Show Your Support: ECS Development Council
Participate in the discussion about the nominees for election at this year’s Convention by leaving a comment below in support of the candidate(s) of your choice. If you have a funny story to tell, if they have impacted you in some way, tell us about it. Let us know why you think one (or all) of these candidates should be elected.
Candidates for ECS Development Council
Elect three lay and one clergy for three-year terms; elect one clergy for a 1-year unexpired term:
Mr. Leslie Blakemore – St. Andrew’s, Cleveland
I was initially a bishop’s appointee for one year before being elected to a three year term. My work has centered mainly around both evaluating new grant proposals and whether they fit under ECS guidelines, and helping to determine the amounts of funding for those programs that are chosen. This has proved to be an eye opening experience as initially I was not aware of the broad scope of the programs being funded through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal and ECS. I have been able to utilize some of my skills gained as a member of my vestry and being on the church finance committee. I have been a life long member of S. Andrew’s Church. I am presently serving on the vestry, as well as chairing our chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. I have also been the treasurer and now serve as chair of our church foundation. My wife and I have two sons and three grandsons. I am a retired Juvenile Court probation officer and presently serve as the affiliate secretary for the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice. I have been a life long member of St. Andrew's Church. I am presently serving on the vestry, as well as chairing our chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. I have also been the treasurer and now serve as chair of our church foundation.
Mr. Darrell Knapp – St. James, Painesville
As a member of St James, Painesville I have personally witnessed the contribution that Episcopal Community Services has made in the community and in support of the youth of the Church. Through the support of ECS St. James has been able to serve a hot meal to hundreds of our neighbors each weekend. The ministries supported by ECS are truly the kind of work to which God has called us all. My service on the Diocesan Loans and Grants Committee, and as the treasurer of a parish active in the community has given me both the understanding of the discernment needed in the grant making process and the awareness of the resource challenges of a parish. I look forward to having the opportunity to serve in this ministry and to use my gifts and energy to further the mission of ECS.
Mr. Brian Murphy – St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights
I have served as a vestry member and trustee of several northeast Ohio not-for-profits. I also serve as a trustee of the Cleveland-based Murphy Family Foundation and in that capacity I regularly review grant proposals from local not-for-profit organizations. I want to serve on the ECS Development Council because I believe that I can effectively apply my experience to assisting the work of this council.
Ms. Julie Quick – St. Timothy’s, Perrysburg
I have a life-long interest in outreach and using it effectively. I have served on the Commission of Church Life in the Diocese of Southern Ohio where I helped make decisions about funding programs in various parishes, often for outreach programs, and did visitations to assist in the development and implementation of funded programs. While I was a member of Church of the Good Samaritan in Southern Ohio, I was, among many other things, chair of the outreach program and helped with feeding and otherwise giving assistance to people needing help. I also did some work in projects sponsored by Interparish Ministries and carried out in our parish. I have been an active church member since childhood, both in outreach and formation. I seek opportunities to continue this part of my life.
Ms. Anne Schwan – Our Saviour, Akron
I have served on the ECS Development Board for six years. During that time, it has been a joy to see the many inspired outreach projects throughout the Diocese of Ohio, and it has been a privilege to have had a small part in helping to see that those projects receive some funding. It has been a honor to serve on the board, and if given the opportunity, I will continue to help with this important work.
Mr. Wiley Smith – St. Alban’s, Cleveland Heights
I want to serve on the ECS Development Council because I am passionate about outreach and community-building. I have been drawn to outreach in the diverse community surrounding my home parish; I have led and contributed to efforts reaching out to many in our neighborhood and beyond, from elementary school children to college students to residents of homeless shelters. I have enjoyed the process of building bridges between seemingly disparate groups to establish the identity of the Episcopal Church as one of true inclusion, and have learned much from it. I would love the opportunity to bring this experience and energy to the ECS council, and look forward to collaborating with other members of the committee to broaden the outreach of the Church.
The Rev. Lisa O’Rear – St. Patrick’s, Brunswick / St. Mark’s, Wadsworth
I first discerned my vocation to the priesthood while serving as an legal services attorney, representing low-income people Ohio and Michigan. In doing that work, and subsequent work as a shelter administrator and community college educator, I learned from the people I served about the myriad challenges faced by people in poverty and the societal barriers that prevented many from gaining financial independence despite their best efforts. While some of the folks I served were connected with faith communities, many were as isolated from the church as they were from other institutions that seemed designed for those who had achieved the dream of full employment, and self-reliance. The work of Episcopal Community Services spreads the Good News of Christ in concrete ways that build upon the gifts of individuals, families, and communities, and not their challenges. ECS sends the message that “we’re all in it together.” Good news, indeed!
The Rev. Sarah J. Shofstall – St. Barnabas, Bay Village
I have a passion for mission and for finding ways to serve the communities outside our doors, particularly people with needs that are not being served in any traditional ministries. For the past two years, at St. Barnabas, we have been supporting an education and support group for parents with children who are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Some of the parents in this group have teen-age children, some have children in their 30s and 40s. It is very difficult to find professionally facilitated groups for people in this situation.
The Rev. Jane Trager – Regional Deacon
I have been an Episcopalian for many years, and a member of Christ Church, Oberlin, since the mid-1980’s – if not a bit earlier. I was ordained on Nov. 12, 2010 and serve the three Episcopal churches in Lorain County as a regional deacon. I travel from Christ Church, to the Church of the Redeemer, Lorain, to St. Andrew’s, Elyria, mostly following liturgical seasons. In addition to serving the three churches, I work full time at the Lorain/Medina Community Based Correctional Facility where I teach Cognitive Behavorial Theory to drug addicts and alcholics. I’ve been at the facility since 1998. It is an exasperating, drive-you-crazy, wonderful job. I think it would be absolutely fitting as a deacon to serve with Episcopal Community Services. I have seen much having lived in northeastern Ohio – specifically Lorain County - since 1969. We have pockets of prosperity but we have poverty – 29% in the City of Lorain, for example. And Cleveland is one of the nation’s poorest urban centers. There is much to do.