MEET OUR VESTRY
With the help of the Holy Spirit, our vestry is the governing body of our church. Elected to three-year terms, vestry members make decisions regarding facilities, vision and direction of St. Mark’s and have overall fiscal responsibility for the church.
Meredithe Sweeney, Member, 2018-2020 Term
I have been attending St. Mark’s since the winter of 2015, so about three years now. My husband of almost 10 years, Roc, and I were proudly confirmed in October of that year. I am not a lifelong Episcopalian. I was raised in a Bible church, however, the Episcopalian Church, specifically St. Mark’s, felt like home from the first day. I have fallen in love with the liturgy and the traditions in which we are privileged to participate.
In the 3 years I have been attending St. Mark’s, I have helped lead 2 small groups; what was originally called “Conversations on Race in America,” and “Spirituality of Fundraising.” I was on the Stewardship Committee for 2016 and 2017, and I just recently began working with the Rite 13 students, and I am loving that. Aren’t they just the greatest? I help with planning for small groups and I am also the lead for the snack team for week 3 (We’re always looking for new snack preppers, if you are interested…).
I look forward to being able to give back and contribute in that way.
Ken Stalter, Member, 2018-2020 Term
If you are reading this, you are likely called to worship in the liturgical tradition in the midst of a welcoming and vital faith community. That is what my wife Katharine and I sought when we needed a spiritual home for our new family. Like many of you, after that first visit to St. Mark’s, we never looked anywhere else.
Raised in an American Baptist church, I am now a confirmed Episcopalian, thanks to God’s grace and my life at St. Mark’s. As a parent, spouse, and attorney, I am continually learning and relearning how to follow Jesus in these roles.
The coming years will bring new challenges for St. Mark’s. I am grateful to grow in Christ with this community, and look forward to serving in whatever capacity I am able.
Susan Smith-Pierce, Member, 2018-2020 Term
As a child Susan and her family attended St. Mark’s where she was confirmed. Years later in 2012, Susan attended the Easter Service and the Inquirer’s Class and once again became a member of St. Mark’s.
Since then Susan has served as co-leader of the Inquirer’s Class and has participated in the ministries of Healing Prayer, Pastoral Care, and Intercessory Prayer. She co-led a women’s Advent retreat with Rev. Pat Green, and taught a class on keeping a spiritual journal. Each of these experiences have contributed to the deepening and broadening of Susan’s faith and knowledge as an Episcopalian.
Susan has a PhD in Counseling Psychology and is an independently licensed clinical counselor. She has worked as a therapist and counseling professor at Webster University and the University of New Mexico as well as directing the internship and training programs at Southwest Family Guidance Center. She continues to offer workshops for practicing therapists on using expressive arts as a source of self-care and sustaining resilience.
Tom Blueher, Member, 2019-2021 Term
I am excited at the prospect of serving our community of St. Mark’s by being a member of the Vestry. In October 2014 I first stopped by to check out St. Mark’s and I have done my best to be in attendance every Sunday since. The combination of the historical, the liturgy and the encouragement to think, to question and to learn hooked me.
I was born and raised in New Mexico with eight siblings, left for four years of college back East, then returned to graduate from UNM School of Law. I have practiced law in New Mexico since 1981. I am so fortunate to have my bride of 37 years and two wonderful adult children. If you cannot find me from March to October, I suggest you look in the vegetable patch – a favorite hobby since childhood.
I have learned much from participating on the Stewardship Team, working with the small group organizing committee, gladly signing on to experience our one on one conversation efforts, and of course proudly serving on Team One Coffee Group. I am invigorated by the community that our membership is constantly creating at St. Mark’s, and I look forward to being an active participant as we move forward.
Karen Longenecker, Member, 2019-2021 Term
I have been serving in the Episcopal Church in various capacities for most of my adult life. This experience most recently includes a six-year term on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Executive Council is the international governing board of the corporate Episcopal Church. My experience on Executive Council was full of budgets, resolutions, motions and project development for the whole world-wide Episcopal Church. I was elected Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on World Mission, a subcommittee of Executive Council, which focused on international relations, the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church outside of the United States. I deeply enjoyed my time on Executive Council and learned more than I could imagine about church governance and finance. I feel my experience on Executive Council prepared me for a vestry position on Saint Mark’s and look forward to hopefully serving Saint Mark’s in this capacity, should I be elected.
Professionally I am a Clinical Social Worker for the University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability. I work with high-risk families, especially young children birth to three whose parents have struggled with drug addiction, trauma and poverty. My job is deeply fulfilling and often difficult, it is where I find the Holy Spirit to be the most present in my life. Second to my job, I find the Holy Spirit when I’m skiing, playing in the snow, being with my dog or spending time with a very loving and supportive community that thankfully surrounds me.
