Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Vestry

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” - Acts 1:8

As the church grew in colonial Virginia and new areas were opened for settlement, provision was made that each new county would be divided into parishes. At that time, few clergy were available to assist with church extension so it fell to the people who had settled these new areas to organize the parishes. They organized themselves into ‘vestries’ and then saw to the provision of the church. An area central to the parish, usually near a waterway, was selected for the construction of a church. Early ones were simple wooden structures later replaced by brick buildings. Land was set aside for a farm or “glebe” so that the ‘parson’ or minister could make a living farming the land. The Vestry system grew in Virginia to be the normative leadership of churches. Both the laity and clergy had their own responsibilities and together they cared for the parish. It was a balanced relationship with neither having authority over the other.

Colonial parishes had lay leaders called “wardens” who regularly were called on by the courts to carry out its orders. The parish was responsible for the care of everyone so the wardens saw to care of widows, orphans, and young people who would be apprenticed to learn a trade.

These traditional names and lay leadership continue in Ware Church with the wardens being the lay leaders of the congregation who are assisted by the treasurer and register (secretary). Annually the congregation elects four new people to a rotating group of twelve Vestry members. The Vestry cares for the financial and temporal affairs of the congregation while the clergy care for the spiritual life, educational needs, and the program of the church.

2017 Ware Church Vestry

John GallowayJohn Galloway, Senior Warden (through 2019)
John and his wife Mary joined Ware Church in 2014, shortly after moving to the area from Northern Virginia.  They were married at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, and later transferred to St. James in Mount Vernon.  John retired from his career as an engineer and program manager with the Navy Department in 2008, and then formed his own management consulting firm.  He currently works part-time as an adjunct engineering faculty member at Rappahannock Community College, and is a Board member at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.  John and Mary live in Hartfield, and enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.

George Bains

George Bains, Junior Warden (through 2020)
George grew up in the Episcopal Church and has been a member of 3 Episcopal churches prior to Ware and served on the Vestry in two other parishes and worked on outreach and as a Youth Group Leader. George and Renee live in Gloucester and their 5 children are all married or engaged. George and Renee enjoy visits from their daughters, sons and grandchildren. George was the long time IT Director for Gloucester County and has for the last 5 years been the Assistant Director of IT in Henrico County, Virginia. He has been involved in many volunteer organizations, including Parks & Rec soccer as a coach and referee, 4H camp volunteer leader, Baystars Soccer as a coach and board member, several Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troop 111. George has been involved in Scouting for 49 years and enjoys all aspects of the program including the outdoors, hiking, camping, canoeing and kayaking. He has also been on the Boards of the Gloucester Preservation Foundation and the local chapter of the APVA.

Lee BrownF. Lee Brown, Jr. (through 2020)
Lee was baptized in Ware as an infant and confirmed in Ware as a teenager, and follows his father and grandfather and several uncles on the Ware Vestry. His interests include genealogy and local history.  He manages the Ware Parish Cemetery and helps with the church web site.  After graduate school at UNC in Chapel Hill, Lee was a computer software engineer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for many years before retiring back to the Ware River shore in 2001.

 

Bruce Forsberg Bruce Forsberg (through 2021)
Bruce Forsberg was born and raised in Norfolk where she was a member of old St. Paul’s Church. Bruce   has been a member of Ware Church for 26 years and has been active with the Altar Guild, on the Cemetery Committee, and a Lay Reader.  She was past chairman of the Boards of the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals.

 

Diana JoyceDiana Joyce (through 2019)
Diana and Paul, her husband, joined Ware parish shortly after they arrived in Gloucester. Diana has served in Sunday School, youth activities, lay Eucharist minister, lay reader, and vestry member.

 

 

Virginia Roane Virginia Roane (through 2020)
Virginia is involved in the Ware Church altar guild and music ministry. She is also a cellist in two local orcestras and is a volunteer EMT with the Gloucester Fire & Rescue Squad.

Virginia was baptized at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Carmel, CA., and has been a member of Ware Church since 2011.

 

Kirby Smith Kirby Smith (through 2021)
Kirby was born and raised in "Eastern North Carolina" where he joined and participated in the "Christian Church"- Disciples of Christ. He did not become an Episcopalian until his mid 20's. Upon moving to Gloucester in 1994 he became a member of Ware Church and has participated in a number of activites including Choir and service on the vestry.

He is married to Jane H. Smith and between them they have four children and ten grandchildren.

Smith completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and then graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Hospital Administration. 

He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve after undergraduate school. While serving he qualified and received a Commission in the Medical Service Corps. At the completion of his service he received an Honorable Discharge.

After a career in health care that spanned 39 years he took early retirement and formed his own business- Tidewater Marine Surveyors, Inc.  He is qualified as an Accredited Marine Surveyor and a Certified Marine Investigator.

Newly elected:

Ann Ann Brown (through 2021)

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Stephanie Hanson (through 2019)
Stephanie was born in New London, CT.  Her family attended St. James Episcopal Church where she was baptized and confirmed, along with her four sisters. They sang in the St. Cecilia choir and rang hand bells throughout their school years.  She worked for 31 years as an RN, retired and then moved to Virginia in the early 2000’s, where she joined Ware Church. During her marriage to a Coast Guard officer/pilot, they moved many times. Each time finding instant ‘family’ at the nearest Episcopal Church and serving in each choir. Stephanie has 3 children and seven grandchildren. She has served on the Vestry at St. James in CT, and previously, at Ware.

 

Honorary Vestrymen

  • Hugh C. Dischinger
  • David H. Teagle

 

At Ware, the Vestry, as "shepherds" for the congregation, keep in touch with the members of the parish through visits, telephone calls, and notes.  They can connect members with the clergy, the Prayer Group, the Mission Committee, and other resources as needs are seen.