banner.jpg

2018 Vestry Class Elected

OUR 2018 NEW VESTRY MEMBERS ARE are John Alley, Brad Foster, Christine Hopkins and Doug Rucker.  They were elected at the annual parish meeting Jan. 28. We give thanks for the service of our retiring Vestry class as well. Louis Allin, Doug LeBlanc, Jackie Gearles and Doug Rucker rotated off (Doug served a one-year term.)

Here are their biographies:

JOHN ALLEY 

My wife, Kimberly, and I have two children: Caroline (2 1/2) and Charlie (5 months). For the last four years, I have worked for Veritas School as a Humanities teacher and running program head coach. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and participating in musical groups around the city. 

I am a cradle Episcopalian, and have been a member of St. Matthew's since my family moved here when I was seven. I am a product of St. Matthew’s robust youth group and music programs. Over the last four years, I have been intermittently involved with the choral program and Christian education. 

The good people of St. Matthew’s have been good to me; they molded my faith in Sunday School and Youth Group; they taught me to sing in the Cherub and Youth Choirs; they supported me when I moved away from Richmond for college and the fellows program; and they have prayed for and supported my fledgling family in innumerable ways since we moved back to Richmond four years ago. It is only fitting that I feel a deep sense of obligation to give back to St. Matthew’s and I hope to do so by faithfully serving on the Vestry.


BRAD FOSTER 

I have lived in Richmond for 11 years, having relocated for work from Rochester, NY in 2006. My wife Sheila and I were married 40 years ago in a small settlement school chapel located in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. We have three children, all in their 30's now.  As VP of Sales and Marketing for Alliance Machine and Engraving in Ashland, I travel throughout the US, Canada and occasionally overseas. Hobbies, not sure they could be categorized as such, would include maintenance and upgrades on our 80+ year old city home, working out at the Y, walking our dog, Maynard, and exploring when I travel. A cradle Episcopalian, my life was irrevocably changed through an encounter with the Holy Spirit in 1976. We belonged to a bible based, evangelical Episcopalian church in Syracuse and were happy to find a similar setting at St. Matthew’s.  I appreciate the inspired, succinct, and dignified form of the liturgy and additionally believe we (St. Matthew's) play an important role as a beacon to the larger church.

My primary volunteer work at St. Matthew's has been as the head of the Buildings and Grounds Committee since Boyd Brown's departure several years ago. I'm also on an Usher Team. At St. Andrew's in Syracuse I served in a similar function (buildings and grounds) and was also a lay reader, Sunday school teacher, Shrove Tuesday pancake supper coordinator and youth counselor.

My interest in serving on the vestry is to A.) Help discern God's will for our congregation and, B.) Play a part in facilitating that plan.

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a M.B.A. I believe that, like the business world, we have to keep getting better or we stop staying good.

CHRISTINE HOPKINS

Hi!  My name is Christine Hopkins.  I have been a member of St. Matthew’s since moving to Richmond in the late 90’s.  I was born in Massachusetts, grew up Nashua, NH, and went to college in Rhode Island.  My parents and I moved to Richmond in 1997 and it has truly become home.  I teach science at Tuckahoe Middle School and love seeing the St. Matt’s choir kids at TMS.  I don’t have any children of my own, but I have 3 nieces: Bella - 12, Sofia -10, and Julia - 4 and 3 nephews: Jack - 10, Anthony -11, and one due any minute.  I also have 150 middle schoolers, 10 “choir babies” and am in the process of adopting 2 Siamese cats.

I have been an Episcopalian all my life.  I was baptized at St. Anne’s church in Billerica, MA and grew up attending The Church of the Good Shepard in Nashua, NH.  I was active in Sunday School, Youth Group, and acolytes.  CGS gave me a strong foundation for my faith.  Since moving to Richmond after college, I have been an active member of St. Matthew’s.  I taught Sunday School for a few years and have been leading the Children’s Choirs for over 10 years.  I also sang in the Chancel Choir for many years and have served on the Vestry in the past. 

St. Matthew’s is in a time of great transition and the vestry needs strong leaders who will listen to the congregation and pray for God’s direction.  I am excited for the opportunity to serve St. Matthew’s as a member of the vestry.