Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of New Jersey will recognize the contributions of women across the diocese at its ninth annual Women of Honor event on Oct. 14. You are invited to nominate worthy candidates now through Sept. 15. Register to attend the event itself on Zoom here.
Guests will include Bishop Sally French, ECW representative from Province II to the National Board Jennifer Kenna, Province II ECW President Carolyn Belvin, and Diocesan ECW President Pamela Johnson James have been invited and accepted.
National ECW President Karen Patterson will be the keynote speaker, updating the group on recent and upcoming news from ECW, including the 2024 Triennial Meeting in Louisville.
Every year, hurches in our Diocese have the opportunity to select one woman who exemplifies the qualities of the ministry of ECW and serves as an exceptionally dedicated volunteer in her congregation. More than 300 women have been honored since the award’s inception.
Now it is you turn to act and honor that special woman from your congregation.
Please submit the following information to Stefanie (Rotsaert) Bodine to have your honoree recognized at this event. This information will be read on the day, and included in a booklet to be distributed to honorees after the event. Email the following information in this format to: Stefanie Bodine by Sept. 15.
- Name of honoree:
her telephone number:
Her email address:
Your church and town
- Name of ECW president or person nominating:
Address of person nominating:
Telephone # of person nominating:
email address of person nominating:
- 150 words or less informative piece about the nominee.
Who is Eligible to Nominate?
Names may be submitted by officers of ECW, the Rector/Vicar/Interim Minister/Priest-in-charge/the Deacon, or the Senior Warden (if there is no ECW). This is not a popularity contest, or to be voted on by the membership. If you have any questions, or do not recall if someone has been recognized in the past, please contact the Chair, Stefanie Bodine at (732) 350-2904 or via email.
You may invite your entire church to this zoom event, have a luncheon, a coffee hour on the day, celebrate the next day/week/or month. Go out to dinner, hold a dinner in her honor, provide flowers or more. It is up to you as to how to celebrate this exceptional woman after our zoom event. It is all up to you.
Honorees from the 2021 Event
Margaret Aftanis—Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, Beach Haven
Maggie has been a long-time member of Holy Innocents. Having served on the Vestry, she taught Sunday School, and is now head of our Sunday School. She has worked on the Vacation Bible School and had been the chairwoman of our Auction Dinner from the beginning. She is a true bright light of our church.
Mickey Yvonne Alston—Church of the Resurrection, Bridgeton (formerly St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Bridgeton)
Mickey Alston is a beloved, long-time member of our church. Born and raised an Episcopalian, she attended Sunday School, and Youth Group, where she shared her musical talents as the Sunday School pianist. As a teenager, Mickey taught the preschoolers, including an especially memorable set of twins named Harry and Henry. As an active member of the congregation, she has sung in the choir, played the organ, served as ECW Treasurer, Church Treasurer, and Senior Warden. Mickey was employed in the field of finance and retired from the position of CFO with the Cumberland County Office of Aging. In her retirement, Mickey has become an accomplished Master Gardener. In addition, she enjoys music, sewing, and quilting. She is an active volunteer with our Parish Food Pantry. Mickey is deeply committed to the life of the spirit, and she relies on re-setting her inner calm and refocusing on the important things in life through her prayers.
Canon Barbara Okamoto Bach—St. Paul’s Church, Westfield
Canon Barbara Okamoto Bach is an outstanding Episcopal woman who serves in many ways. At St. Paul’s Church, Westfield, she is a Lay Eucharistic Minister, usher, handbell musician, delegate to Diocesan convention and to the Northern Convocation, Vestry member, outreach organizer, memorial garden caretaker, soup kitchen volunteer, and book group leader. She has served the Diocese on Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Cathedral Chapter, and Environmental Committee, and as a deputy to the 79th and 80th General Conventions. Barbie is the Vice Chair of the Diocesan deputation to General Convention and on the Deputies of Color Steering Committee. She has been a member of the Anti-Racism Commission for 26 years and serves as an anti-racism trainer, workshop facilitator, and co-convener of the Diocesan Reparations Task Force. She has served on the Conservancy Council of the New Jersey chapter of The Nature Conservancy for the past five years. She’d love to tell you about her family’s four generation history in the Episcopal Church!
