At the 109th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, held November 8-9 at the Lynnwood Convention Center, a series of awards were given to members of our community: the Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” Award, the Bishop’s Cross Award, and the Bishop’s Preaching Award.
Bishop’s Preaching Award
Any sermon preached in any congregation (by a preacher from any order) in the Diocese of Olympia from the First Sunday of Advent, 2018 (December 2, 2018) through September 01, 2019, was eligible for consideration. While we understand that sermons are spoken contextual events, judges make their determinations based on a written text (for sake of anonymity) and look for a lectionary-based sermon that communicates the Good News of God in Christ both to long-timers and to newcomers or visitors to the congregation. The judges are especially interested in sermons that decode religious language so that those newer to the Episcopal Church can be evangelized within the context of worship.
The 2019 Bishop’s Preaching Award was given to the Rev. Rich Weyls of St. Andrew, Seattle for his sermon preached on July 14, 2019.
You can read the full text of the winning sermon by following the link below.
Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” Award
In 2011 Bishop Rickel established the Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” Award to honor the service of Ky Chen upon his retirement. For 25 years Ky ably and graciously staffed the print shop at D House, responding to any request (no matter how large or last-minute) with the response “No problem,” even if it meant rearranging prior plans or scrambling to get the needed supplies. Ky was a devoted employee whose enthusiasm and team spirit epitomized the best of any employee. The Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” award is set up to recognize outstanding employees from any congregation or affiliated organization in the diocese.
The recipients of the 2019 Ky Chen Awards were Donna L. Headman of St. Nicholas, Tahuya, and Greg Murray of St. Thomas, Medina.
Donna L. Headman
Donna joined St. Nicholas, Tahuya twenty years ago. Who could have imagined the impact this one person would make in this small church?! In just a few years, Donna assumed the role of organist when they needed one. Her outstanding musical talents of organist/pianist, coupled with her amazing voice contribute vastly to their services.
Several years ago, the church faced dire circumstances–a dwindling congregation and financial difficulties. They continue to have a small membership, but they are financially solvent. Most of this success is directly attributed to Donna. They have been able to purchase a stair chair to allow mobility impaired individuals access to the basement, remodeled the bathrooms, painted the exterior of the church, and paved the driveway. Donna has spearheaded all of the fundraisers to make these improvements possible. She ensures they reach out to the community with events such as an annual pumpkin painting party, monthly Bunco nights, and a casual neighborhood library. The neighbors, in turn, support St. Nicholas with generous donations to their sales and attend their fundraisers. Because of these activities, St. Nicholas is able to make regular donations to several local non-profits.
“Always preach the Gospel, and when necessary, use words” defines Donna. She encourages all to participate as they are able. At one fundraisers, a member of another congregation asked “How do you get so many volunteers?” The answer: Simply everyone who can, does! Donna is an inspiration and a motivation! She is the mainstay of most activities in the church–organizing spaghetti and fish dinners, gathering donations for sales and raffles, even washing the exterior walls and cleaning the gutters! She leads by example!
While Donna is not an employee of this congregation, she certainly is an integral part! She is always there when needed, and would never expect to be paid or rewarded for the work she does.
Greg Murray has been a faithful and committed member of St. Thomas for over 25 years. He has served on vestry, as a warden, as Eucharistic minister and lector, and on the Property Committee. When St. Thomas undertook construction of a new Parish Life Center in 2013, Greg added to the responsibilities of his day job as a general contractor, taking on the role of project manager on behalf of the parish, overseeing this complex project to ensure it came in on time and on budget. A skilled woodworker, Greg also donated his time to craft the five large crosses that hang from the ceiling in the Great Hall, and he also crafted all the beautiful paneling in the new All Souls Chapel and columbarium in the undercroft.
His skill and dedication to St. Thomas proved so valuable that they convinced him to come onto the staff as Chief Operating Officer. Today, he manages the parish finances and facilities, supervises non-program staff, and serves as a wise and trusted counselor to the rector, the vestry and its committees, and to all who walk through his office door. In addition to this one full-time job, Greg is now serving the parish as project manager of the complete renovation of the church building which is at least another half-time job itself. He is also using his woodworking skills to build a new altar and platform, the wood paneling surrounding the choir and organ area, and is also renovating the sacristy.
In addition to his continuing service as a Eucharistic minister and lector, Greg is active with the youth of the parish. In recent years he has led the youth on three mission trips to Guatemala, served as a teacher and mentor to high school students, and as a small group leader in adult formation. Greg’s tireless devotion to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ and to the People of God at St. Thomas reflects his deep servant’s heart and his joy in ministry. Many in the St. Thomas community wonder when he sleeps! Exemplifying each of the “Can do” qualities of Ky Chen, Greg is one of whom Our Lord might be speaking as he says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Master.”
Bishop’s Cross Awards
Since 1953, a small number of Bishop’s Cross Awards have been given each year to those whose very lives embody the spirit of Christ. The criteria cannot be summed up better than by the bishop who instituted them, Bishop Stephen Bayne who wrote on the inception of the award: Ever since I came to our Diocese I have thought that we needed some special way to recognize and identify the fine qualities of service and leadership which are so often manifest among our people. Many dioceses have awards of one kind or another — medals or crosses or certificates — which are given to members of the clergy and laity for unusual service to the Church. In this Centennial year I want to institute an annual recognition, in the form of a simple Bishop’s Cross, which I should like to give to certain individuals in token of our pride in what they stood for in their ministry among us, and of our thanksgiving for fine and imaginative Christian discipleship which, through their lives, they have helped us see more clearly. They will not, nor will we I hope, think of these crosses as either a prize or a pension. They are not rewards to those who have been especially good children. They will simply be this an expression on our part of our thankfulness for the virtues and graces which God gives to His disciples as those blessings have been signally illustrated in the lives of these Church people.
