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MEET OUR VESTRY CANDIDATES

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Steve Baker
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Katie Dickinson
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Todd Rutenbar

STEVE BAKER

Member Since: 1978

 

Education: Masters of Education | Stephen F. Austin University 

                    Bachelor of Science Secondary Education | The University of Texas at Austin

 

Occupation: Retired Educator

 

Work and Leadership Experience

Thirty-nine years as a teacher, principal, and director for Garland ISD.

 

Prior Vestry Experience

Three prior terms as a vestry member.

Prior Convention Delegate Experience

Three prior terms as a convention delegate.

Leadership/ Participation in Parish Ministries & Activities

Usher and Greeter, Evangelism Committee

Community Activities & Organizations (not for profit or civic)

None at this time. 

What drew you to consider Vestry leadership at this time? 

I wanted to serve our church.

In addition to your professional expertise, what unique gifts, talents, and experience would you bring to the Vestry? 

I am well-organized and a hard worker.

What do you hope for Ascension over the next 3-5 years? 

I would like to see our membership grow in numbers and spiritually.

If selected for this role, what activities, ministries, or areas of parish life would you like to be involved in?

I will continue to volunteer as needed.

How has Ascension continued to form and inspire your faith? 

I am inspired by the work we do for others. 

 

KATIE DICKINSON

Member Since: 2007

Education: MA in History | Texas Tech and MSSW | UT Arlington

 

Occupation: Social Worker, Retired

Work and Leadership Experience 

I resigned in January 2022 after 43 years at The Senior Source, serving as the Chief Administrative Officer at my retirement. Prior to that I was the Associate Executive Director. I have supervised social workers and graduate students since 1986. I have participated in aging organizations both at the local and regional levels. I was the Southwest Society on Aging Outstanding Professional in 1992. I am well versed in the theory of change and led The Senior Source in its development of a new theory of change. I also have successfully written grants and raised funds for the organization.

Prior Vestry Experience

I served on the vestry at Ascension from 2009-2011. During this time, I participated on a committee that reorganized the office staff at Ascension by creating the Manager of Operations position.

Prior Convention Delegate Experience

Experience-I was a delegate to the Convention that elected the current Bishop. For that, I participated in the walkabouts of the four finalists.

Leadership and participation in Parish Ministries & Activities

I have taught youth Sunday school and participated in youth mission trips. I also served as a chaperone on the first youth
pilgrimage to London. Currently, I am working with the youth at Youth Group on Sunday evenings. I have participated in a Bible Study since 2010. I am on the Altar guild, volunteer for the Food Pantry, serve on the Pastoral Care Committee, and, prior to that on the Radical Hospitality Committee, and am currently the Clerk of the Vestry.

Community Activities & Organizations (not for profit or civic)

I am an Advisory Board Member of One Step Community Services and serve as a mentor to the President and CEO of Rebirth Empowerment Education. Both organizations are startups that deal with marginalized people in our community. I am also Employee Emeritus at The Senior Source.

What drew you to consider Vestry leadership at this time

I am at a time where I feel I have many skills and would like to use some of them to serve my church community. I have the time to give back to a community that has done so much for me.

What do you hope for Ascension over the next 3-5 years?

I feel that we weathered the pandemic well and would like to see us grow on the groundwork of the past three years.

If selected, what ministries would you like to be involved in?

I would like to become more involved in Pastoral Care and work with other church communities to address the needs so many churches are facing with the graying of the congregations.

How has Ascension continued to form and inspire your faith?

Because of Ascension, I am not only more knowledgeable in the Bible and religion, but also have a better understanding of the
role God has played in my life. And the importance of having a spiritual life.

TODD RUTENBAR
 

Member Since: 1986

Education: SMU | BA, Political Science and UT Arlington | Graduate work in Computer Science

 

Occupation: Church IT Manager at Highland Park Presbyterian Church

Work and Leadership Experience

Church Business Administration; Church IT - Computer, Server, and Network Administration

 

Prior Vestry Experience 

2004-2006; 2017-2019, Junior and Senior Warden

Prior Convention Delegate Experience 

Yes, approximate years: 1984, 1995, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014

Leadership and participation in Parish Ministries & Activities 

I have had the privilege of participating in many Ascension ministries over the past 35+ years, including Youth Group Sponsor (EYC); Sunday School Teacher – high school and junior high; Stephen Ministry Care Giver and Leader; Mission Trip Sponsor; LEM; Lay Eucharistic Visitor; 2012, 2014 and 2016 Youth Pilgrimage sponsor; Men’s Retreat participant; People Helping People (PHP); Feed the Homeless; Ascension Tech Ministry; Sunday Worship Sound; Pandemic Live Stream Coordinator; new Live Stream Production; Evangelism Committee; Disciple 1 Bible Study participant and co-leader; Live Nativity; photographer (unofficial); prior to Pandemic produced APM Year in Review videos; created the three-year Tree Replacement Project after the June 2019 catastrophic wind storm; PP&E participant and chair; Parish Workday leader and participant and leader; assisted in the design and replacement of
plantings lost after the 2021 freeze.