Charleen Mary Baker—St. Stephen’s Memorial Church, Riverside
Charleen is a “Cradle Episcopalian”, having started her Episcopal life at Trinity Church in Delran, with her parents–Charlotte and Glenn Baker, and her sister Adele. The family transferred to St. Stephen’s in Riverside when she was 14 years old. Charleen graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Doctorate in plant science. Her new title and job took her to various places where she was always active in the local Episcopal Church–The Church of the Holy Spirit in St. Paul, MN; St. Mary’s Church in Athens, GA; St. Paul’s Church in Brookings, SD; and St. Mark’s Church in Berkeley, CA. In June 2001, she moved to Collingswood, NJ to take a job in Philadelphia where she became a member of Holy Trinity Church where she was on the Vestry, and active in social things like “dinners”. Next, she moved to Florida where she attended the Church of the Holy Spirit in Apopka, and then St. Paul’s Church in Salem, OR. In both churches, Charleen continued her involvement in the social activities of the church. In 2011, she moved to Cinnaminson to help her Mother, Charlotte (whose name most of you will recognize as having served on the Diocesan ECW Board as Secretary for many years). Charleen is very active at St. Stephen’s as the Welcoming “Committee” of one to new members and visitors, always presenting them with a nice gift. She maintains our Directory, sends cards–birthday, sympathy, get well, and thinking of you–using her own money and stamps; and she has served on our Vestry. Charleen is a member of the Altar Guild, as well as taking over the responsibility of the UTO collection which was formerly handled by her Mother. We are blessed to have her with us.
Helen Elizabeth Brown Baylock—Christ the King Episcopal Church, Willingboro
Deeply grounded in her faith, Helen Baylock joined the fellowship of our church in the fall of 1994. She hails from a family of ministers and evangelists from whom she learned and developed her love of God, our savior Jesus Christ, and service to her church. At an early age, her love of all things beautiful developed thanks to her mother. She has an incredible ability to create something beautiful out of what appears to be nothing. Her talents include crafts and creating beauty. As Chair of our Beautification Committee, she changed the entrance to our church, memorial garden, and parking lot through identifying signage. The gardens have blossomed and been revitalized thanks to her team of “jolly, green-thumbed experts”. This has created a serene space for prayer and reflection. Helen lends her talents to everyone at church by decorating for all occasions. She strongly believes in servant leadership. lending her skills and knowledge to many of the ministries of our church–Vestry, Altar Guild, Gospel Choir, Communication Committee, and of course the Beautification Committee. The local Senior Citizen complex receives her expertise with gifts and carols during the Christmas season. Her efforts include our annual Mum sale, coordinating our Black History Month celebration, fashion shows, and support of the youth events, bible study, blessing of the animals and more. Helen’s creative skills help ECW through two major fundraisers that support community outreach for women and children. Our ECW is so proud of their Women of the Year.
Marcia Bower—St. Johns, Somerville
Marcia Bower has been a member of St. John’s for 26 years, where she was confirmed and immediately started attending ECW. She has served as recording secretary, treasurer and the Christmas Bazaar chair. She helps and supports all ECW fundraisers including dinners, teas, selling homemade soups, and so on. Marcia is a former member of the Vestry. She was a charter member of the board for From the Heart Thrift Shop for 13 years. She worked tirelessly sorting and folding clothes and was always there for sale day. She is currently president of the Mary Martha Guild and the Red Door Ministry. Marcia is an avid reader and loves to play games and cards with friends and grandchildren. She sorely misses our church, family and friends during this prolonged isolation due to the coronavirus.
BetteAnn Burr—Trinity Church, Vincentown
BetteAnn and her husband became members of our church in 2007. She quickly joined in many activities showing her love for God and the church. Joyfully, she participated in the choir, joined the hand-bell ringers ensemble when needed, and taught the Sunday School children to play the hand-bells. She participated in the children’s Puppet Ministry nicknamed the “Pisco Pups”. The Sunday School dwindled and unfortunately the children’s activities disbanded. Currently, BetteAnn serves as the Church Treasurer (7 years), Vestry member (8 years), soloist on special occasions, active ECW member, and she holds the important position of Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM). Our two LEM’s lead the Morning Prayer Service twice a month when our part-time supply priest is serving elsewhere. During the service, Bette Ann presents “Meditations” in place of the sermon. Often parishioners are deeply moved (joyfully or tearfully) by her presentation. If you telephone the Burr’s house, BetteAnn’s voice is heard on their answering machine saying: “Have a blessed day.”
