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2015 Nominees for Positions to be filled by Convention Election

As of October 26, 2015

Four to be elected for 3-year terms

The Rev. Diana Collins, St. Paul’s, White River Junction

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Deacon, St Paul’s Episcopal Church, White River Jct VT
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Brookhaven Trustee 2008-2014; 1999 – 2012
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I have served in the past and feel called to do so again.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: I am actively involved with the LAMB Institute in Honduras, CA traveling there several times a year to help at the Children’s Home which offers services similar to that of Brookhaven.

The Rev. Beth Ann Maier, Church of the Good Shepherd, Barre

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Regional Deacon, Montpelier/Barre
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I am a retired pediatrician with a focus on behavioral pediatrics.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: Chairperson of the Board of Camp Agape VT, an ecumenical ministry serving VT children who have experienced their parent’s incarceration. Active in Vermont Interfaith Action and ecumenical feeding and warming ministries.

Ms. Mickie Richardson, St. John’s, Randolph

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Eucharistic Minister and Visitor, Head of Local Pastoral Care
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I’ve connected with Brookhaven over the last couple of years, understand their mission and relate well to children of these ages.  Have previous experience in educational field through title I employment a number of years ago.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: The needs for the ongoing work of Brookhaven cannot be underestimated.  Having been there on a number of occasions I see the quality of the programs and most importantly, the quality of the instructors and leaders.  I would love to be a part of this organization and help keep it going. I am not privy, at this point, to information about the particular problems that exist but have served on a number of boards over the years and feel qualified to be a contributor who can help make a difference.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: I’ve always been interested in education and how it is delivered, especially to those in the greatest need. I served on the board of trustees for a community college in MA when we lived there and my interest only grew as a result.  As for other interests, I love reading and would welcome opportunities to help in whatever is needed to foster the ongoing growth of Brookhaven students.

-additional nominee

One to be elected from each order for 3-year terms

Mr. Channing Smith, St. James-Woodstock

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Oversight and Audit Committee
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: My accounting experience and serving on the Oversight and Audit committee for the last three years.

-additional nominee (clergy)

One Lay and One Clergy Alternate to fill terms to 2016
-additional nominee (lay)
-additional nominee (clergy)

Three to be elected to fulfill the requirements of canonical change

Mr. Robert Wright, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington, 3-year term to 2018

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Present Rock Point Board.
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Cathedral Church of Saint Paul parishoner and choir member for 30 years.
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I have some knowledge of environmental issues in play at Rock Point and I have some familiarity with the capabilities of mapping technology. I also have some hands-on experience with building maintenance issues.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position:I think Rock Point is an important resource for the diocese and for the larger community. I also think that collaboration with present and future users of Rock Point is important for continued good management of the property.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: I am concerned that urban and suburban residents today are at risk of alienation from the non-human environment at just the time when awareness and appreciation is essential if humanity is to act in a preservative rather than destructive way towards the whole of earth community. I think Rock Point can help increase sensitivity to things other than human constructs.

Mr. Al Carpenter, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Burlington,  2-year term to 2017

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: St. Paul’s Environmental Cluster: Rock Point Board
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: St Pauls Cathedral Arts Committee  2010-2013: St Pauls choir appx 1990 to 2014
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: My academic work (B.S. from UVM) in Environmental Studies and my experience in Business, Accounting and Administration (VT CPA)
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: I would like to help to get Rock Point on a sustainable basis both environmrntally and fiscally
  • Other Interests and Concerns: I am concerned about that the infrastructure at Rock Point is deteriorating and needs to be repaired and updated to keep it a viable facility for the Bishop’s family, Vermont Episcopalians and other outside user/partners.

Mr. Shawn Bryan, Christ Church, Montpelier, 1-year term to 2016

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions:Rock Point Board, Rock Point Energy Coop
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: I have served for the last 3 years on the Rock Point Board and have been especially active on the Energy Coop asnd the Property Committee. Prior experience was as VP Operations and CIO at National Life Group and Executive VP and COO at Cabot Cheese.
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I have experience working on this Board and enthusiasm for the new vision for Rock Point.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: Riding motorcycles, camping, travel, hunting & fishing, technology & music.


