It is time for a Vestry election at Incarnation! This year we have three open spots as Nancy, Jenni, and Tom step down: two spots for a 3-year term and the remaining spot for a 1-year term with the possibility for re-election. Vestry members serve for three years and support the rector in the leadership of the church. It's a big commitment — and also a joy! This year, we have been blessed with four amazing candidates whose meaningful presence has deeply blessed our church.
If you are a member of Incarnation, please read each bio of our candidates and prayerfully consider who the Lord is guiding into this significant parish role. We will open electronic voting on Sunday, October 8, and all members will receive an email with voting instructions.
I feel as though I've always known Jesus. From my earliest memories, I remember talking to God about pretty much anything that popped in my head. However, as the years went on, I stopped talking to God unless I absolutely had to. Usually, it was to confess some sin or RE-pray the sinner's prayer (my fellow ex-Baptists understand). It's taken years of my adult life to reclaim that more childlike way of communing with God. Expanding my faith practice to historical church rhythms like the Examen or simply following the liturgical calendar has helped reconnect the totality of myself – the good, beautiful, ugly, or wounded – to a more compassionate and present God.
I’ve been with Incarnation since the early days. My curiosity led me to join the female priest led small group. It just so happened that I had joined the Incarnation Church Plant small group! The rest, as they say, is history. During my time here, I've assisted in the many odds and ends needed for church planting - Tech & AV support, church van loading Tetris, hosting small groups, worship leading, etc.
I love that our church makes room for people at every stage of their faith journey. I believe Incarnation is a soft place to land for the tired ex-Baptists such as myself, and people wondering if Christianity really is Good News. I’m excited to see where this unique and much needed church gift will take us. Whether on Vestry or not, I’m committed to building a community that welcomes anyone looking for Jesus
I grew up in a Christian household and attended a church that was doctrinally similar to Incarnation. Yet, as with all longstanding relationships, my faith has gone through both fertile and fallow seasons. My time at Incarnation has spanned both. I came here profoundly discouraged at what I perceived as a Church increasingly out of step with the Gospel and, through God’s work at Incarnation, have developed an unrelenting hope in the power of Grace to renew broken people and communities.
Incarnation is a community that my family and I have grown to deeply love. Our initial experience of Incarnation was as a place of refuge during a period of pain and confusion. It has become a place where we are excited to welcome others into community. Over the past 18 months, our family has hosted a small group as one way that we could extend that welcome. Through small group, we have been blessed to share in the chaos, messiness, and joy of our sisters and brothers as we attempt to live out God’s calling in this time and place.
I’m excited to be part of this next season at Incarnation because I believe that God is doing a good work in our community. Incarnation is attempting to faithfully embody the message of the Gospel: that Christ calls sinners. My prayer for this next season of our church is that we remain committed to this message and continue to grow in unexpected ways as a result, particularly as we transition from church plant to more established church. I’m humbled to stand for Vestry and, if elected, hope to use my life experience, as well as my particular
skillset as an attorney with an analytical mind, in service of our community.
For several decades, I was in and out of various Christian churches, but I never truly got involved. The biggest obstacle was that I did not fully understand how my relationship with Jesus worked. But in 2004, I walked into a new, small church - Silverbrook United Methodist in Lorton, VA. I loved the warm people, and the pastor, Janet Salbert, was perfect for my situation. Before long, aided by the weekend retreat, Walk To Emmaus, and a wonderful new wife to walk beside …well, I was rollin’! I no longer felt that I had to behave perfectly for Jesus to accept me. I stopped feeling that he would punish me harshly for my shortcomings, and I learned to confess and ask for his forgiveness. I learned that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are right with me, and that all I have to do is extend my hand for them to join me!
During my time at Incarnation, I have helped out with the children’s ministry, and of course “duties as assigned by The Planning Center"! I was recently fortunate to become a member of the Outreach Committee. I have attended Men’s Ministry events, including the Thursday Morning Men’s Prayer group hosted by Darin Hamlin. And I was honored by being chosen to present the homily at the 2023 Maundy Thursday service.
I get excited when I hear our leadership refer to God's leading of Incarnation, and I almost always feel like that is a journey I would like to be a part of. One of our areas of emphasis is “Justice and Mercy”; well, that is exactly where I think ALL churches should be pointing more frequently. There is just so much that needs to be done in that arena.
Although I can point to a very specific event during my college sophomore year when I became intellectually and spiritually alive to a historic, living, and personal Jesus, upon reflection it’s clear to me that he knew, protected, and guided me from my very earliest days. I have benefited from sound bible-teaching in churches over many years, but I am especially grateful for recent refreshing of my spiritual imagination and my hope in Christ – in which IAC has played a significant role.
One of the best things about a young church is being able to participate in so many ways! For me, that has included hosting IAC Men’s online and in-person meetings, hosting small groups, and Alpha course table-hosting. Other activities have included midday prayer, men’s weekly prayer, music team, retreat planning, 2019 West Asia team, AUMC facility & canopy team, youth lunches, and the hiking group to name a few!
I’m excited to see how God has grown the church – even through pandemic – and has enabled us to worship in so many places around our target area. And though he brings our community together from all parts of the DMV, I believe that our name, “Incarnation,” points us toward a calling to Embed ourselves and Embody God’s kingdom through worship, fellowship, presence, and partnership – being neighbors to our South Arlington neighbors. I am eager to see how IAC can grow into this opportunity.