Dorothy (Dot) Canary—St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Metuchen
Dot has been a member of St. Luke’s for 91 years, all her life. She continues to be active in the Ladies Who Tie Knots, an outreach ministry of our church. She also volunteers for the annual Christmas Fair. And she is a regular attendee at the Ladies Luncheon. Her faithfulness to Christ and her love for St. Luke’s is evident in all that she does. She is most deserving of this honor.
Jennifer D. Couthen—St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Atlantic City
Jennifer Couthen is a life-long member of St. Augustine’s Church. She was baptized and confirmed in our church and has been a faithful steward. Over many years, she has taught Sunday school, organized and supervised many years of Vacation Bible School, and has served on the Vestry (she currently serves as Junior Warden). Her family has planned and cooked for several celebrations at St. Augustine’s and, in the last few years, has prepared and helped to serve a post-Thanksgiving feast for the community. As an ECW member and, most recently, secretary, Jennifer has participated in and supported every ECW project. Wherever there is an opportunity to serve the church, Jennifer is faithfully in attendance. She prepares the weekly bulletin and makes herself available to open the church for funerals and special occasions. Our nominee, Jennifer Couthen, is a willing worker and faithful servant of the church.
Naomi Cressman—St. Mary’s, Haddon Heights
Naomi Cressman has been a faithful and dedicated member of St. Mary’s, Haddon Heights for more than 60 years. Naomi, who never wants to be in the spotlight has always worked hard in supporting and encouraging many ministries. Her personal ministry within the ECW is the UTO and she has spearheaded the parish collection each year. She keeps the parish connected on both the Camden District and Diocesan levels. Her personal passion is pastoral care. She reaches out to the shut ins, the ill and those who have been missing from the parish family with frequent cards and phone calls. This was vital during the lockdown. She also does home Eucharistic visitations as often as possible. For decades, she also encouraged St. Mary’s to support the mission of The Good Samaritan Center in Camden by organizing fundraisers and collecting food and clothing for the most vulnerable. The Vestry is proud to nominate her as a Woman of Honor.
Kathy DeAngelis—Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, South River
Kathy De Angelis has served faithfully and joyfully as the Directrix of the Altar Guild for many years, as a member of Hooks & Needles, (knitting ministry), and more recently as a Lector and Prayer Leader. In addition, she regularly volunteers to maintain the grounds, getting down on her hands and knees to weed. She regularly participates and contributes to a variety of fellowship events and Bible studies. Leading by example, her candor, humor, warmth, and above all her commitment to her Savior Jesus Christ is evident.
Deanna Emerson—St. David’s Church, Cranbury
Deanna and her husband Larry joined our church over two decades ago. Since 1997, she has immersed herself in the life of our church and grown as a caring individual, who, over time, has taken on a mantle of leadership with grace and humility. With her background in health science, Deanna was part of our plans for improving health and safety at church, and how better to protect ourselves. For six years, Deanna chaired our Annual Spring Women’s Tea event. And, along with our then Senior Warden Carol Rodgers, she was part of the essential fundraising for our ministries, she organized the festive luncheon for the grand 50th Anniversary celebration. As the devoted Senior Warden, Deanna presided over the retirement celebration of our long-serving Rector, the Reverend Karin R. Mitchell. She is also guiding the lengthy search process for Karin’s successor. Deanna has her own style of leadership. She likes to gather people and listen. Unlike many other parish leaders, she is slow to take action until she has first heard from everyone and searched out the wisdom of those involved. Deanna has been an ongoing source of encouragement for parishioners, continually emailing and sending cards, or little gifts to acknowledge special occasions. Her strength and ministry is through her reaching out to others in such a humble way. No one could have ever imagined the effect a global pandemic would have on a small church in New Jersey. Yet, in the midst of a rector search, she took on the coordination of creating a technology team for remote worship, new technology, and the budget challenges of an empty building. As we prepared to renew in-person worship under COVID restrictions, Deanna assembled a team to guide a safe re-opening. With her usual optimism and wonderful smile, she has undauntingly held us together. As a “gatherer, Deanna has brought the best out of us, quelled our differences, and persevered in each challenge we have faced. The epitome of lay leadership, no one could have been more appropriate for this challenge, or more graceful. Truly, for us, she has been and is “a woman for all seasons”.
