Annual Meeting & Breakfast this Sunday, January 22

St. Chrysostom’s parishioners are invited to the Annual Meeting & Breakfast following the 10:15am service on Sunday, January 22nd. The meeting agenda will include reports by the wardens, clergy and ministry leaders on the state of the church and school. The Search Committee will offer an update on the status of the search for a new rector, and importantly, parishioners will elect new members of our vestry for the coming year. All are welcome – no RSVP needed. A Kids’ Activity Table will be available during the meeting.

The Nominating Committee is excited to share that we have a full slate of excellent and faithful candidates to present to the parish to vote on at our annual meeting on Sunday, January 22nd. In addition, the Parish will be voting on the by-law change to ensure that our Bylaws reflect how we govern our church. The changes are relatively minor, but must be approved by the Parish at the annual meeting. A complete copy of these changes is available for review.


Senior Warden – John Bankhurst

John Bankhurst is a lifelong Episcopalian. John has been a member of the Vestry for several years, serving as Senior Warden, and previously served as Junior Warden, Treasurer and as chair of the Finance Committee. He has attended St. Chrysostom’s for the last fifteen years, but became actively engaged with the church community in the last six years. In addition to serving on Vestry, he is part of the Altar Guild and serves as an acolyte. John was baptized and confirmed at Christ Episcopal Church in Hudson, Ohio, where he was an acolyte and member from age five. Professionally, John works as a Business Development Director for Salo, a project consulting firm specializing in accounting and finance. He has spent most of his career working in audit and finance, starting his career with the public accounting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP. John graduated with a BA in Economics from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He serves as a board member of the Ravinia Festival Associates and Inspiration Corporation. John lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood with his partner, Ryan Kin, both of whom are strong supporters of the wonderful music program at St. Chrysostom’s.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceJunior Warden – Wende Fox Lawson

Wende Fox Lawson is a lifetime Episcopalian. She grew up in Southeastern North Carolina on the coast and her family was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and her father was on the Vestry. Wende attended Sunday school and played violin with the choir. She followed her family tradition of going to Duke for her undergraduate degree and then made her way to Chicago to pursue a master’s in business at the U of Chicago. Fate would have it that she met her husband Jim on her first day in Hyde Park. They have 2 children, Grace Anne and James, both of which attended nursery school at St. Chrysostom’s and volunteered for the Vacation Bible school. Along the way, Wende was a management consultant for 2 large firms, specializing in strategy and governance for academic medical centers around the country and some international work. She now does only pro bono work for medical centers and a variety of not-for-profit organizations focusing on underprivileged populations and Immunology research to help children who have food allergies, asthma and Eosinophil Esophagitis. During VBS a few years ago, daughter Grace Anne recommended Wende to Mr. Will as a Sunday School teacher. Wende took Godly Play training and loves the curriculum. It is an honor for her to work with Priscilla, Will, Jackie and numerous other volunteers and a wonder to hear 3-5 year old’s react to biblical stories.

Treasurer – Matt Garrison

Matt Garrison grew up in Paducah (KY), was raised in the Methodist church, and attended church and Sunday school just about every Sunday growing up. He went to college in Virginia and lived in Washington, DC for about six years after graduation. Matt moved to Chicago almost 15 years ago, where he met his wife, Lindsay. They have three sons: William (10), Emmet (10), and John (8). Lindsay and Matt started attending St. Chrys while dating. They later joined, were married, and have had all three boys baptized at the church. Matt has served on the church Finance Committee since March 2019, as well as a member of the Vestry.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceOne year term – Alex Jacobs 

Alex Jacobs is a longtime parishioner of St. Chrysostom’s and lives in the Gold Coast with his wife and two children.  He grew up in New York where he was a member of Saint Thomas Church and was educated on the East Coast.  In 2000, he moved to Chicago to join Bank of America as an investment banker.  For the past few years, he has been the Treasurer and head of Mergers & Acquisitions for Conagra Brands, a public Food company based in Chicago.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceTwo-year term – Pat Schenk 

I was born in Cincinnati, OH and I am a lifelong Episcopalian. I have always loved Chicago and decided to move here to attend DePaul University where I pursued a business degree with a focus in real estate. Today, I work for Jones Lang LaSalle as a commercial real estate broker. After graduating I decided it was time to start regularly attending a church, so I began visiting the various Episcopal churches around the north side. When I found St. C’s I felt very at home with the people, music, traditions, and style of service. During my time here I have had the privilege of participating in a variety of ways, most recently I joined Jack Denison and Lauren Rector to bring the Young Professionals group back into action here with success in addition to being present when needed for various church functions. As a potential new Vestry member, I look forward to serving the Church during this time of transition and will work to strengthen our foundation and ensure that we can continue to attract and welcome new people.

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Description automatically generatedFull three-year term – Karen Meader 

My late husband, Leland, and I moved into the city in 2014 from the south suburbs and were soon active members of St. Chrysostom’s.  We attended services regularly and were happy to help with the streaming mission of St. C during the pandemic’s early and dark days.  We were and I am still actively engaged with various ministries, including the St. Leonard’s Recognition Thursdays since its inception, St. Chrys’ Kitchen program with their monthly dinners, and the parish choir and music ministry.  I was for several years a board member of WOSC.  I frequently serve as a reader/intercessor for church services. I am interested in working for the preservation and enhancement of our parish life and the community which has given so much to me and Leland during these last eight years.

Full three-year term – Robert Valente

Robert Valente has been a member of St. Chrysostom’s Church since moving to Chicago from the East Coast in 2011. He has been involved in the Men’s Group and St. Chrysostom’s Singers in past years, and currently serves as a Lector.  Professionally, Robert works in the healthcare/biotech space where he is focused primarily on the technological facets of reproductive medicine, women’s and family health. He holds degrees from Moravian College and Northwestern University. An inhabitant of the neighborhood since arriving in Chicago, you’re likely to see him riding his bike or walking his Golden Retriever.

Full three-year term – Jeff Dykstra

Jeff Dykstra, his wife Michelle Harrington, and their sons Piers and Henrik were first introduced to St. Chrysostom’s through the Vacation Bible School program and have been members of the parish since 2020. Jeff has served as a storyteller in both the Godly Play program and the all-parish Tell Me the Truth About Racism program. He is partner in the consulting practice at KPMG LLP and has served on several community and foundation boards.