Four to be elected to 3-year terms
-four additional nominees

One to be elected from each order to 4-year terms
-additional nominee (lay)
-additional nominee (clergy)

The Rev. Thaddeus (Thad) Bennett, St. Michael’s, Brattleboro

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Associate priest, St. Michael’s; Supply clergy
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Rector, St. Mary’s Wilmington 2001-2010; Canon for Transition Ministry 2001-2010; “Sabbatical Transition Minister” 2013
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I love this diocese, have been to every congregation in Vermont and worked with all but two through a time of transition.  Thus, I believe I have a very good sense of our culture, blessings and challenges.  As well, I have been involved in working with the wider Episcopal Church (since I retired in 2010) through consulting with the Episcopal Church Foundation, CREDO, committees of General Convention and a variety of dioceses.  I’ll bring both the local and global perspective to the position.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: Vermont is a leader in looking at how congregations (smaller and larger) can continue to be vital places of ministry and mission in their communities.  This is a strength and we need to keep going deeper with it.  The role of the Standing Committee is to work with the Bishop to ensure that the mission of the Church moves forward and I bring excellent skills and experience for organization and cooperation to that effort.
  • Other Interests and Concerns:  I have waited 5 years since retiring to offer my gifts and skills to the diocese because of other commitments (consulting and hospice care for elderly parents).  This seems like the right time to “give back.”

Mr. Brett Murphy, St. Mary’s, Northfield

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Member Board of Directors Brookhaven Home; Parish Coordinator for Living Supply Closet; Parish Music Coordinator
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Past treasurer Brookhaven Home; Past member Diocesan Capital Funds Drive Discernment Committee; Previously Vestry Member St. Mary’s Parish; Previously Warden (both Jr. and Sr.); Previously Chair of several Self study Committees; Previously Choir Director; Previously Church school teacher; Previously a member of several ordination discernment committees
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I feel that I have a ability to listen to and work with others in accomplishing the work of a committee. I have had experiences in Parish and Diocesan affairs which would help me to understand the Standing Committee’s work.

Two to be elected from each order to 1-year terms

Ms. Ann Cooper, St. Stephen’s, Middlebury

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Disciplinary Board, Commission on Ministry/Committee on Discernment, Liturgy Committee, Eucharistic Minister and Visitor, Lector
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: St. Stephen’s: St. Stephen’s Vestry, 1995-1998; 2006-2008; Co-Chair, Major Gifts, Stones for St. Stephen’s, 1997-1998; Chair, Adult Education Committee, 1993-1995; Member, Lay Pastoral Care Committee, 199-present; Chair, 1997-1999; Chair, Ministry Discernment Committee, 2004-2005; Co-Chair, Chair, Peasant Market, 2004-2005 Diocese: Standing Committee, 2003-2007; Bishop’s Sabbatical Committee, 2006-2007; Canon Revision Committee, 2005; Standing Committee Liasaon to Diocesan Trustees, 2006; Diocesan Companion, 2010 – 2015; Diocesan Consultant on Irene Flood Relief, 2011-2013
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I am already doing so. In addition to m yservice in my parish and the diocese, having completed four units of CPE and served as CPE course assistant for four additional units and as an interfaith hospital chaplain at Fletcher Allen and Porter Hospitals, I am a good and compassionate listener, something that stands me in good stead in my work as a Diocesan Companion and my work with agencies and nonprofits in working for recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. I have worked with nonprofits and held elective office in my professional life and know how to create an environment where good will and consensus inform process and relationships. I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my work and personal life and strive daily to keep my heart open to God’s will and Jesus’ example. I believe I will bring these skills and this experience to my work as a member of the Disciplinary Board.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: I have bene doing this kind of work in government since 1974, in the parish and diocese since 1993. The program and process of the Disciplinary Board have been recently overhauled, and there is no track record as yet on which to base comment or expectations. But I am always to keep an open mind and have been able to work for and with new people and new programs in diverse communities for many purposes in all I have done, professionally and within the diocese and my parish. 
  • Other Interests and Concerns: Some of the boards on which I have served are: Vermont Symphony (Chair; Marlboro Music Festival; North Country School/Camp Treetops, Lake Placid, NY; Center for Research on Vermont; Essex County College, Newark, NJ; National Housing Institute; New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. I was elected to the governing body of my town in New Jersey — first woman, first Democrat, and to the Essex County (NJ) Charter Study Commission. In my work for nonprofits I founded and published, Historic Roots, a magazine of Vermont History for adult new readers and have worked with the State of Vermont on civic and historic literacy issues and spoken widely on the subject. Fairness, social justice, equality of opportunity, and access to care for all are my main societal concerns. Lest you think I am all work and no play, I am a passionate Mets fan and an even more passionate fan of mychildren and grandchildren, who live all over the globe.

