey Jones, Senior Warden
  • Rebecca Cline, Junior Warden
  • Dawn Davis 
  • Richard Grosse
  • Beth Markwood
  • ​Ricki Carson
  • John Hoar
  • George Spagna
  • Janet Taylor

 

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