Susan Espenshade—St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Holly
Sue has been a member of our parish since 1965. She was a Sunday School Teacher from 1966 through the 1990’s. In 2020, she brought our Sunday School back to life via Zoom. Sue traveled each week to the children’s homes to deliver the materials for their project for the week. She was our Altar Guild Director for 10 years. Sue served as the Secretary of the Diocesan Anti-Racism Commission for 15 years, where she continues to serve as a member but no longer is their secretary. Currently, she serves as the Secretary of the Vestry. Recently, she was elected to the Bishop’s Commission which is like a Vestry for the Diocese. Sue loves people, is very active in our ECW, always there to volunteer and help with any project. Sue is the model of a caring Christian Woman and a deserving nominee.
Allene Ferrell—Christ Church, Woodbury
Allene Ferrell is a long-standing member of our Parish. She has been the Directress of the Altar Guild for 8 years. It is a pleasure to work with Allene as she has taken the responsibility seriously. Allene will answer any questions regarding the steps of preparing our Altar for Sunday services and special Holy Days. She directs the members of the Guild in making the preparations for the Church services by adorning the Altar with proper linens, fresh candles, and beautiful flowers weekly. During the last year, Allene had COVID, along with her Mother, whom she cared for, but she still continued to keep the Altar and Church decorated. Sometimes she worked by herself, or with a few people to assist her. Allene loves her Church and you can see it through the beauty of our Altar and our Church.
Barbara Frake – St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Burlington
Barbara Frake offers a steadfast and admirable dedication to our church and its congregation. Her contributions are many, and always rendered in a selfless and generous way. Barbara serves on our Altar Guild, preparing the Altar, handling our holy items and relies with reverence and devotion to God. She also participates in workshop as a Lay Reader, Crucifer, and Server. In addition, she manages many of our electronic media initiatives, coordinates building and churchyard clean-up events, represents our Parish for numerous community outreach projects, including being highly involved in our Ladle of Love food pantry. Barbara aided in the plan to reopen our doors to parishioners for a safe return to in-person worship. Most notable, she has led the tremendous effort of our Guild House renovations while the building was closed in 2020. In every way, Barbara goes above and beyond to identify, and take action to see the various needs of our community. She is an exceptionally devoted volunteer and a beloved member of our parish family.
Canon Donna Freidel—St. Thomas, Glassboro
Donna is a life-long Episcopalian. She and her family have been members of our church since 2001 where she has been actively involved in every aspect of our Parish. She serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM), sings in the choir, leads formation classes, participates with Kitchen of Hope, and Family Promise, as well as many other church activities. Donna even finds time to snap photos for our Facebook page! Her commitment to the Diocese is unparalleled. She serves as President of both the Diocesan and District ECWs. Donna serves on the Diocesan Council and was elected at the 237th Diocesan Convention to the Standing Committee and the Finance and Budget Committee. Fondly, she recounts ECW memories of her Mom. She serves on other Diocesan Committees, and she is also active in her community through the Lions Club. Donna always demonstrates her love of God, family, and church, and is most certainly a “Women of Honor”.
Bonnie Gentesse – Trinity Church, Cranford
Bonnie became an Episcopalian at the age of 6. It’s hard not to see her without a clipboard at that age, engaging others to take part in various activities with a warm smile and a big heart. A marriage for 54 years to Joe (with 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren), together with her God, Faith, and Church have made for a blessed life for Bonnie. She is a warm and welcoming retired kindergarten teacher who can bake, organize, and offer guidance and comfort. Her roles include hospice volunteer, Lay Eucharist Minister and Coordinator, Lector, Altar Guild member, ECW Treasurer, and Stephen Minister. Our annual “Breakfast with Santa” event has been a success for 15 years under her leadership. She is a delight to all who know her and our honor to nominate her.
Jackie Goedesky – St. James’ Episcopal Church, Edison
Jackie has been a member of our Parish for over 40 years. She began our food ministry, with a hesitant approval from our Priest. Hands of Hope, started with 10 families, and now serves over 150 families. Because of her proficiency in getting so many different projects funded, she helped not only the food pantry, but she also benefited the church. Jackie sings in the choir, serves on the Altar Guild, and does whatever needs doing. She is very persuasive in getting things done.
Inice Hennessey – St. Thomas, Red Bank
Inice Hennessy has been an active member of our church for more than 40 years following in the footsteps of her mother, Inice Shomo, and other church elders. She is an active member of the St. Monica’s ECW, an acolyte for the past 15 years, the sexton for many years, an usher, and has worked with the youth commission. Inice is a multi-term Vestrywoman. She has represented the church at the Diocesan Conventions, and the Monmouth Convocations. In the community, Inice has been a Lunch Break volunteer since it began, (and Heart to Hand Awardee) for more than 30 years, and currently serves as the clothing coordinator. She is a member of the NJ Social Justice Remembrance Coalition, Eatontown, NJ, and Friends of Cedar View Cemetery, a historical African American Cemetery located in Lincroft, NJ. The following quote from Iyania Vanzant ‘ “God is life. God is spirit. God is mind. God is the only power that is in control of life, spirit, and mind.” guide Inice.
