On Oct. 14, the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese gathered online to recognize their “Women of Honor.” These are women across the diocese who have distinguished themselves through service, leadership and faith. They came together online, led by Bishop French, for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration.
ECW Women of Honor for 2023
Robin Atkins—Christ Church, Woodbury
Robin Atkins, a former school teacher of fifty years, has been an active member of Christ Church, Woodbury, NJ, for many years. She is currently ECW president, having served previously as vice president, and is a lay reader. Robin has also helped with the Altar Guild. Robin is a breast cancer survivor/thriver and spends time at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper-Voorhees, Creative Arts Healing Program, to lend support to breast cancer patients during their healing process. She has also given encouragement and support to a number of women in our parish who have been through breast cancer treatments. In addition, Robin is a member of a “Mrs. Claus” program where she dresses beautifully as Mrs. Claus during the Christmas season, reading stories at libraries and schools; also visits hospitals. We are always amazed at Robin’s energy and creativity. She is always upbeat with a pleasant smile.
Carol Beier—Trinity Church, Cranford
An Episcopalian since being baptized in 1983, Carol Beier has been a member of Trinity Church, Cranford since 2016. Her greatest joy is leading the Altar Guild to prepare for worship. She is known for her creativity in setting up our infamous Taize services. Carol is a Lector and LEM as well as a leader for our online morning prayer. During the pandemic she began the Trinity Women’s Group online, leading monthly discussions of biblical texts. She served on the Liturgical Committee for our 150th Anniversary celebration. Last year Carol took on the role of Financial Secretary. Carol’s faith is a presence in all that she does. Her love of cooking is shared with husband John and daughter Sophie. She has truly been a blessing to us, her church family.
Eliza Biehl – St. John’s Episcopal Church, Little Silver
Eliza, a member since age 11, has devoted her time and talent to God and her church. For several terms of each, Eliza has provided leadership as Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and Vestry member. Three of her numerous Outreach chaired positions have included Family Promise, The Jesse Tree Project (Christmas gifts and clothing for 50+ pre-school children) and Mission Possible (annual fund-raiser for $10,000, divided equally among local, global and the Bishop’s Relief and Development sources). Eliza’s many interests in Evangelism have involved Sunay School, health, hospitality for receptions and funeral repasses and the start of St. John’s Book Club and Prayer Warriors. During COVID’s lockdown, Eliza kept parish children active with her home delivery of Lenten projects. Wherever and whenever there is a need, Eliza is always eager to provide kindness, thoughtfulness and support.
Christine Bobinski—Holy Spirit Church, Tuckerton
Christine Bobinski is very active in both Holy Spirit Church and her community. She is a tireless worker in the gardens in the churchyard. Christine was responsible for creating the Hospitality Room in our Parish Hall where we all enjoy coffee hour and fellowship after church. She also serves as Junior Warden and is responsible for our buildings and grounds. When we are sitting comfortably in church on hot summer days, we can thank Christine for her dedication and efforts in getting the air conditioning problems resolved. Christine, along with her husband Bob, continue to keep our plants and shrubs watered two to three times a week to keep our churchyard beautiful. Our church owes Christine a deep thank you and much gratitude for all her efforts in improving all of our lives. Holy Spirit Church would be a far different place without Christine.
Jeanne Cashel—Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, Beach Haven
Jeanne is super active in our parish! She recently spearheaded our new Kitchen and Martin Hall renovation. She first came to Holy Innocents’ after the 9-11 tragedy when the President called for a National Day of Prayer. Her current church wasn’t having a service, but HIEC was…end of story! Ever since, she has been a pillar of the church. She has been Sunday School Superintendent, Secretary & Treasurer of ECW, the Publisher & Editor of the “Parish Post” (our monthly newsletter), a member of our Altar Guild, a Eucharistic Visitor, Chalice Bearer, Lector, and a member of the Finance Committee. She is currently one of our bookkeepers. She was twice the Editor of Holy Innocents’ Parish pictorial directory. Jeanne is married to Rich Cashel and has a little pup named Bella. Jeanne is faithful, loving, fun, and is always a joy!
