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The vestry is a body of lay leaders who serve to support the rector in overseeing parish affairs and supporting the mission of the church. Candidates are elected each year by Christ Church members for staggered three-year terms. The election of four new vestry members will take place during the Annual Meeting of the Christ Church parish on Sunday, February 11. All adults who are Christ Church members in good standing will be allowed to vote. The seven members introduced here in alphabetical order are qualified candidates. Please review them before you submit your vote.
Family: I am single and have one brother. I come from a large extended family. I live in McKinney with three spoiled cats.
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? Eighteen years
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? I have been an active member of Christ Church for eighteen years. After much prayer and discernment I have decided to accept a nomination for vestry. I feel that I am at a place in my life where God is calling me to serve my church in a greater capacity and I am honored to have been nominated for vestry.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? I have been involved in a wide breadth of activities at Christ Church which has allowed me to build relationships with a wide variety of individuals. I have had leadership roles in Altar Guild and as a small group table leader in various bible studies. I have volunteered with angel tree, Thanksgiving outreach and I help with the ministry at Plano Community Home East. Professionally I am a Librarian at the University of Texas at Dallas and work in the acquisitions department where I compile usage statistics and reconcile the purchases of the library.
Family: Daughter: Emery, 24 – Lives in Arlington, Virginia, Son: Connely, 20 – Sophomore at the University of Oklahoma
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? 8 years
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? When we first joined Christ Church, I shared with one of the clergy that I felt this was the church I had been looking for my whole life, and I didn’t even know I was looking. I still feel that same way more than eight years later. This church has been our support in times of great loss, times of adjustment & times of celebration. I would count it an honor to serve on the Vestry to support the staff & the ministries of Christ Church.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? I am a special education teacher in Plano ISD. I work with pre-kindergarten students with special needs. I have learned so much about personal organization and so much about compassion through my work. I volunteer weekly with the Christ Church Singers. My family has also been very involved with the youth program over the years. I think through these experiences of my work & my volunteering here at Christ Church, I have learned that passion is key in all that I do.
Okwuoma (Okwy) C. Maduforo
Family: Wife: Evelyn; Children: Nkemjika (10), Chidubem (8), Nzubechi (6), and Somtochi (6)
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? Evelyn and I began attending Christ Church since late 2007, and officially became members sometime in 2008.
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? I feel called to be on the vestry because I cherish every single opportunity to worship God through service to humanity. The fellowship that we receive in/from Christ Church is making tremendous changes in our lives, and I am encouraged to serve in any little capacity that I can, in order to grow our Christ Church family to greater heights. Above all, it is always my desire to follow God wherever He leads me: I welcome the opportunity to give back to God from His undeserved and inexpressible gifts to me, through service as a vestry member.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? Our family is privileged to serve in various volunteer and ministry roles within the Church. Evelyn is currently a Sunday school teacher at children’s ministry; Nkemjika is an Acolyte in the Worship ministry, and I currently serve in the usher ministry, as an usher, and worship ministry, as a reader. Drawing from these experiences and from my professional life as an Attorney, I pledge to bring clarity on issues, consistent with the controlling authorities, tenets, growth, and long term goals of our Church. This will enhance effective organization and planning of Church programs. Thank you for the opportunity.
Kevin B. McLain
Family: Children: Kelsey and Erica
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? I joined Christ Church in 2015.
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? Completing my first mission trip to Guatemala with other Christ Church members in 2017 was a calling from God. I feel a similar calling to be a part of the Vestry. Guatemala opened another door in my heart to help others and contribute to their well-being thru giving and hard work. I hope to have the opportunity to do the same for Christ Church with the same amount of passion as a member of the Vestry.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? In my professional career, I have provided over 35 years of advice and support to architects, builders and contractors to help them construct durable and comfortable buildings. I feel this experience has helped me to develop the skills necessary to be a team player who can provide support for Father Paul and the staff of Christ Church.
Laura Lyn Propst
Family: Husband: Karl Propst; Son: Will Propst, Age 14
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? Our family joined Christ Church in spring 2016.
