2023 Elected Vestry Members

SENIOR WARDEN - class of 2025

Mary Ann Hardy

Mary Ann Hardy is a lifelong Episcopalian, growing up as a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bellingham, Washington. After graduation from Smith College and the University of Washington, she settled in Seattle and attended St. Andrew’s and St. Clement of Rome for several years. In 2012, Mary Ann moved to Magnolia with her family and joined the Church of the Ascension. She is a Certified Public Accountant and works for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Her favorite pastimes include cooking and reading.
junior warden - class of 2025

Greg Daniel

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.

trish alexander - class of 2025

Trish Alexander

Patricia (“Trish”) Alexander is one of seven family members who joined Ascension in 1967. Trish has been involved in various aspects of the church over the years including choir and teaching kindergarten in the 80s. While her participation has gone more off than on over the years, she declares her faith brought her back and she is here to stay—as is evident in her willingness to help provide leadership through her role on Ascension’s Vestry.
Vestry Class of 2026

Melanie Audette

Melanie is inspired by the word of God, having been an Episcopalian for most of her life. While moving multiple times for jobs and career, Melanie sought out the local parish and therefore has experienced varying perspectives on the faith. Most recently, Melanie was a member of St. Michael’s in Issaquah, where she served on the Vestry. She and her husband Mike Grimme chose Magnolia as their forever home when they became empty nesters after her fourth child Matthew left for UW. Melanie’s profession as a nonprofit executive at Mission Investors Exchange, where philanthropy and investing come together to make more impact for foundation endowments, reinforces her philosophy of making the most of life and all of our assets – influence, reputation, capital, time and, most of all, our capability to share God’s love.

Vestry Class of 2026

Nicole Janzen

Nicole Janzen was born and raised in a small rural community in British Columbia where she met her husband Carl. As a child of immigrants and a first generation Canadian and English speaker, she grew up helping her grandparents learn English where her passion for teaching was planted. Nicole has a BA in English and a Masters in Teaching and has taught everything from Kindergarten to Adult ESL, including a short-term volunteer teaching position in Bangladesh in 2012 where Carl was doing volunteer medical work. After many full-time years in the classroom, Nicole currently works as a substitute in Seattle Public Schools. She has led and facilitated women’s Bible studies in her previous churches, as well as leading home groups with Carl. Together they were active volunteers at Bethany Women’s Shelter for a number of years. Nicole and Carl moved to Magnolia in 2014 and began attending Ascension in the fall of 2021 after deciding to find a neighborhood church community to call home. She has been delighted to be trained and serve as a LEV and a LEM this past year and looks forward to investing her time and talents as a new Vestry member. Nicole and her husband have 30-year-old twin daughters who are both married and live in the Puget Sound area. Nicole is happiest when she is doing something creative and also loves to travel, hike, garden, rummage in thrift stores and read.

Vestry Class of 2026

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.


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!


Debbie Crouch

Debbie Crouch and husband Jim began attending Ascension in 1986 when they realized they wanted to raise their infant daughter, Megan, in a smaller church than St. Mark’s Cathedral. Ascension has been the family’s spiritual home ever since, and all have served in a variety of ministry areas over the past three and a half decades. Debbie currently serves on the Vesty in the “Communications” area, and you’ll often see her Sunday mornings in the choir and on the acolyte team.

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.
Episcopal Church of the Ascension
2330 Viewmont Way West
Seattle, WA 98199
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