Sheila Cooper—Christ Church, New Brunswick
Sheila Cooper is a lifelong Episcopalian and is currently a member of Christ Church, New Brunswick since 1993. She has served in numerous capacities, including as a Sunday School teacher, a Youth Group Leader, a Food Pantry volunteer, a Vestry Member, People’s Warden and Treasurer. Currently, she serves as the Rector’s Warden, is active on the Altar Guild and serves as a lector, usher and Lay Eucharistic Minister. Professionally, Sheila has been an educator for 33 years and works as a K-12 ELA Supervisor for Hillsborough Township Public Schools. She is on the Diocesan Finance and Budget Committee, is chair of the Gift Planning Committee for the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and is a member of the Drew Writing Project School Partnership Committee and Community Committee. Sheila is an enthusiastic and giving member of the Christ Church family and is an example to others in her faithfulness to God.
Barbara Longstreet Cotton—St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Holly
Barbara Longstreet Cotton was baptized some 80 plus years ago at St. Andrew’s. She was married here and has served on the Altar Guild, was a Lector and has been in charge of Lectors, taught a class for Lectors, taught confirmation and Sunday school classes, was a Sunday school superintendent, a Chaplain aide at Virtua, a lay Eucharist minister, helped with special Olympics and volunteers with many ECW functions notably as Emcee of the 50’s Luncheon where she kept the guests in stitches! She volunteers in our church office, among other things, putting information into the cemetery software and inputting all baptized members into a database. You will find Barbara at more bible studies then can be mentioned, in her pew every Saturday night, and if she can’t make Saturday night you will see her at Sunday service. She welcomes anyone new who comes to church and immediately becomes their friend. Her kindness, humor and especially her faith is what stands Barbara apart from others. Barbara exemplifies what Jesus taught LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR! She teaches the Lord’s lessons in the way she lives her life on a daily basis. All of us at St. Andrew’s are proud and honored to call her friend.
Kimberly Rodgers Duck – St. David’s Church, Cranbury
Kim is an exemplary leader and members of Saint David’s parish and the ECW. She started coming to Saint David’s as a child, and her entire family has been very active in the church. Kim has served as leader of our Sunday School Ministry for 17 years, working with J2A 5 years before that, and even when the church was closed due to COVID, she kept the children engaged by setting up “Saturday School” video sessions as well as dropping off treats and books at their homes. Kim arranged special outdoor events including a Thanksgiving donation drive by, Christmas Eve service, an Easter egg hunt, and Summer Movie Night. As head of the Safety Committee, Kim established an active shooter/intruder protocol for the church. She also serves as Human Resources Advisor for the parish, but beyond all these roles, Kim’s greatest contribution is the abundant joy she brings to the children, their families and the congregation.
Nancy A. Garvin—Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Wenonah
Nancy Garvin has been the President of the ECW Chapter at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Wenonah for the past 6 years. She has been a member through her prior church and HTEC for 13 years, serving as Vice-President and President. Nancy was a Sunday school teacher and a nursery aide at Christ Church in Woodbury and the co-coordinator with her husband of Family Promise for HTEC for the past 5 years. She helped her son and his Boy Scout troop revitalize the Memorial Garden at HTEC for his Eagle Project. Nancy works in the computer field and has started a German Shepherd Dog breeding business with her husband as this is their passion. She attends all ECW meetings, makes soups and baked goods for ECW fundraisers and sets up, sells items and boxes up unsold items from the annual ECW Yard Sale for the Vietnam Vets of America.
Salli Gordon—St. Stephen’s Memorial Episcopal Church, Riverside
Salli Gordon was confirmed into the Episcopal Church by Bishop E. Browing in Honolulu in 1984. She has been a member of St. Stephen’s Riverside since 1989. Salli is currently the Junior Warden, Vestry Member, on the Joint Administrative Council, LEM and home Eucharistic Minister. She has and still is very active as an Acolyte, Convention Delegate, Lector, District ECW Secretary, Burlington County Convocation Secretary, Choir member and Director, Convocation Representative liaison for Family Promise, and past coordinator for St. Stephen’s Code Blue. Salli handles the outreach to Riverside Public School for the Backpack Ministry and Gifts for Families at Christmas. She makes sure that all Birthdays in the Congregation get recognized with cards. Salli makes it very known that she enjoys working alongside all others at St. Stephen’s, sharing Christ’s love in the world, and growing in faith. She loves our church, and we love her.