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? God calls us to serve the church in different ways at different times in our lives. The vestry nomination answers my prayer for an opportunity to become more deeply involved. Throughout my life I’ve been a part of church, some large, some smaller, involved in both youth and adult programs. Every opportunity to serve and participate has provided insight into the importance of the church’s mission and how the vision, financial stability, and ministry programs contribute to its successful reach. Serving as a member of the Vestry will allow me to help support and extend our mission.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? Upon graduating from Purdue University, my professional career began as an industrial engineer with Texas Instruments. Over a span of more than fifteen years, I moved through multiple departments including financial planning, marketing, product planning, and software implementation. My last position at TI was as an engineering program manager. After ‘retiring’ to stay home with our son, I became active in his elementary school as a grade level lead room mother for several years, coordinating parties and events. At both past churches and here, I’ve been active in children’s ministry, leading women’s bible studies, and helping coordinate women’s activities.
Family: Wife: Susan Thomas; Children: Natalie (Age 22-Senior @ Mizzou), Nikki (Age 19-Sophomore @ University of Oklahoma).
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? Since 1997
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? I believe we are all called to serve our Lord in some capacity as a sign of faith and gratitude. Christ Church has been an incredible blessing to our family, and if serving on our Vestry is where he wants me, I will answer His call.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? My wife, Susan, and I served for many years in Children’s Ministry when our girls were young and I now have the privilege of serving as an usher. I have been employed in the financial services industry for my entire professional career.
Family: Stepson and Daughter in law – John and Holly Worsham, 3 grandchildren
How long have you been a member of Christ Church? 10 ½ years
Why do you feel called to be on the Vestry? During my 10 years at Christ Church the spiritual support I’ve needed through worship, fellowship, discipleship and service has been abundantly provided. Because of the many opportunities I have at Christ Church for service, my own walk with Christ is strengthened. Serving on the Vestry would be my commitment to God to come alongside our clergy and leadership in fulfilling the ministry and mission of the church. I recognize the honor of being nominated and would serve with joy.
How has your professional or volunteer experience prepared you to serve in this role? Leadership Experience, Public School Education:
BA, MA in Education, PhD in Educational Leadership Masters of Religious Education Degree 16 years as Public School Principal 7 Years as Director of Leadership Development for Clark County School District
Leadership experience, Christian Vocational:
8 years Minister of Youth, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN 2 years overseas missions in the Caribbean 13 years Church Planting and Finance Committees, Sunday School Director, pianist/organist, Personnel Committee
Christ Church, Volunteer:
4 Guatemala Mission Teams/Team Leader on one 1 Peru Mission Team Small Group Leader Meadows School Ministry CC BookstoreServe on the Adult Discipleship Committee
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From the domestication of fire and the invention of the wheel, to air travel and the creation of the Internet, human beings have achieved remarkable things. Yet in spite of all of our advancements and accomplishments, Easter forces us to come to terms with our limitations. We are not all-powerful. We are not all-knowing. Though we try to deny it, we are all running a losing race with time. We daily feel the effects of sin and death on our bodies, families, and communities. The discovery of our brokenness, however, is the very way we enter into a life of worship, wonder, and overwhelming joy! Easter celebrates the power of God that triumphs over our weakness and inabilities. It displays divine love towards needy creation. It exalts God’s great victory over sin and death in the resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. When we focus fully on the wonder of God’s power to accomplish the impossible, we join our hearts with the Psalmist and say, “The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad” (Psalm 118:23-24). Today is a day of great rejoicing. We join with the Church in heaven and earth and say “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death!” Easter turns us away from the despair of our limitations and invites us to celebrate God’s miraculous intervention. Let us follow the risen Christ as his faithful disciples. As the great Anglican hymnist Charles Wesley put it, Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! This, indeed, is cause for great joy!