The Rev. Scott Neal, St. Paul’s, White River Junction

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Rector St. Paul’s White River Junction, Deputy to General Convention 2015, Commission on Ministry: Committee on Discernment (COM:COD)
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Deputy to General Convention 2012, Diocesan Council – 2008-2012
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This PositionAs a lifelong Episcopalian, I have been able to practice individual lay ministry in a variety of ways especially in music and the liturgy. I have served in lay leadership positions for more than 25 years during somewhat turbulent times – times of great decisions and change in the Episcopal Church. During the course of that lay experience, I recognized, strengthened and accepted my call to ordained ministry, to serve God through the Church as a priest. Using my gifts and experience, I continue to explore, discern and effect the best ways to bring the message of Jesus to all who seek God and to fulfill the commandments to love God and our neighbor with active hands and enthusiastic hearts. I have a strong belief that the Church will continue to evolve into a stronger, more flexible, more dynamic agent of change and belief. I read widely and intensely. I explore other venues of communication and expression. I create opportunities for others to do the same; help guide them in their choices; and encourage them to discuss and share their ideas and responses. Having experienced change, the processes of change, the responses and reactions, often negative, to change as a lay person and now as a clergy person responsible not only for myself but also for others, I feel qualified and committed to serve on the Disciplinary Board.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: I believe the best way to answer this is with a list rather than long explanations.  Issue that are important to me and relevant to this position include: breaking barriers that seem to exclude others; gender equality; racial equality; economic equality; equal access to housing, food, dignity of work; the need to encourage others to see the faith as all-encompassing, as part of the structure of life rather than a thing to do once a week; to help people (including myself) to experience the joy of living the life Jesus called us to live and not only concentrate on the difficulties; not waiting until we die to experience the Kingdom of God.  Also: to maintain the beauty of the Episcopal/Anglican tradition without allowing it to be a barrier or an empty spectacle.

Ms. Maggie Thompson, Christ Church, Montpelier

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Christ Church Prayer Shawl Ministry, Co-Leader, 2011- present, Christ Church Musician, 1998-present, Parish Calligrapher, 1998-present
  • Past Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Interim Music Team, 2014,Organist/Choir Director Discernment Group, Co-Chair, 2014-2015, Diocesan Commission on Ministry, Committee on Discernment, 2011-2014, Christ Church Delegate to Diocesan Convention, 2011-2014, Christ Church Stewardship Committee, 2013, Diocesan Team Member, Living Stones Conference, 2012, Christ Church Community Life Focus Group, Chair, 2012-2013, Christ Church Ministry Discernment Committee, Co-Chair, 2010-2011, Christ Church Interim Discernment Committee, 2009-2010, Long Range Planning Committee, St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul, MN, 1994-1995, Soprano Soloist/Section Leader, St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul, MN, 1993-1998, Junior Choir Director, St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul, MN, 1991-1992, Junior Choir Director, All Saints-by-the-Sea, Santa Barbara, CA, 1981-1983, Youth Group Advisor and Sunday School Teacher, St. Mark’s, Upland, CA, 1971-1975
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I was involved in a complex case of clergy sexual misconduct that was first addressed in 1993, then again in 2006, and further led to my testimony during a lengthy (2008-2010) ecclesiastical trial of a Bishop in another diocese. From this experience I can bring insight, strength and compassion to the Title IV Disciplinary Board.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This PositionAdditionally, I was a speaker at the following presentations on clergy sexual abuse: Panelist, International Conference on Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Psychotherapists and Health Care Professionals, Toronto, 1994, Panelist, Instruments of Thy Peace Conference, St. Paul, MN, 1995, Speaker at Three Forums, Philadelphia, 2006I am keenly aware of the necessity to address issues of misconduct with all parties involved in a timely, direct, well thought out process. I have read widely on clergy misconduct and have worked with leaders on the forefront of this issue in the national Episcopal Church.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: The Episcopal Church is dear to my heart. I have been actively engaged in parish life everywhere we have lived and have been a choir member since age eight. I want my church to be a sanctuary of loving truth – relevant, vibrant and healthy.