 

What drew you to consider Vestry leadership at this time? 

I was asked, and I prayerfully considered if I was ready to be on the Vestry again. I have prayed to discern what contribution I may make to our parish. I value our people and the love that God is showing here through them. God is at work here.

 

In addition to your professional expertise, what unique gifts, talents, and experience would you bring to the Vestry? 

Years of practical experience and a willingness to work for the betterment of our church.

What do you hope for Ascension over the next 3-5 years? 

I hope and pray that our community will continue to grow in its love for our Lord, for each other, and for the world around us, in both word and deed.  

 

If selected for this role, what activities, ministries, or areas of parish life would you like to be involved in?

Continuing with Sunday Live Stream production, which includes preparing slides from the weekly bulletin. Continue to work on establishing new trees through weekly watering for the “final year.” I am open to other ministries and opportunities to contribute and grow spiritually. 

How has Ascension continued to form and inspire your faith? 

Sunday worship, inspiring sermons, Advent and Lenten studies, faithful leadership, peer support, and the examples of spiritually mature members.

MEET OUR DIOCESAN DELEGATE CANDIDATES

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Dabney Dwyer
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Peggy Wise

PEGGY WISE

Member Since: 2018

Education: Masters of Education | Early Childhood and Bachelor of Arts | Education and History

 

Occupation: Teacher - Lead teacher for Toddler class at Gateway of Grace Ministries

 

Work and Leadership Experience

Fifty-plus years in public and private education and tutoring.  Before Gateway of Grace, I worked at Parish Episcopal School for seven years.  

 

Prior Vestry Experience

Three prior terms at St. Luke's Dallas

Two years Finance Committee at St. Luke's Dallas

Prior Convention Delegate Experience

None

Leadership/ Participation in Parish Ministries & Activities

Godly Play and Food Pantry

Community Activities & Organizations (not for profit or civic)

I assist the Precinct Chair with GOVT. I worked in the campaign for Councilwoman Gay Donnell Willis.

What drew you to consider Vestry leadership at this time? 

I am interested in the work of the Diocese and want to serve my church. 

In addition to your professional expertise, what unique gifts, talents, and experience would you bring to the Vestry? 

One thing I am working on is learning to ask the right questions in order to build understanding and stronger relationships. 

What do you hope for Ascension over the next 3-5 years? 

I hope Ascension will grow, especially with young families and children.

If selected for this role, what activities, ministries, or areas of parish life would you like to be involved in?

N/A

How has Ascension continued to form and inspire your faith? 

Excellent formation classes, and preaching and teaching. 

 

DABNEY DWYER

Member Since: 1991

Education: Bachelor of Art- 1977, Masters of Arts-1982, Certificate in Gerontology -1990, Certificate in Process Improvement/Facilitation-1991, Mediation Certificate- 2002

Occupation: Retired, Dwyer Business Strategies ( Strategic Planning and Facilitation on a contract basis)

 

Work and Leadership Experience

Manager, Harris Methodist Health System (1991-1986), Operations Director Pediatric ICU, Childrens Medical Center, (1994-1999), Missioner for Outreach, EDOD (2008 -2019), Outbound Director, ECA (2011-2019) Dwyer Business Strategies (2000-current)

Prior Vestry Experience

Vestry member (2018) Senior Warden (2002)

Prior Convention Delegate Experience

Twice (can’t remember years)

Leadership/ Participation in Parish Ministries & Activities

Attended multiple outreach efforts over the years (Austin Street, Food Pantry, Stults Tutoring, Sandbranch), Ascension Outbound Director (2011-2019). Chair, Search Committee ECA, 1999, Search Committee for Associate, (2020?)

Community Activities & Organizations (not for profit or civic)

Board Member/President of the Board, Our Friends’ Place (1997-2000), Independent Review Committee, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance 2011, Co-founder and member of Leadership Team, Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions (DCHS, 2012 to present), Co Chair, DCHS Faith Community Action Team.

What drew you to consider Vestry leadership at this time? 

The annual convention has always an important part of the Episcopal Church and the life of Ascension, and I would like to be a part of that process. In addition, it allows me to connect with other parish clergy and leadership.

In addition to your professional expertise, what unique gifts, talents, and experience would you bring to the Vestry? 

Familiarity with EDOD, Organization skills and follow- through on tasks assigned.

What do you hope for Ascension over the next 3-5 years? 

Additional outreach activities, church growth, qualified leadership and clergy, guest clergy to assist with services, continued support for the school, and enhanced community awareness.

If selected for this role, what activities, ministries, or areas of parish life would you like to be involved in?

Wherever the need (I think)

How has Ascension continued to form and inspire your faith? 

 Online services, active congregation, formation activities, outreach participation.

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