The Vestry is pleased to present the following nominees for election to St. Clare’s Vestry. Outgoing and continuing Vestry members are listed below.
Eligible voters are 16 years of age or older, in the congregation at least 6 months, and faithful in worship, working, praying, and giving for the spread of the kingdom of God.
After an extended career as a lapsed Catholic, I became aware through good friends that an amazing church existed here in A2. I ventured in one Sunday and was, indeed, amazed. Soaring music, preaching that spoke to me, a welcoming and caring community and a truly inclusive denomination.
That was 28 years ago. My husband Steve and I were subsequently officially received into the Episcopal Church and both our daughters, Claire and Hallie, were baptized and attended church school here. St. Clare’s is our church home and has been through many joyful and a few bumpy patches. Over our time here, I’ve served on the Vestry, worked at the Back Door Food Pantry, edited the (then monthly) St. Clarian, assisted with various outreach activities, and served as a reader and a verger.
Outside of church, I work as a librarian, currently at a small public library near here. I’ve worked in libraries large and small and consider being a librarian to be in my DNA. Besides working, I read books (quelle surprise), try to hone my cooking and photography skills, enjoy movies, peonies, the Michigan Marching Band, nature, friends, family and learning new things.
Why run for vestry? To quote Marge Piercy, “The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.”* Vestry members do that. I believe that all members of this community, if able, can step up to dive into this work — for each other and the greater good. So maybe it’s my turn.
If elected, I hope to engage with outreach activities and with nurturing and creating that which strengthens our community as a whole and for those with kindred interests within it.
*To Be Of Use, Marge Piercy (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57673/to-be-of-use)
My conversations are transactional. I tend to be to the point and not talk about the weather. So my bio is bullets:
- St Clare’s member since 2005.
- 3 years on vestry as junior warden
- 2 stints on Genesis board
- Member of the parish resources and stewardship commissions
- Diocesan convention representative once before
I do try to be friendly, even when I’m being transactional.
Carolin and I joined Saint Clare’s in the early 80s, a few years after we moved to Ann Arbor from the East Coast. I did a little exploring and came upon Saint Clare’s on my second effort. And found it welcoming with an extraordinary message – love, justice, tolerant, unpretentious, transparent, free to speak truth to power and its unique Genesis relationship with Temple Beth Emeth. We quickly became engaged, both serving, at different times, on the Vestry and then as Sr. and Jr. Wardens. I taught Sunday School and have served on the Genesis Board. I have served (and still am serving) on the Endowment Board and worked in the Food Pantry. More recently I was on our Search Committee for our terrific new Rector. In my other life, I am a retired Professor of Pediatrics at Michigan and worked for 44 years at Mott Children’s Hospital as a pediatric cardiologist. Carolin and I have two grown children and two grandchildren. We would like more.
Susan Jones Draffen
I arrived in Saline, Michigan in 1987 with my family and discovered the joy of worshipping at Saint Clare’s soon thereafter. In the ensuing years, I taught Sunday school, one of my daughters was baptized, 2 daughters served as acolytes and participated in the J2A youth program, one daughter was married and my dear mother’s funeral were all held in this sacred place. Many wonderful years of Christian fellowship were integral to the Jones family story and growing up experience. I will forever be grateful for the foundation of faith established in our lives at Saint Clare’s.
I stayed connected to Saint Clare’s for many years as one of the founding mothers for our very special Back Door Food Pantry. After it was up and running one of my main jobs was as volunteer coordinator and stocking shelves on Monday evenings. I found this to be an extremely rewarding volunteer mission.
I moved to a Saline parish for many years and then explored churches in the Hamburg/Brighton area when I remarried and moved to Whitmore Lake but find myself called back to Saint Clare’s time and time again. This time, at this semi-retired stage in my life, I want to be back permanently and feel called to serve in the way of Vestry dedication. I feel well suited for a role like this from all of my professional and life experiences. I am a pediatric RN Case Manager at Mott and with part time work hours I now have a beautiful work-life balance affording me with time to dedicate myself to outside interests like reestablishing my church connection in my home church.