This weekend is such a great weekend at Christ Church. We welcomed our bishop, Todd Hunter, on Saturday evening for a bumper crop of candidates for Confirmation. They are men and women, including some young teens, all of whom have made the effort to study the Anglican Way of Christianity and to affirm their faith and intention to live a life of committed discipleship. Hurray for them—over 50 of them! In addition, our own Taylor Ishii and Gary Barnes were ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests. This is the fulfillment of a call that they have felt God place on their lives. Taylor’s call came to him young—he is 29! We can look forward to his ministry at Christ Church and in the church at large for decades. Gary is, shall we say, not 29. His call to the priesthood occurred later in life. But both have been through the rigors of seminary and theological education; they have been approved and passed on by numerous committees and commissions. Their ordination was a great day for them and we celebrate it. (You might know also that Taylor is engaged to be married in August to Hillary Stephens. What a great couple they make!) This same weekend, we welcome our Rector-elect back to Christ Church as guest preacher. It is a joy to receive him again. In addition, and as a special honor, Monika and their four beautiful daughters are here with us, too. Please give them a warm Christ Church welcome. These huge events occur on a momentous weekend: Pentecost. As you will hear in every message this time of year, the Feast of Pentecost is when God the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples to empower them for the work of the ministry that Jesus had called them to undertake. Without the Holy Spirit, we are just spinning wheels; the Church goes nowhere. How fitting then that we pray for the 50+ confirmands, your two new priests, and your new Rector-elect, Fr. Paul, that they would be filled to fullness with the power and strength of God the Holy Spirit.
This weekend we welcome our Rector-elect back to Christ Church as guest preacher. It is a joy to receive him again.
As a special honor, Monika and their four beautiful daughters will be here, too. Please give them all a warm Christ Church welcome. In addition to Sunday, we invite you join us on Saturday evening to witness the confirmation and ordination of many people in our parish. Our bishop, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter, will confirm over 50 men and women, including some young teens, all of whom have made the effort to study the Anglican Way of Christianity and affirm their faith and intention to live a life of committed discipleship.
These events occur on a momentous weekend: Pentecost. As you will hear in every message this time of year, the Feast of Pentecost is when God the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples to empower them for the ministry that Jesus had called them to undertake. Without the Holy Spirit, we are just spinning wheels; the Church goes nowhere.
How fitting, then, that we join in prayer for the 50+ confirmands, your new priests, and your Rector-elect, Fr. Paul, that they all would be filled with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
It’s the home stretch. We are rushing across the finish line! I read an article published a couple of years ago by an author who acknowledges the differences between the beginning of the school year—fresh with energy, passions, and organization—and the last weeks of the school year where we as parents are DONE. With humor she pokes fun at the half-finished projects in her children’s backpacks, the unread newsletters that are piling up (gold stars for those of you reading this one), and the drastic difference in paying attention to details such as packing healthy lunches, etc. Remember last September when we wrote little notes and put them in their lunches? Remember how we helped them lay out their clothes each night, signed all their folders and reading logs? It has been a busy and very full year and we are ready for a change of pace. We are tired; our kids are tired; we are ready for a new rhythm. Return to Him and He will return to us (Zechariah 1:3). God promises a renewal of our relationship. Seek a relationship with Him in the midst of the swirling demands of our lives. Model this for your children. He will give you rest; He will give you peace. What an amazing gift for us as parents, and for our children. I know I need it, and so does my child.
In my recent missions-related travel to east Africa and Central America, one of the things that struck me was this: In the midst of cultures that are quite different from ours here in the US, certain human traits are universal, chief among these being the love and care mothers have for their children. Mothers everywhere, it seems, will take whatever measures they can to assure the well-being of their children, and often with great personal sacrifice.
Cinde and I had a chance to visit SAMS missionaries in Uganda and Ethiopia and, later, Compassion International mission projects hosted by Nicaraguan churches. These ministries work among those living in extreme poverty, where they express the love of God through holistic relief and development in the form of health and nutritional training. Mothers, I found, are deeply impacted by this training – they are “hungry” for any guidance that will help them raise their children with a hope for a better tomorrow.
These transformational outreach efforts are practical demonstrations of the love these Christian workers have for mothers and children, and ultimately create a bridge for the communication of God’s redeeming love in His Son. We heard of an impoverished mother, being served by a Christian ministry, who said, “I didn’t know that Jesus loved me until He fed my children.” Scripture makes it clear that when Jesus touches our lives with His love, the Holy Spirit will transform us and, indeed, love the world through us. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, Acts 1:8.) Ask Him to help you be the tangible love of Jesus in this world and to increase your experience of His grace and love so that you can, in turn, share it with others.