The recipients of the 2019 Bishop’s Cross Awards were K. Ann McCartney, William Henry Goodenough III, and Wanda Manseau.
K. Ann McCartney
When I arrived as bishop in 2007, it was probably very clear to Ann that I did not possess the greatest skill and precision with parliamentary procedure. I think she could actually smell it on me actually. However, she graciously offered to serve as parliamentarian for me at this convention and has ever since, and I will be forever indebted to her for that offer. I have not regretted once so eagerly accepting it.
Ann brings to her work the following skills: she is a meeting consultant and has extensive education, training, and experience in communication skills, group dynamics, group processes, parliamentary procedure, organizational development, community organizing, and adult education. Ann has both a BA and an MA in speech communication from the University of Washington. Her second MA in professional psychology with a specialization in organizational development is from the California School of Professional Psychology. A unique program at The Union Institute provided Ann with the opportunity to design and complete an interdisciplinary PhD focusing on effective participation in a variety of group settings.
After a 32-year teaching and educational consulting career, Ann decided to use her communication skills to help people work together effectively in meetings. She earned certification and a teaching designation from the American Institute of Parliamentarians and designation as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian from the National Association of Parliamentarians. Ann is also a Certified Mediator.
Ann offers a holistic approach to making meetings more productive, participative, and even enjoyable! She says, “It is truly amazing what people can accomplish when they work together effectively!”
What I can say of Ann is this. Her work here, sitting beside me, helping me navigate our gathering, has always been heartfelt. This is a ministry to her, and she is deeply and faithfully given to it. We collectively, and I personally, have been the blessed beneficiaries of that ministry. As we say thank you to her for the incredible offering of her gifts to all of us, we also give thanks for the parliamentary entanglements made straighter, gentler, smoother, more civil, gracious, and peaceful because of her offering. It is my distinct honor and privilege to award K. Ann McCartney with the Bishop’s Cross.
William Henry Goodenough III
A cradle Episcopalian born in Sumner, Washington, Bill Goodenough began to formally serve God and God’s people as an acolyte in his home church, carrying the Light of Christ. As an adult, Bill became a member of Seattle’s Episcopal Church of the Ascension, the church where his wife Joy was raised. Bill has faithfully modeled a life of leadership through service as an active member of Ascension.
Bill has served as the Parish Treasurer, and continues to serve on the Finance Advisory Committee. He has researched options for a new commercial dishwasher, crafted copper holders for the choir’s bells, aided with the physical expansion and remodeling of the church, effected numerous repairs and routine maintenance on the rectory and church grounds, prepared the griddle and flipped Shrove Sunday pancakes, and grilled burgers at the annual church picnic. For many years, he cut tree branches at his Camano Island property, hauled them to Ascension in his pick-up truck, and led a team that fireproofed the greens and assembled boughs for the greening of the church. In the summer, he has used that same pick-up truck to haul any remaining treasures from Ascension’s annual rummage sale to St. Aidan’s Festival Sale on Camano Island. And all these things are done with generosity, good cheer, and humility.
Bill’s leadership has extended to the Diocese of Olympia as well, where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors under two bishops, and served for nine years as property manager. In his role as Chair of Huston Camp and Conference Center, Bill’s hands-on involvement at the camp earned him the affectionate nickname, “Chainsaw Bill.”
Bill began his service to Christ’s church carrying the Light of Christ in the form of an acolyte’s torch. Seven decades later, he faithfully continues to carry the Light, but now in his hands he holds a paint brush, a can of WD-40, a pancake flipper, or a ledger and pencil. The Kingdom of God is a richer place because of Bill Goodenough. He is a servant-leader deserving of the Bishop’s Cross Award.
In the description for the Bishop’s Cross nominations, the phrase “virtues and graces which God gives to His disciples as those blessings that have been signally illustrated in the lives of these Church people.” This line alone brought one person to mind that would be worthy of this honor and exemplify such virtues – Wanda Manseau from the Church of the Good Shepherd in Federal Way.
Wanda spends her week in tireless service, picking up and distributing Donations, linking businesses in the Federal Way community with resources for our homeless population. She does not just obtain resources for Good Shepherd, but for other churches to prepare daily lunches, Catholic Community Reach Out overnight shelters, and the Federal Way day center as well. She spreads the bounty of her efforts among the many deserving resources, and she is known for her gracious generosity in Federal Way. Wanda faithfully applies and tracks grant processes to help maintain the church’s level of outreach commitment to offset the impact to their annual budget. Wanda has built a servant-leader relationship with numerous churches, social services, and businesses to serve the needs of the community with items that would often be discarded as waste. Many business managers in the area know that Wanda will find unused perishable resources a needed home.
Wanda’s way of building community exemplifies the best of what our society can be, by seeing a need and filling a need for those who have no power to act on their own behalf. Many marginalized by the human condition of homelessness and poverty have no leverage to obtain assistance. Many are dependent on the resources of the community around them for survival. In her daily service to the community, Wanda embodies the values of Christ in that all the materials she collects are blessed, broken, and given in faith for the good of many. The church and the greater community has been blessed by her service and efforts, and the impact on those affected by homelessness is greatly improved with her caring efforts.
No one more admirably qualifies for the Bishop’s Cross Award than Wanda Manseau for her daily walk with Jesus and her work on behalf of the homeless population.