The Rev. Carole Wageman, non-parochial

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions: Disciplinary Board 2014
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan PositionsDiocesan 2014 Convention Program Committee, Chair; Interim Rector, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (2012–2014); Disciplinary Board (2012–2013); Diocesan Stewardship Committee; Diocesan 2012 Convention Program Committee, Chair; Safe Church Trainer 2012-2015; Assistant Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Shelburne, VT (2003-2011); Ecclesiastical Court – Clergy Alternate (2007-2011); General Convention Deputy (#3) Alternate (2008-2011); Ministry Expo Stewardship Presenter (2010); Kids4Peace Advisor (2009); Diocesan Resource Center Development Team (2006-2007); Chair: Commission on Ministry/Committee on Formation (2003-2005); Summer Task Force: Diocesan Strategic Plan; Task Force: “Will Our Church Have Children” (2003)
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: I am currently serving on the Disciplinary Board Transition Team as the Dioceses of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine work toward a joint implementation of the new Title IV Canons. I also am part of the renewed Safe Church Training Team and have personal and professional experience with these kinds of issues.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: The Episcopal Church takes safe church issues very seriously in order to preserve the dignity and safety of our more vulnerable populations: children, youth, elderly, the disenfranchised and outcasts, those who are frail and seriously ill. The new Title IV canons were developed to protect all who might be involved in such cases and to bring about not only justice, but reconciliation. This is a cutting edge approach, in my opinion, especially since abuse cases that have become public in many denominations continue to be a source of pain, loss and sometimes public humiliation for both victim and alleged perpetrator. I look forward to working together on the team who will be addressing the implementation of these canons.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: Retreat Leader designing and implementing local retreats for congregations, vestry leadership and other leadership groups related to current transitional issues in the wider church environment; Writing book exploring scripture and how our life stories link with the stories of ancient writings. Current working title: “The Light Shines Through: Our Stories ARE God’s Story”.


One member to be elected to a 7-year term; one member to be elected to fill an unexpired term to 2016

Mr. Steve Reynes for a 7-year term to 2022, Christ Church, Montpelier

  • Current Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions:Member of the Diocesan Board of Trustees, with term 1 expiring 2015; Candidate for Ordination to the Diaconate
  • Previous Parochial and/or Diocesan Positions:Member and then President of the Rock Point Board (term expired in 2008); Junior Warden and then Senior Warden at Christ Church, Montpelier (1990’s); two rounds of serving on the Vestry at Christ Church, Montpelier, the most recent of which concluded in 2013.  Also served on Diocesan Council for several years prior to becoming a Diocesan Trustee.  I was an intern at All Saints church in So. Burlington for approximately 18 months through June of 2015 while being a postulant and then a candidate for ordination.
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: My service over time has provided broad experience in local and diocesan issues.  My experience as a lawyer in the private and public sectors, is helpful at times.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position:I have been involved in land use and environmental issues for a long time.  Climate change is real and action as stewards of God’s creation is incumbent upon us.

Mr. Steve Smith to fill an unexpired term to 2016, St. James, Arlington

  • Current Parochial/Diocesan Positions: Diocesan Companion, Loan Review Committee (Chair), Committee for Congregational Support & Resources, Insurance Committee, interim Trustee of the Diocese
  • Previous Parochial/Diocesan Positions: St. James – Arlington 2002-+: treasurer, vestry member, member of discernment committee; Diocese of VT: treasurer 2004-08, Rock Point School trustee 2011-14, deputy to General Convention 2012; Province One: treasurer 2008-15; National Church: have served on Council of Advice for President – House of Deputies 2009-+.
  • I Feel Qualified to Serve In This Position: My service as treasurer has given me opportunity  to build a pretty good understanding of parish and diocesan finances, and my business career as chief administrative officer for a large firm included responsibility for a lot of real estate holdings.  The trustees are responsible to wisely steward our financial and real estate resources, and I’m feeling competent to help with this in both areas if elected.  In addition, people tell me I’m a good collaborator, I’m not afraid to ask hard questions, and sometimes I’m kind of fun.
  • Views on Any Issues that May Be Relevant to This Position: In overseeing the investment of our assets, the trustees need in my view to keep eyes on three balls at once: portfolio risk, portfolio return, and morally responsible investing.
  • Other Interests and Concerns: I have a part-time post-retirement career as an executive coach and a consultant to non-profit organizations.  It keeps me growing.  Not having been raised in our faith tradition, I call myself an Episcopalian by choice.  What drew me as an adult to our beloved Church are its rich liturgy and its open polity.



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