Vivian Hanson—St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Glassboro
Vivian came to St. Thomas’ after her husband John became our deacon and she immediately became actively involved in every aspect of our Parish such as ECW, choir, and fellowship gatherings such as our Black History Month celebration. Near and dear to Vivian is our food distribution ministry, Kitchen of Hope, which she founded and continues to lead spending countless hours coordinating. Vivian strongly believes no one should ever go hungry. With its great success, Kitchen of Hope was named a Diocese Jubilee Ministry. Vivian always demonstrates love of God, family, and church and is most certainly a “Woman of Honor”.
Maxine C. Harvey—Christ The King Episcopal Church, Willingboro
Maxine and her late husband, affectionately known as Roy, joined Christ The King, Willingboro, about 20 years ago transferring from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA. She supports her church by serving as ECW President, a Vestry member, Altar Guild, a Worship Leader, and she communicates church announcements each Sunday. Maxine has been recognized as a consistent supporter of our Youth Ministry, encouraging and providing support to our young adults. She ensures contributions to local non-profit organizations such as: Burlington County Community Action Plan, Catholic Charities, Providence House, Trinity Cathedral, the residents of Doreathea Campbell Senior housing facility, and Exhale Women’s Ministry. Maxine is a member and two term past President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter. She is mother to her daughter Chennita, step-mother to Dina, mother-in-law/love to Leon, and “MOM-MOM” to Kai and Myles.
Phyllis Kata—All Saints Church, Bay Head
Ever faithful, kind and generous, Phyllis Kata has shown her dedication to her faith by attending church each Sunday and Wednesday when possible, and participating in Bible Study and other Adult Education Studies when offered. Her biggest accomplishment was starting and organizing a monthly community meal, Supper With All Saints, (SWAS). On the last Tuesday of the month, Phyllis can be found in the kitchen helping to prepare and cook the supper. More leadership skills were exhibited in the participation of the Diocesan Global Goal Task Force with her husband Ed and fellow parishioner Rick Hager. She and Rick also set up a program on Human Trafficking Awareness which was open to the public. Phyllis has been a member of the Vestry, a discernment committee, and an ERD representative. She has organized Camp Faith Beach Day for the counselors from St Paul’s Camden, collections of items and money for Outreach programs, and pitches in wherever needed. Currently, she is the “Flower Lady” who orders the altar flowers each week and takes care of the dedications. All Saints Church family is honored to honor Phyllis, a valued and beloved Woman of Honor!
Sue Kennedy—Episcopal Church of St. John on the Mountain, Bernardsville
Sue Kennedy is a messenger of God. She has been a faithful member of our parish for over 30 years, supporting the mission of our church through her work with Altar Guild, LEMs, Sunday School, Nursery School, Outreach, Buildings & Grounds, and Vestry, most recently serving as Senior Warden. With grace and compassion, Sue has guided us through challenges like COVID, resignation of clergy, and affiliation with another parish. All aspects of parish life are enriched by her leadership and wisdom. Sue’s devotion to our parish and community is unmatched. No job is too small or dirty for her. When a restroom was overflowing one night, Sue rushed to the Church to clean the mess. She has directly assisted in preventing homelessness for a community member, and even put a stranger’s housing payment on her credit card. Sue’s willingness to serve knows no bounds—she spreads the love of God every day and truly looks out for our church and its members in countless ways large and small.
Sheila King—Trinity Episcopal Church, Vincentown
Sheila has been an active member of our Parish for over 40 years. Recently, she retired after teaching Kindergarten for over 30 years at our local school. She was our Sunday School Superintendent for over 10 years while her 4 children were growing up. Sheila’s devotion to God and interest in supporting our Parish has involved her in ECW activities. She has diligently donated significant time in service in a friendly manner. Our notices have been handwritten with her beautiful calligraphy which she so generously shares. She has been a Lay Reader forever. Sheila still prepares and prints the Church Bulletin for Sundays and other liturgical days. Six years ago, she took on the job as Head Counter after being an assistant counter for church offerings. In addition, she sends out the yearly tax contribution statements. She is serving on the Vestry as she has done many times before. Our flower beds have been beautified for many hours by her work. She has organized many yard clean-up days. Sheila is a gem and a blessing to Trinity!