Sarah Hockings—Trinity Church, Princeton
With profound gratitude, Trinity Church nominates Sarah Hockings for the 2021 Women of Honor award. As Trinity’s longtime archivist, Sarah has meticulously maintained the records of our past as well as the oral histories that accompany the material artifacts of our parish. The work of research and records has been an integral part of Sarah’s life. She retired from the Philadelphia office of the FMC Corporation, a manufacturer of heavy equipment and agricultural chemicals, where she helped the company’s researchers locate scientific information relating to their work. She has also served the Diocese of New Jersey as Treasurer of the Diocesan Altar Guild, as well as the community of archivists on a national level as the Treasurer of the Society of American Archivists. As Sarah passes her knowledge of Trinity’s history to the next generation, including members of our youth group, we honor her as the keeper of our heritage for the sake of our future.
Elaine Horneff—St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Camden
Elaine has been a bedrock of St. Paul’s ever since her family joined the parish in September of 1950. She has been extremely active in our collective life, serving as Senior Warden, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. Her work on the Altar Guild has been outstanding and she has been one of the most faithful attendees of our early morning Eucharist, as well as daily morning prayer throughout the pandemic. Most importantly, she has seen the community through many changes, from a time of relative prosperity to a time of hardship into its present phase of revitalization. She has also seen many changes in leadership and focus for her parish, into a period of active engagement with the needs of the community. Throughout, she has been the voice of support for the underprivileged and has given herself to the work of the parish toward the marginalized. Her work and ministry are exemplary.
Joy Kubilewicz—St. Elisabeth ‘s Chapel By-The-Sea, Ortley Beach
Joy joined our Parish in 2011. She has been an asset to the Chapel in so many ways from volunteering as an usher; then an acolyte, maintaining the acolyte schedule and becoming a licensed Eucharistic Visitor., elected to the Board of Trustees in 2012, and then elected as Treasurer soon after that keeping our books and records impeccably. Joy is the best Treasurer we have ever had! After Superstorm Sandy destroyed our Chapel, she joined the Restoration Committee in decision making, obtained permits, worked with the insurance company, and did anything else that needed to be done. Joy is the first person to volunteer in our fundraising projects, cleaning the garden, putting up decorations, taking them down, and putting them away. In her “spare time”, she is a Hospice Volunteer. enjoys taking long walks with her husband and their dog along the Bay, enjoys water sports, pickleball, and never sits still. Joy is an outstanding woman deserving of this honor. We are thankful that she has provided us with such compassion and love for our Chapel.
Lydia Kugler—Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mercerville
Lydia Kugler exemplifies service in the Church. While she has been a long-standing member and organizer for ECW here at Grace-St. Paul’s, she also faithfully assists the Altar Guild. Most people become comfortable in their usual roles, Lydia continues to engage in areas that are new to her for the benefit of our liturgy and the work of the Church, solidifying her position as a ‘pillar’ of our faithful community. Just a few weeks ago, Lydia offered to become one of our two newest Crucifer-Server for services. As she does in all her work, she engages with a sincere depth of intentionality knowing its value. Her passion for serving stretches to the community as well. Shortly after announcing we would hold a “Blessing of the Backpack” service, Lydia readily reached out to initiate a collection of school supplies for the local public school, which was met with speedy success. Lydia is a dedicated member and leader of the Girl’s Friendly Society, and serves on the Diocesan ECW Board as Trenton/Mercer District President, and as Chair of the Student Service Award Committee. We value Lydia’s service – in numerous ways—within our church, admire her constant service outside the church, and look to her as an example of life in the Christian faith.
Ashley Maddison—Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Wenonah
Ashley was raised in the Diocese of New Jersey and has been an active member of several churches throughout her life. Currently, she attends Holy Trinity, Wenonah, where she assists with social media and outreach. She has also served on the Diocesan Standing Committee several years. Ashley also serves in her professional life as an attorney embedded in the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers & Rutgers Law School through the Camden Medical-legal Partnership. Ashley provides direct legal services, deepens collaboration among providers, and advocates for systems change for people who have complex medical, legal, and social needs in South Jersey. She loves being able to share her expertise with the Diocese, and connecting churches to opportunities to participate in God’s ongoing work in NJ. She and her spouse, the Rev. Ben Maddison, also give back at home by caring for foster children, they have been honored to share their home with four children.
