The Vestry is pleased to present the nominees for election to St. Clare’s Vestry. Below are six candidates for four three-year terms. Outgoing and continuing Vestry members are listed below.

Jim Downward

In 1971, I joined St. Clare’s immediately after graduating from Cal Tech and moving to Ann Arbor with Judie Erb. Since then, I have been passionately and continuously involved in the life of our parish: providing music for the Folk Eucharist; serving on many Commissions; participating in cell groups, presenting Adult Ed courses; organizing fundraisers (benefit concerts) for Outreach; serving as Vestry Clerk for 5.5 years; serving on the Vestry for 5 years (1 year as warden); and serving as the Back Door Food Pantry Volunteer Coordinator since 2015.

I have also been deeply involved with Genesis since 1974 by: helping develop its bylaws; volunteering; serving twice as interim Genesis Facility Coordinator; serving 4 terms on the Genesis Board (often as President, Vice President, or Secretary); working on financial issues and capital improvements; working on the 2015 Genesis Covenant; and serving on countless Genesis committees.

I completed my final year as Genesis Secretary last June and now am available to dedicate to Vestry service. The next few years will be both exciting and challenging. We will call a new rector. We will rebuild and reenergize our faith community when we again are able join each other to Worship with Joy, Grow in Faith, and Act for Justice. We will find new ways to grow God’s kingdom through service both to each other and the outside community. We will strengthen our Genesis partnership, our outreach activities, our educational programs, and, above all, our abiding love for one another. I deeply love St Clare’s and I am ready to do my part.

Matt Evett

I have been a member of St. Clare’s parish since 1972 when my father moved here to become the rector. My wife of thirty three years, Susan, keeps me on the straight and narrow, and my children, Paul and Clare, are a delight always, though sometimes a mystery, too, to an old guy like me. I am a long-time member of our choir (please consider joining!), and I have served our parish in several other capacities: I have been on the vestry, the Genesis Board, the Rector Search committee in 2002-3 (which brought us James), the Music Director Search Committee in 2006 (which brought us John), as well as being a counter, lay reader, and chalice bearer. I have served our diocese on the Whitaker School Board, and am currently a member of the Commission on Ministry. I was one of our parish’s representatives to the Diocesan Convention the last two years. Outside of the church, I am a professor in the Computer Science Department at EMU. I am a sports fan, a woodworker, an angler, a tournament contract bridge player and serious board- and computer gamer. Throughout my years here, I have seen St. Clare’s from many different viewpoints and stages of life. Throughout it all, I have found great, deep comfort in the companionship of our church. If elected to the vestry, I will bring my experience with, and love of, Saint Clare’s to the decision making of that body.

Paul Holman

Greetings! I am a retired professor, having moved to Ann Arbor in 2019 because all three of my children (Garth, Elizabeth, and Caitlin) work for the University. Before arriving here, I attended St. George’s Episcopal School in Spokane, Washington, and went to work for the U.S. Government. The highlight of my career was surely teaching men and women from all of the formerly communist countries at the Marshall Center for European Security Studies in Germany. After retirement from the Civil Service and the Air Force Reserve, I went back to work for the University of Maine, and I still teach Political Science to undergraduates online. As a member of the Church of St. Thomas in Camden, Maine I became a Lay Eucharistic Visitor and began the four-year program of Education for Ministry. Upon arrival in Ann Arbor, I was immediately struck by the warmth, enthusiasm, and inclusiveness of St. Clare’s community. I have been trained to serve as a Verger, and I have been co-facilitating a group for the discussion series called Sacred Ground, which reflects the Episcopal Church’s commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice. I look forward to seeing all of you in person, just as soon as I can get vaccinated against COVID-19!

Barb Kilbourn

I have been an Episcopalian my entire life, being baptized on St. Luke’s day at St. Luke’s church in Allen Park, MI, when I was only two weeks old. I am a retired school teacher and reading specialist. I have taught a variety of ages from preschool to middle school. I have a strong interest in art and have taken courses in design and drawing. I love to create original art quilts – it’s like painting with fabric. My husband Mike and I spent the first twelve years of married life in Champaign, Illinois; Long Island, NY and St. Louis, MO. I joined St. Clare’s when we moved to Ann Arbor in 1987. The people of St. Clare’s instantly welcomed me and my two young daughters into parish life. During my time at St. Clare’s, I have taught church school and served on the worship committee, the building aesthetics committee, and the search committee for the Children’s Minister. Currently, I am a member of the church choir, serve as secretary for the altar guild, and assist John Goodell with the children’s choir. I am blessed to be able to worship with joy with this congregation.

David Laurance

My wife Nancy and I moved to Ann Arbor this past March to be closer to our families – our mothers, our siblings, our son Peter and our grandchildren. For the past few years, we had worshiped at St. Clare’s when visiting Michigan, and we had been struck by the openness and sense of community we found here. So it was natural for us to come here when we looked to put down roots in Michigan. It’s been a challenging time to start life in a new parish. I have not been inside the church building, shared a Eucharist, or even met many of you in the “real world” since arriving in March. But despite the trials of Zoom, I have felt welcome, been included, and have found an opportunity to engage my faith, as a member of the Adult Education Bible Study group, and as an organizer and facilitator for the Sacred Ground program. Since I’ve really only arrived here, I was surprised to be asked to stand for vestry. But upon reflection, I think I have something to offer to St. Clare’s: I have the perspective of a newcomer to this community, coupled with my understanding of what it means to be an Episcopal Christian. As we continue our search for a new rector, my hope is that my experience and perspective can support St. Clare’s in discerning how we want to grow as a parish.

Tom Rich

I have been a member of St. Clare’s since 2019, and currently serve as the co-chair of the Outreach Commission as well as on the rector search profile committee. I am running for vestry because I was nominated, and I believe strongly in serving when asked. My newness to church generally and St. Clare’s in particular means that I’ll need to ask a great many questions in order to understand each issue that comes to the vestry. I hope to use that learning process to help the vestry fully consider each item, dig into details, and articulate well-understood processes and ideas that may go otherwise unexamined. St. Clare’s has embraced me warmly, and I hope to give some of that warmth back through further service.

Outgoing Vestry Members

Many thanks to those who are completing their terms on the Vestry at our annual meeting: Mary Lu Barth, Kathy Daly, Linda Henny, and John Little.

Continuing Vestry Members

Term ending at our annual meeting in 2022: Barry Fuller, Ed Happ, Linda Klimach, Mike Meyer
Term ending at our annual meeting in 2023: Christine Cook, Eliza Nuxoll, Julia Smith, Jennifer Wolf