Margaret Lenhardt—Sts. Stephen & Barnabas Episcopal Church, Florence
Margaret (Marge) Lenhardt has been an Episcopalian for over 25 years, and she has served congregations in a number of roles. Currently, she is the Senior Warden. She is a member of the congregation’s Altar Guild, a faithful member of the weekly Faith Formation group, and has been very active in various outreach efforts including Back-to-School Supply Collection, and collecting pillows for InterFaith Rise. But ultimately, Marge is always willing to step in and help the congregation in any way she can. She currently serves the Diocese of New Jersey as a member of the Nominating Committee. She is a blessing to everyone she encounters, and is deeply loved by her church family.
Eileen Miller—St. John’s, Salem
Eileen Miller our current ECW President and Secretary of the Woodbury Convocation. She is currently the Administrative Assistant for our church but she goes far beyond her work responsibilities. Eileen has been the editor of our monthly newsletter, which is now for all three churches in Salem County, for many years. She is a retired teacher so she is a great help in picking resources for children’s events, such as handouts at Christmas and Easter as well as many other events. She has many computer skills and is not afraid of any layout design. She has organized and ordered for numerous luncheons and special events.
Ginny Miller—Christ Episcopal Church, Palmyra
Ginny Miller is a lifelong Episcopalian having been baptized as an infant in the church. She serves in a range of roles including as a lector, arranging the flowers in the church, and making sure the church looks its best year-round; especially for Christmas and Easter. Recently, Ginny was the driving force in applying for a grant from Episcopal Community Services which helped to launch MINA — Ministry for the Inclusion of Neurodivergence and Autism. She is a faithful attendee of the church’s weekly Faith Formation gathering, and is always willing to lend a hand when help is needed. Most importantly, Ginny is a warm, caring presence to everyone who steps into the church, always making people feel welcome and appreciated. Ginny is a perfect example of someone who truly lives her faith. Christ Church thanks God for Ginny Miller.
Margaret Miller—Church of the Resurrection in Cumberland County
While growing up in Michigan, her adopted Mother had a sampler in her kitchen that read, “Serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with Thanksgiving”. This is how her parents lived their lives, and they were always active in the churches they attended. This is how Margaret chooses to live her life in the Church—to be active. She was grateful to be married to the love of her life, who was the church’s Verger, and he and both of her daughters have served on the Vestry. At the present time, she serves as the Altar Guild Directress, helps with our twice-a-month food pantry, and she keeps track of everyone’s pledges.
Helene Phillips—Christ Church, Toms River
Helene Phillips is a woman that embodies a heart of love and mission. She serves Christ as a Vestry Member, Events Coordinator, Verger, Intercessor, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor and Choir Member. Helene also is a key member of our Healing Ministry, Co-chair of the LGBTQ group, and member of our Beyond the Walls Evangelism and Community Awareness team. If there is something happening at Christ Church, Helene is there to do whatever needs to be done. But she is more than someone who can be counted on when there is work to be done. Helene’s gentle spirit and compassionate soul is a calming and healing presence to all who know her. Helene is truly the hands, feet, and heart of Christ in the world.
Marjorie Pomykala—St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Whiting
Marjorie is a long time member of our Parish. She is a quiet worker that is always there to help. For several years, she has served as the ECW Vice-President, as a member of our Vestry, sings in our choir, worked in our food pantry with her late husband. They donated the angels in our Memorial Garden. Every year, she creates 200 tea bag favors for our ECW English tea fundraiser. In the Atlantic District, she crocheted 100 bags for Holy Trinity, Ocean City for their project with the battered women’s shelter in Atlantic City. Interested in crafts, she has created delightful small angels and mice, custom made to your needs and sold them for a fundraiser. Over many years, these have funded many items in our parish. She is always ready to assist, whether it is cooking, baking, setting tables, serving food, collecting $, helping with any fundraiser, and more. Marge is a joy to know, and is a helpful friend to all.