The Rev. Sally B. Maurer, Deacon—St. John’s Salem and St. George’s, Pennsville
A cradle Episcopalian, Sally participated in everything related to Church since a very young age. At fifteen, her piano teacher switched her to organ lessons. Soon thereafter, she started playing at St. Luke’s, Woodstown. At eighteen, she enlisted in the USAF. By twenty-one, she was busy being a mom, attending the local community college and working. She continued her organist career at St Luke’s, having also played in military chapels all over the world. She had an opportunity to attend a Cursillo Weekend sponsored by NJ. On the first evening, they met outside to walk the Stations of the Cross. Using ‘Everyman’s Way of the Cross’, Jesus called Sally ‘MY OTHER SELF’. She’d never thought about that. It was transformative! Feeling called to the diaconate, she purchased many ‘required books’ confirming her calling but life went on. She had a third child. She became a Nurse Practitioner. For the past twenty years, she has served her community by providing primary care to mostly homebound elderly patients. Her organist career took her to Good Shepherd, Pitman. Sally shares, “You know how God puts things right in your lap? And if you don’t see the first time, He keeps trying?” She was ordained May 5, 2012. Deacon Sally has been a part of St. John’s since June 2012. Sally has gone above and beyond her calling as Deacon to oversee many new and revitalized outreach programs. She initiated Ashes to Go, Tenebrae, and Stations of the Cross. Sally served as president of the Salem Ministerium and encouraged cooperation between the churches in Salem. At St. John’s, Sally has developed and supported many outreach opportunities for women, children, and families, including Santa’s Secret Shop: Backpacks for 8th grade students; Valentine’s Dinner, Soles 4 Souls; Nets 4 Life and many others. During COVID, she came up with ideas for VBS 2 Go, Dinner Theater, and Easter Egg distribution. She fills any roles needed, with grace, patience, joy and love. Sally has a gift for service and includes many parishioners in her projects. Deacon Sally currently serves at St. John’s Salem and St. George’s, Pennsville.
Canon Karen Oliver Moore—Grace Church, Plainfield
Canon Karen Oliver Moore is an outstanding Episcopal woman of our diocese, who excels in many areas of service. She teaches African American Literature at Rutgers Newark. She retired from Prudential Financial, Inc. as Vice President of Global Communications. She currently is Senior Warden at Grace Church Plainfield; Board President of Plainfield Community Outreach; Board President at Queen City Academy Charter School; Board President at Leadership Newark; Board Vice President at Homefirst Housing and Family Services; and in the Diocese of New Jersey, she is co-chair of the Urban Revitalization Task Force, and a member of the Diocesan Council, the Anti-Racism Commission, the Discerning Our Common Call Task Force, the Committee on the Diaconate and the School for Ministry Advisory Board. Karen has a BA from Howard University and an MA from Rutgers. It is an honor and privilege to name her as one of our 2021 Women of Honor.
Phyllis Mroz—Grace Church Merchantville
Phyllis Mroz has been an exemplary member of Grace Church for over 40 years. She has accepted positions of responsibility large and small, including serving as President and now Treasurer of Grace Church ECW for several years; a member of the Vestry, a Sunday School teacher; coffee hour coordinator; headed the fall fair and many church dinners; and Altar Guild, including managing the flower and wine and wafer memorial and thanksgiving donations. Phyllis also started the Grace Church prayer group, which has evolved into a multi format ministry accommodating people who want to be informed on paper, by telephone, email and even texting. For many years, Phyllis also sent hundreds of greeting cards to let the Grace Church family know they are remembered on happy occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries and in times of sadness and concern. Phyllis Mroz is truly the soul of Grace Church.
Joan Munyon—Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Wenonah
Joan Munyon is the Secretary of the ECW Chapter at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Wenonah, the town where she resides. She has been a member for over 40+ years. She was a part-time emergency nurse and is a current part-time cardiac nurse. She likes skiing, biking, traveling, knitting, gardening and sewing. She has been involved in building the terrace, laying the brick border for the parking lot, planted trees and shrubs and designed and helped build the Memorial Garden. She is an Alter Guild member for 20 years and created 8 banners. She has served on the Vestry and is a morning driver for Family Promise when HTEC is hosting. She attends all ECW meetings and takes meticulous, hand written minute notes, chairs the Blankets and Tools Campaign and finds beautiful religious passages and stories to read as we close our meetings. She is a blessing to have as an HTEC member and an ECW member.
