2024 Elected Vestry Members

SENIOR WARDEN - class of 2027

Brian Edwards

Brian was raised Roman Catholic, but he came to the Episcopal church during college when he met his (now) wife, Heather. He grew up in southern Illinois, Houston and California before moving to Washington in 2004. Holding a Master's in clinical psychology and a JD from Seattle University, Brian works as a family law attorney (joking that it is the oldest Anglican profession). When not working Brian is frequently chasing his two kids (Wilson and Felicity) these days, but he still tries to volunteer when he can. Some of his favorite volunteer opportunities are Seattle Humane Society where he and Heather cared for cats for years. He has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for underserved children who find themselves in the court system.

junior warden - class of 2027

Todd Henderson

Previously a parishioner at St. John’s in West Seattle, Greg Daniel and his wife Theresa joined the Church of the Ascension once the West Seattle Bridge closed (having moved to Magnolia a month prior.) Not raised an Episcopalian, Greg was drawn to the church by the sense of love, compassion, openness, and community, and considers his faith journey a continual work in progress. Greg oversees the global information technology operations for a large NGO which works in 72 countries. He is experienced in implementing large scale systems, tools, and processes in challenging work conditions and even more challenging governmental regulations. As part of a work fellowship, Greg created an Enterprise Safety program and created an IT remote workforce enablement program (Virtual by Design) which was prescient as we entered pandemic lockdowns. In his free time, Greg likes to spend as much time outside as he can fly-fishing or doing something tangible like flipping a wrench on older cars.

Randy hardy - class of 2027

Randy Hardy

Randy Hardy was the son of a career naval officer and, as such, lived in many different locations, and was exposed to many different Protestant religions, growing up. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1966, spent most of the next 10 years in the Navy on deployments to East Asia and obtaining a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington. He left the Navy in 1976, moved to Seattle and started a second career in the Northwest electric utility industry, including 13 years as CEO of Seattle City Light and the Bonneville Power Administration. He has been a practicing Episcopalian since his marriage to Jane in 1974 and a regular member of Ascension for the last several years. With one brief exception he and Jane have lived in Magnolia since 1988. He enjoys participating in community activities and particularly admires the variety of Ascension’s community outreach/assistance efforts as part of its Christian mission.

Vestry Class of 2027

Byron McMullen

Byron McMullen grew up in the northwest in Lake Tapps, Washington, and was raised in the Lutheran Church. After moving up to Seattle while attending the University of Washington, he met his future wife Kimberly McMullen née Todd, and began a career in software. Byron transitioned to management, where he finds greater fulfillment in helping his team flourish and develop their careers. In his free time, he plays with his son Calvin, studies Japanese, or runs several tabletop roleplaying groups after falling in love with the hobby a decade ago. He finds the theology of the lessons and church to be the most enriching to his faith, as he loves to gain an even deeper understanding of God's message.

Marisa Jennings

Marisa Jennings graduated from Bryant University in Rhode Island with a degree in Accounting and obtained her CPA license while working with Arthur Andersen & Company. Prior to retiring, she held senior management positions with Hewlett-Packard Company, Agilent Technologies, and salesforce.com. Marisa became a member of Church of the Ascension shortly after she and her husband Joe moved to Seattle from the California Bay Area in November 2020. She enjoys working with outreach programs such as Operation Nightwatch in addition to her role as Treasurer. As a transplant from New England, Marisa has no issue with Seattle weather, since most of it doesn't need to be shoveled!

Vestry History

In England the annual election of churchwardens took place in Easter week. The parishioners gathered at the church to hear the outgoing wardens render their accounts and elect their successors. The parishioners assembled in the vestry, the room off the chancel where the clergy vested. The assembled parishioners came to be known as the vestry. These were open vestries in that all adult male parishioners could participate. It was like a modern annual congregational meeting. In Virginia the parishes were very large and it was difficult to get all the male parishioners together. So they would meet only once and elect twelve of their number to serve for life. This was known as a closed vestry. The transition to a closed vestry was completed by 1633 or 1634, when a Vestry Act was passed. It provided that “there be a vestrie held in each parish.” The current vestry evolved from this colonial pattern.

The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk may be chosen. These officers may or may not be vestry members. The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances.
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