On this Mother’s Day, let us thank God for His gift of love, in particular the gift of a mother’s love. Jesus Himself found that image of maternal love to be a very powerful metaphor to describe His care for us: “ How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings… ” Matthew 23:37
I can barely believe it, but the school year is quickly drawing to a close. As the wave of summer is about to crest, we are excited to help your students stay engaged both relationally and spiritually over the hot summer season. In a season that can be busy and stressful, I am praying for peace and continued trust in God's faithfulness to us, myself included! For 8th and 12th grade students, we want to help you to be prepared for the next stage of life. Be sure to check out some special events to help with these transitions. Finally, I would covet your prayers for me. I am in my own season of major life transitions between ordination to the priesthood and an end of summer wedding. (Details to come soon; I want to invite you all!) I have been so blessed by our community of students and their families and am eager to walk alongside you. I may become both a priest and husband in the coming months, but my role as Student Minister will still be constant.
“I’ve known…that we weren’t liable to find him…Maybe I knew even before we left home, but somehow I just had to try! And if we don’t try, we don’t do. And if we don’t do, why are we here on this earth?” I recently watched the 1965 move, Shenandoah . It’s about a farmer who refuses to take sides in the Civil War and therefore doesn’t see a reason to allow his sons to fight. But when his sixteen year old son is mistaken for a confederate soldier and captured by the Yankees, he and his other sons set out on a daunting mission to find him and bring him home. He says this line after a failed rescue attempt. For some reason, even though I’ve seen Shenandoah several times, this was the first time I really heard that line. I began thinking of the many times I had not tried to do something because it looked too difficult or even impossible. When you look at the lives of the saints, you see story after story of everyday folks like you and me, who stepped out in faith and tried, even if it were for a seemingly hopeless cause, because they trusted that God would equip and guide them to do the task He had given them to do. They believed the words God spoke to the Israelites, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down…I paid a huge price for you…That’s how much you mean to me… So don’t be afraid: I’m with you” (Isaiah 43:1-4, The Message). The father in Shenandoah tried to do something, even though it seemed doomed to fail, because he loved his son. He was right to wonder why we are here if we’re not doing, because we have been created and put here to “do.” But we do, not just out of love for each other, but out of love for the God who made us and redeemed us and loves us more than we can possibly imagine. In the words of Old Testament scholar Barry G. Webb, “People who are loved like that have absolutely nothing to fear.”
A staggering 230 people joined us at Christ Church on last Friday and Saturday for our weekend Anglican Essentials class. Taught by Fr. Paul Donison, Rector-elect of Christ Church, Anglican Essentials explored the great heritage we enjoy as Anglican Christians and sought to answer many questions related to our beliefs, our practices, our past, and our future.
Fr. Paul delivered two very energetic teaching sessions, making the topic of Anglicanism accessible for newcomers and cradle Episcopalians alike. In addition to defining terms, Fr. Paul presented helpful analogies and visualizations—along with a touch of humor—to make the firehose of information that much easier to digest.
34 attendees decided to be confirmed in the Anglican faith on May 14, alongside our 8th grade confirmation students, with Bishop Todd Hunter. If you attended the seminar and wish to be confirmed, but did not submit a form, please contact OOR@ChristChurchPlano.org to get started.
For those of you who missed the seminar, or for those who need a refresher on any topic Fr. Paul covered, please make use of the resources below:
Listen to Audio Recordings from Anglican Essentials »
Download Fr. Paul's PowerPoint Notes »
Christ Church 4th and 5th graders enjoyed a special time together during the GAP45 overnight retreat at Mt. Lebanon last weekend. The opening lesson and worship session at the hilltop campfire site was incredibly beautiful and moving. The next day, students started the day with morning prayer, followed by an adventure that challenged many of them: the zipline!
What a positive group of young people! It was powerful to see them cheer each other on as they suited up and climbed that imposing tower, with its winding stairs and open platform at the top. Some decided it was too much and walked back down, proud to have tried and even come so far. Others paused before deciding to let go and enjoy the ride. Everyone cheered for their friends, telling them they could do it.
One sweet boy became afraid and walked back down the stairs after getting to the top. Yet he asked if he could try it again. Not only did he make it to the top, but this time he leaned forward and zipped his way down the line! It was amazing to watch the transformation.
The GAP45 retreat is for many kids their first overnight retreat on location with their peers. We celebrate the leaps of faith these young people are making as they grow in the wisdom and stature of the Lord. Thank you for giving them your own support, encouragement, and prayer.