Maureen O’Keefe—St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Waretown
Maureen has been a member of our church for 39 years. She has been a member of the Bible Study group for over 20 years, former ECW President, member of the Order of St. Luke, a healing ministry, thrift shop volunteer, and the Directress of the Altar Guild. She loves her church. And it has been a big part of her life. It is where she met her husband, and they just celebrated their fourteenth anniversary. Maureen has one son. and he and his wife have 4 children–a 17-year-old grandson, and 9-year-old triplets (two boys and one girl). Recently, she retired after 37 years at the Shop-Rite in Lacey. Maureen is surprised and blessed to be selected for this honor. Her comment: “Life is good!”.
Linda Rizzo—St. John’s Church, Little Silver
Linda has led our ECW for many years, served on the Vestry, in our choir, as a money counter, coordinator of hospitality, and a Prayer Warrior. As our ECW Leader, she has guided our church’s efforts in outreach, evangelism, and supported our members. She has directed endeavors in our local community to assist with food, clothing, baby supplies, and backpack drives. Beyond the local area, she has worked with Seamen’s Institute and Putting Prayers to Action. Linda has been innovative in showing videos of Biblical stories which informed and entertained. She has reached out to connect various community organizations to enable coordination to help even more people. Linda is always ready to assist someone and is tireless in her devotion to causes. Her faithfulness is a wonderful example to our younger members and her work is done in the spirit of Jesus.
Jane Rowe—St. James Episcopal Church, Bradley Beach
Jane is a dedicated wife to John, and a loving mother to Beth, Debbi, Johnny, and Chris. She has been a member of our church since 1962. In addition, she was a schoolteacher for 27 years. Jane joined our women’s group, St. Martha’s. 12 years ago. She has served as our Treasurer for the past 10 years. A hard worker, she has been involved in all of our fundraisers, rummage sales, craft fairs, and she co-chaired our Country Fair for the past 2 years. Jane is a charitable Christian with an amazing faith and work ethic. We are so proud to nominate her as our Woman of Honor. Jane is an example to all of us, and we thank her for her love of our Church and all her hard work.
Valerie Schauer—All Saints Memorial Church, Navesink
Valerie was born in Red Bank, christened, and confirmed by Bishop Banyard at St. George’s, Rumson. While at St. George’s, Valerie was a member of the Choir for 9 years. In 1956, Valerie was married at All Saints’ Church, Navesink, where she became a member with her 4 children, who were baptized, and attended Sunday School. In 1975, Valerie became a member of the Altar Guild, subsequently becoming the Head of the Guild, and retiring in 2019. She has been on the Board of the “Stone Church Players”, All Saints’ Theatrical Group, for 21 years, performing in several of their plays. Valerie’s other activities include: the Annual Auction, being a LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister), LEV, and Usher. Since the All-Saints’ ECW reactivated in 2007, Valerie became our official ECW Chaplain where she opens every meeting with a prayer. It is our delight to nominate Valerie Ann Schauer for this honor.
Mary Storey—St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Whiting
Mary is a life-long Episcopalian and a longtime member of our Parish. She is very efficient as our ECW Secretary and Sunshine Chair. At our 8AM Service, she serves as an Usher every week, and occasionally as a Lector. And after the service, she is active in her Altar Guild responsibilities. As an active ECW Member, she is always ready to help with any event–whether it is making sandwiches, or other food items, or helping us as a reader such as at World Day of Prayer. Mary willingly helps others by collecting clothes and items with her husband ‘s help for the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, shopping for or driving our other church members who live in her same senior living housing. Whenever she is able, she also joins our church services and Bible Studies at the Pines. Recently, she received the Sakin-Paul Award from our Parish. It is given yearly to a member of the Parish in recognition of their ministry and example to the whole church through their selfless giving of time, talent, and treasure in the life of the Christian Community and as keeping with the examples of the Rev. Sakin, and Rev. Paul who the award is named after. Mary joyfully shares with the Lord.