Monica Pope—Grace-Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mercerville
Monica is a blessing to our Church. Through the decades, since becoming a member when she began a family, Monica has remained faithful to our Church. She has helped weather the storms of change in the Church, in how it functions and in its leadership. Monica was a memorable part of our current minister’s welcome into ministry at Grace-Saint Paul’s. She continued various administrative tasks without hesitation which are vital to our record keeping and function. Monica remains an active member of Girls’ Friendly Society, always ready to share a meaningful story to teach an important message. Her steadfastness in the Episcopal Church Women steadily grows as well. For the last four to five years, she has been Treasurer of the ECW Mercerville and helps gather scholarship applications for our young adults who are in college. Her commitment is something to admire and deserves recognition! We value her as a leader (Vestry member) in our parish and all she willingly supports (Christmas decor & party). Thank you, Monica!
Catherine Sopko—Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mercerville
Catherine Sopko (Cat) first served on the ECW Diocese of NJ Board as our Junior Girl’s Friendly Society (GFS) representative. Cat as a dedicated ECW member and youth leader of the GFS; she sits now on the National Board of GFS USA and serves on our Diocesan ECW Board as Recording Secretary. Cat has served as our social media specialist. She has been an active participant in the General Convention and ECW Triennial in both Salt Lake City and Austin Texas. We admire Cat’s service especially because she joined as a member of the ECW Board as a high school student and continues to serve now while attending Ramapo College of NJ. Cat will graduate in December 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a double minor in HR Management and Crime and Justice Studies. She is truly a blessing!
Holly Toohey—St. James Episcopal Church, Bradley Beach
Holly has been a member of St. James Church since she was a young child attending Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. As she got older, she was a member of the youth group and became the first female acolyte. As one of the most active and dedicated parishioners, she has been on the search committee and yoking committee for our new priest. Currently she is president of St. Martha’s, leader of Altar Guild, Sunday school teacher, and church cleaner. She works all rummage sales, gift auctions, Holiday Bazaars, and any other area of church life. Her children were baptized and confirmed at St. James and her daughter was married here. Holly is most assuredly one of the hardest working women in our church and does it all with a smile.
Fabia Vidal—San Andrés Church, Camden
Fabia has been an active member of our San Andrés Church since 2013. Fabia is unyielding in her faith, spirituality, and fully committed to the church. Fabia has many roles in our church. She is secretary of the Parish Council, a member of the spirituality ministry, the Activities Committee and the San Andrés Choir. She is also a member of the National Episcopal Church Women to help lead future generations with stewardship in Christ. We admire and value her dedication and unconditional love for our church. We recognize that when she commits to any ministry, she gives of herself in body, mind and spirit. Fabia Vidal is a blessing from God for our congregation. We ask God to always fill her with blessings and a long healthy life.
Fabia es miembro activa de nuestra iglesia San Andrés desde el 2013. La consideramos una persona firme en su fe. en su compromiso con la iglesia y de una espiritualidad sólida. Actualmente es secretaria de la Junta Parroquial, forma parte del ministerio de espiritualidad y del comité de actividades y forma parte del Coro de San Andrés. Forma parte de ECW, de las mujeres episcopales. Admiramos y valoramos su entrega y amor incondicional por nuestra iglesia. Reconocemos que cuando ella se compromete con algún ministerio, se entrega en cuerpo, mente y espíritu. Fabia Vidal es una bendición de Dios para nuestra congregaciön. Pedimos a Dios que siempre le llene a ella de bendiciones y larga vida.
Karen Whitmore—St. John’s Church, Somerville
Karen first attended St. John’s in 2008. In 2010 she was received into the Episcopal Church. She joined ECW and has maintained an active role in the group. She assists at fundraising and property activities, has assumed responsibility for the votive candle ministry, and was elected to Vestry. When the property warden passed away, Karen stepped into her role. She served an additional two years as a warden, one more as property warden and one as finance warden. Karen coordinated coffee hour for several years. She chaired the fundraising committee for two years during the pandemic and managed to raise more money than was budgeted. She has volunteered at several church ministries: Meals to Go and Clothes Closet, served on the Task Force for Reopening the Church during the pandemic, utilizing her experience as a Registered Nurse. She currently serves as an usher and Altar Guild member.