Vestry Nominees for 2019 Announced

Vestry Meeting

The Vestry Nominating Committee and Vestry are pleased to announce the following slate of Parish Members who are eligible and willing to serve three-year terms as Vestry Members to take the place of those Vestry Members whose terms will expire at the Annual Parish Meeting on January 30, 2019.

Gary Gleason

Gary Gleason has been a seasonal member of St. Margaret’s since 1997 and a full-time member since 2017. He primarily attends the Sunday 10 a.m. service.

His previous church leadership experience includes serving as a Vestry member and Senior Warden at All Saints Church in Northfield, Minnesota; Vestry member at St. John the Evangelist in Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Adult Education Committee Chair at St. John’s.

Additionally he served as President of the Standing Committee, was a member of the Suffragan Bishop Nominating Committee, served as Secretary to the Diocesan Convention (14 years) and was Search Committee and Clergy Interim Chair, all in the Diocese of Minnesota.

Gary is a retired senior executive of two non-profits, most recently as Canon and Executive Officer for the Episcopal Bishop and Diocese of Minnesota. He believes he is a good communicator and problem solver, an excellent listener and proficient writer.

Gary stated, “I would like to serve on the vestry of St. Margaret’s because I have a deep and abiding love for the Episcopal Church and a keen understanding of how it works. I love the Church, I love God, I have an imagination, and I’m willing to be bold as we move our witness into the community.”

Gretchen Heuring

Gretchen Heuring has been a member of St. Margaret’s for five years. She primarily attends the Sunday 10 a.m. service.

At St. Margaret’s, Gretchen has been on the Stewardship Team for two years and is serving as Stewardship Chair for the current campaign (2018-2019). She has also been on the Finance Committee for three years, a member of the Compassion and Justice ministry for three years and is a member of Daughters of the King. She is currently a member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Endowments at St. Margaret’s and in her third year of EFM.

Gretchen was a member of the Vestry at St. Stephens in Longmont, Colorado. She served on the Finance Committee at St. Stephens and also at Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gretchen served on the Legacy Committees at both St. Stephens and Church of the Redeemer.

Gretchen has an extensive background in business and entrepreneurship and served as Chair of the Board of Intelligent Devices, Hager Laboratories, and Mazone USA. She also served as Chair of the Committee for Social Justice in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. From 2014 to 2018, Gretchen was a board member of the Literary Society of the Desert. She is also a painter, writer, and is “learning desert gardening.”

Gretchen stated, “I have served on St. Margaret’s Finance and Stewardship Committees for several years and have recently participated in the Ad Hoc Committee for Endowments. I am well aware of the challenges facing our church over the next few months and years. I think I can be helpful, and I am a sturdy, thoughtful person who knows how to listen.”

Kate Reeves

Kate Reeves has been a member of St. Margaret’s for 20 years. She primarily attends the Sunday 8 a.m. service.

Kate served as the volunteer nurse for St. Margaret’s for 16 years and wrote a monthly column for the View newsletter during its publication run. She is a member of the Pastoral Care Committee and the Hospitality Committee. When St. Margaret’s School was in operation, Kate also served as the school nurse.

In addition, Kate taught Sunday school at St. Andrew’s in Fullerton before coming to the desert.

Kate is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, with both Bachelors and Masters degrees. She worked at Children’s Hospital of Orange County for more than ten years in a variety of positions including Medical-Surgical Supervisor and Assistant Director of Nursing. She also worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange in a variety of administrative positions and served on numerous committees within the hospital. Kate came to the desert in 1999 to work at Desert Regional Medical Center. She has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including President, Board of Directors, Newsletter Editor and Committee Chair. She is now a retired RN who believes she is a good teacher, good leader and able to socialize easily. She believes she is not easily swayed by what “sounds good,” but prefers facts to decide on suggested solutions.

Kate stated, “I want to serve my church in a meaningful way, and I feel I have the knowledge and experience to do so.”

Tom Williams

Tom Williams has been a member of St. Margaret’s for more than four years. He primarily attends the Sunday 10 a.m. service.

At St. Margaret’s, Tom has been a volunteer at Neighbors4Neighbors for more than two years. He currently serves as a greeter for the 10:00 service, a ministry he has been involved in for several years. He also volunteers as an Usher as needed for funerals.

Tom worked for more than 45 years as a funeral director in the suburbs of Chicago before retiring and moving to the desert.

Tom has more than 30 years of experience as a board member for St. Michael’s Cemetery in Wheaton, Illinois. During his time as a board member, he played an integral part in transforming the cemetery into a resting place that offered niches and ground burials. He believes this experience will help him to be a faithful Vestry member.

Tom stated, “My reason for wanting to serve on the Vestry is to continue helping in the outreach and compassion ministries so needed in today’s society.”

At its November meeting, the Vestry extended the term of office of Jan Romerdahl as a Vestry member by one additional year, in accordance with the bylaws of the Parish, to provide continuity during this period of transition.

The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry give thanks for the hard and fruitful work of the Nominating Committee: Mary Ann Ekman, Ed Rainey, Jane Daugherty, Robin Nugent, and chair Samantha Hirsch.

A detailed position description and eligibility requirements for Vestry Members is available at, along with a detailed description of the nomination process and selection criteria.

In addition to the slate put forward by the Nominating Committee, other individuals may be nominated from the Parish Membership at large, provided the proposed names have been submitted in writing to the Parish Secretary, Debby Jansma, no later than Wednesday, January 9, 2019. No nominations may be made “from the floor” at the Annual Meeting.

The Vestry is the council of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. In addition to transacting the temporal business of the church, the vestry works with the Rector, under the Bishop, to lead the congregation in the ministries of the church. Following the model of servant leadership, each member of the vestry is responsible for the effectiveness of our ministries, shaping and guiding them for the growth of the people of the congregation, and for our mission to the community beyond our walls. Members of the Vestry are also committed to personal growth as leaders and to ministering to one another in Christian community.

About Jim Duke 172 Articles
Jim Duke is the Volunteer Public Information Officer for St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, Palm Desert. In this role, he is Editor-in-Chief of St. Margaret's News, Podcast Creator and Host of "St. Margaret's in a Minute," coordinator for local media relations and assists with the management of St. Margaret's social media accounts. In addition, he is the Principal Lay Worship Leader and is a member of the Mission Possible Evangelism Team.