Barbara Tuzio All Saints, Bay Head
Barbara is a long-time loyal member of All Saints, Bay Head, faithfully serving in church ministries her entire life. She is the current President of our Women’s Guild (ECW), and has emphasized: fellowship, prayer, and in-reach, as an important part of our programs. Barbara is very active in many other church activities: serving as a member of the choir, a lay reader, and one of the fantastic cooks for our once a month outreach All Saints’ dinners. She has served previously on our discernment committee and helped with our church school. Hospitality is one of Barbara’s many strengths. She welcomes a craft group to her home, weekly in the fall, to make Christmas ornaments for our St. Nicholas Bazaar. These sessions are always followed by her famous tea and dessert. When Barbara is not involved with her church activities, she is kept busy by her loving family, and her fondness for quilting. During the past year of this pandemic, when our church building was closed, Barbara has kept our Women’s Guild together with her thoughtful correspondence and zoom meetings. Barbara is one of our dedicated saints at this church. She always gives of herself to others. And she is most deserving of this ECW honor.
Louise Wagner—The Church of the Holy Spirit, Tuckerton
Louise has been an invaluable member of our church since joining us in 2015 after moving here from Virginia. She was a Middle School Teacher in Pennsylvania for 35 years. Next, she moved to Virginia where she started a four-year course on Education for the Ministry from the School of Theology at the University of the South which she completed in Toms River. Louise has become a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM), a lay reader, and a member of the Vestry. During Lent, she led Stations of the Cross. Every Wednesday she teaches a Bible Study. Each month, we host free dinners for the community, and Louise hosts one all by herself. Louise has been President of our ECW for four years.
Diane Wall—Church of the Good Shepherd, Pitman
Diane has been an active member of The Church of the Good Shepherd for over 20 years and is ALWAYS that woman who helps whenever asked…she steps up and answers the call, whether the call comes from her priest, fellow parishioners, friends or family. Over the years, Diane has faithfully served on the Vestry, pioneered the columbarium project, taught Sunday School, sings in choir, oversees the scholarship committee, creation care committee, serves on the endowment committee, leads the Women at the Well, volunteers at the Pitman Food Pantry and so much more. We are blessed to have Diane as part of our church family and thrilled that she is being honored today. May she always know how many lives she has touched and how grateful her fellow parishioners are that she shares her gifts so willingly and with grace.
Ellen Wanser—Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Trenton
Ellen Wanser, a lifelong Episcopalian visited Trinity Episcopal Cathedral a little over three years ago (2019) and stated that “she had not been to church in a while.” The congregation encouraged her to return and after that visit she stated that she had “found a new home.” She began to volunteer as the “sous-chef” for the Loaves and Fishes Friday Luncheon Program. During early spring in 2020 Fishes and Loaves closed due to Covid 19. Later in the year, Ellen became the Director of Trinity’s Food Pantry. Since this time, she has taken our “Food Pantry” to another level by creating relationships with local farmers who donate organic vegetables and eggs.
She has a resolute team of community and church volunteers. And yes, she is now in the process of talking with “social workers” from various nonprofits to provide resources to our food bank participants. Since mid-late spring of 2020 to late summer of 2021, the food pantry has been open two times a month during Covid19 feeding an average of 140 families. GOD has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with…
Kathy Waugh—Grace Episcopal Church, Pemberton
Kathy was our Warden in 2017, when our priest resigned. Immediately, she handled the many duties of our Parish and kept things running smoothly. She was able to schedule other Priests to fill in while we were without one. Kathy worked closely with the Diocese ensuring that the needs of our Parishioners were met. In 2018, she helped to secure an Interim Priest who served for one year. In collaboration with St. Martin’s, we searched for a Priest-in-Charge. Kathy spearheaded all of our communication before the Pandemic held up our plans. She set up a call system to keep our Parishioners in touch during this difficult time. We were happy and pleased to welcome Kyle Cuperwich who was ordained in December 2020. Kathy remains active at the helm making sure that everything runs smoothly. This extended time without a Priest would not have gone as well as it did without Kathy’s expertise and continued support. We are truly blessed to have Kathy.
Claudine Wynter—St. Elizabeth’s Church, Elizabeth
Claudine Wynter has been a member of St. Elizabeth’s Church for 30 years of which she has served as ECW President for 10. She serves on the Vestry and is the Parish Treasurer for 12 years. Because of her suggestion we now have an ECW Sunday where we host the readings and worship every 2nd Sunday including meditation of which she is a tremendous prayer warrior. Claudine exemplifies the very embodiment of the ECW as she is always willing and ready to participate with all activities and offers good suggestions for new events. It is with great pleasure we nominate Claudine Wynter.