I am an outdoor enthusiast and have been an avid runner, currently turned hiker, all of my adult life. My love and appreciation for Mother Nature in God’s creation knows no bounds and is a significant feature in my life story. Some of my most spiritual moments and soul cleansing prayers enlighten and nourish me out in nature. My passion for running included 21 years of providing support to the Saline High School Cross Country program as the Assistant to the women’s team. One of the highlights of my running career was mentoring youth student athletes. I ran 20+ marathons and participated as a triathlete for 12 years…living, breathing and loving the great outdoors!
I am happily married to my husband Jim and together we share a wonderful life out on 11 acres in Whitmore Lake in a log cabin. Our black lab Sam romps with us in the woods and nearby parks daily. Jimmie and I continue to work in our careers and are active senior citizens.
I am very close with my four daughters and 8 grandchildren and able to share many special times with all of them. Indeed, I am a very blessed Grandma, mother, wife, nurse and Christian woman.
I would like to serve on the Vestry at Saint Clare’s for the next 3 years and hope you will consider my application as worthy. To identify ways to bolster the backbone of our parish, support contemporary relevance to the Saint Clare’s format while honoring liturgical history with integrity and advocating for Outreach services are all very important to me. Growing our faith as we worship with joy together are essential to the mission as I see it.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need further information. I currently have returned to the 8:30 Sunday morning worship service.
Sincerely and with love,
Susan (Jones) Draffen
I came to St. Clare’s in the summer of 2014, shortly after my family and I moved to Michigan. After nearly ten years in the Army, my husband Sam and I were ready to put down roots with our three young children, and we soon found ourselves blooming in Ann Arbor. St. Clare’s was the first church we visited. As a lifelong Episcopalian, I was drawn to its inclusive liturgy, beautiful music, and partnership with Temple Beth Emeth. As an early childhood educator, I was inspired by the vibrant children and youth programs, and engaged intergenerational community. In the nine years since, I have served the children and families of St. Clare’s in many capacities: as a church school teacher, nursery host, leader of StorySong, and member of the Children and Youth Commission, and search committees for our Children’s Minister in 2017 and Rector in 2021. Before relocating to England for a year, I served an abbreviated term on Vestry from 2020 to 2021 and enjoyed the experience of thinking deeply about St. Clare’s with others; I would be fortunate to serve St. Clare’s again in this way.
Hi! When our family first started attending St. Clare’s in 2016, it was in many ways a return home. My husband Brian and I were married here as recent WMU undergrads in 2005, and both of our respective parents had attended St. Clare’s before we even knew each other. We spent over a decade living abroad and in Las Vegas, but we always hoped to someday make it back to the Mitten. After all those years away, we were happy to be able to move back to the Ann Arbor area and raise our three kids “back home.” I am an elementary music teacher at Mitchell School in Ann Arbor. You will certainly spot our three kids (Violet, Charlotte, and Abigail) all over the place at St. Clare’s–up front as an acolyte, adventuring with the youth group, singing in the choir, and always assessing the snacks at coffee hour.
I joined the Vestry last year temporarily to fill the vacancy left when Ed Happ moved out of town. I was pleased to find that it’s been great! Serving on the Vestry has allowed me to grow personally in my own journey with God, given me a chance to serve and give back to a community I love and care about, and also allowed me to offer the perspective of a parent with school-age kids in decision-making. If elected, I look forward to continuing this worthwhile work.
Outgoing Vestry Members
Many thanks to those who are completing their terms on the Vestry at our upcoming annual meeting in January: Christine Cook, Vera Schwankl (completing Ed Happ’s term), Julia Smith, Jennifer Wolf. Vera is running this year for a full 3-year-term.
Continuing Vestry Members
Term ending at our annual meeting in 2024: Paul Holman, Barb Kilbourn, David Laurance, Tom Rich
Term ending at our annual meeting in 2025: Peter Millar, Ann Putallaz, Debra Stevens, Cathy Stone
Nominees for Delegates to Diocesan Convention
Christine Cook, Mark Davis-Craig, Judy Avery, David Laurance, Linda Klimach, Bekan Hill
We send three delegates to Diocesan Convention. The three nominees who get the most votes will be considered our delegates, the remaining three will be our alternates, ready to step in if one of the delegates cannot serve.
Nominee for Genesis Board