Adam Squire, Member, 2019-2021 Term
I have been attending St. Mark’s since I was a child; my mother, Chris, began attending when she was a teenager. My wife Darcey and I completed pre-marital counseling at St. Mark’s and became members in 2006. My kids, William and James, have been attending since the first two weeks of their lives. Growing up in this church has offered numerous opportunities to participate. As a kid I was an acolyte, played on the St. Mark’s Softball Team, and rang bells in the Church Bell Choir. In adulthood I was Co-Chair of the Search for a New Rector Committee, an acolyte, and a children’s education instructor for Rite 13. In 2018, I was appointed to the position of Clerk by the Vestry. I clerked for several months before a seat on the Vestry was vacated, and I was elected by the Vestry to fulfill the remaining term. My current involvement at St. Mark’s includes being a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a Servant of Worship, a member of the Vestry, and a Journey to Adulthood Instructor. In my professional life I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Tax Senior at a one of the 10 largest accounting firms in the nation. In addition to income tax accounting, I have gained vast experience in financial accounting through auditing a variety of corporations, higher educational institutions, governmental entities, and non-profits.
Laurel Cabral, Member, 2020-2022 Term
I’m a native of Albuquerque with a deep love of all the diversity in our State. My husband and I started attending St. Marks 5+ years ago while I was going through a health crisis. We got married here in 2014, and have seen the church grow and begin to thrive in the time we’ve been here. I’m the head Greeter- leading the Welcome Ministry, the Clerk for the Vestry, on Coffee Team 3, part of the Summer of Conversations team, part of the Stewardship ministry, a Counter on Monday mornings, and all-around helper-outer where I can.
Aric Elsenheimer, Member, 2020-2022 Term
This is an exciting time to be part of St. Mark’s. We are a growing and vibrant church with both a commitment to the traditions of the Episcopal church and a willingness to experiment when given something new. I consider myself very blessed to be part of St. Mark’s, and I want to thank each one of you for making this such a wonderful church community for me, Rachel, and our sons Tug and Robin.
I grew up in a small Presbyterian congregation in upstate New York, and the life of the church was a deeply important part of my childhood. I have fond memories of spending many Sunday mornings clearing the church sidewalks of snow and, once cleared, going inside to ring the bell. I am so grateful to be a part of a faith community where I am able to see my sons experience the rituals, traditions, and faith of the church. I love that my oldest, Tug, genuinely looks forward to carrying the cross or a candle as part of the processional. I love that the both of them look forward to the nativity play as one of the highlights of their year. And I love that they have a wonderful community of people, of all ages, that they can look to as models and mentors.
I am honored to serve on Vestry to help in the decision making of our ever-growing parish. I’ve been on a couple other church and non-profit teams and committees—the details of which would be terribly uninteresting to recount. Although in high school I did serve on the Trustees at my church, a committee responsible for the physical building. And one of the first things I did was to make sure they got someone new to clear the sidewalks of snow.
Melanie Peterson, Member, 2020-2022 Term
I grew up in Albuquerque, as did my parents, and I love living here, especially the beauty of the land and the culture. I met my wonderful husband David in the summer of 1990, we were married in 1991, and we have three beautiful children together. In my professional life, I’m a middle school English teacher, so (no surprise) I love to read. I also love cooking, hiking, and road trips with my family.
Although I am fairly new to the Episcopal faith tradition, I am an enthusiastic Episcopalian. I have attended St. Mark’s since 2011, and I was confirmed in 2016. Although I grew up in a church-going family, it was a very different tradition, and I love my newfound spiritual home: the liturgy, the ritual, and the ethos of worship nurture my spirituality in ways that are continually surprising and challenging. I have been a Godly Play storyteller for about ten years, and working with young children in this particular ministry, with its emphasis on joy and wonder in the narrative arc of God’s love for his people, has been healing and inspiring. I have also participated in two Summers of Conversation, deepening my connection to this special place. The community at St. Mark’s has been a great blessing to me, and although I am a little shy and overwhelmed by crowds, I treasure the relationships I have developed. I look forward to an opportunity to serve St. Mark’s in a new way, and hope to be able to contribute to the growth and vitality of our church.
Miranda Eastham, Treasurer
Miranda has been a member of St. Mark’s since 2012 and has served both on the vestry at The Cathedral Church of St. John and as its treasurer. Miranda has also served as a Convention Delegate in the Diocese of the Rio Grande and chaired two stewardship campaigns. She holds a B.S. in Business Information Systems and an M.B.A., both from the University of Colorado.