During its Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, January 31, 2010, Christ Church Parish, Kent Island elected three new members to the Vestry. Named to a three year term on the church’s governing body by voting members present were Jean Travis, Charlie Mead, and Leslie Schneider. The three were then duly commissioned at both religious services on Sunday, February 14th and formally presented to the congregation. The Vestry includes the rector, nine elected members of the congregation, the wardens, and the treasurer. The nine elected members serve three year terms which are staggered; three new members elected each year. Retiring Vestry members include Al Kepley and Shawna Fachet, both from Stevensville, and Rich Dezelon of Chester.
Jean Travis was born in Palm Springs, California and lived in Orange County before moving to Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1989 at age twenty-six. Later that year, she met her future husband, Ray, and the two were married in the fall of 1993. In addition to a strong background banking and small business administration, Jean brings her expertise in QuickBooks bookkeeping to the Vestry. In 2004, members of the Travis family started attending Christ Church and have been active as greeters, participants in the Foyer Group activities, volunteers at the homeless shelter, and take part in as many church functions as their schedule will allow. Jean, Ray and daughter Morgan are devout Kent Islanders, residing in Kent island Estates.
Charlie Mead is a life long Episcopalian and has been eager to be involved with Christ Church Parish since moving to Kent Island six years ago. Charlie and his wife Barbara own and operate Reading Group Choices, which provides resources for book groups. Before that, Charlie was Vice President of Sales for Communications Accounts at Compaq Computer Corporation (now Hewlett Packard). He has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and a BA from Middlebury College. Both Charlie and Barbara are involved in church activities and make their home in Chester.
Leslie Schneider has been a member of Christ Church Parish for about 20 years, living on Kent Island for 14 years before moving to Arnold, MD some 6 years ago. All three of her children attended Sunday school and youth group activities, and were either baptized or confirmed at Christ Church. Leslie herself has served at a youth group leader, mentor for confirmands, taught Sunday school, and currently serves as a Eucharistic minister. When not on Kent Island serving the church, Leslie works as a dental hygienist in Annapolis.
Within the Episcopal Church, the Vestry is the legal governing and decision-making group in each parish. It is their responsibility to be the final decision-making body which calls the rector, approves the parish budget, makes parish policy decisions, and spends the parish money. Every communicant in good standing of the parish; who is at least 18 years of age; has been a member of the parish for at least six months; and has shared in the work of the parish by contributions, donations, or personal services rendered is eligible to serve as a vestry member.
Christ Church Parish, Kent Island was founded in 1631, began active ministry in 1632, and celebrated its 375th anniversary in October of 2007 with the opening of its new 9,500 square foot sanctuary. The Parish remains today as the oldest continuing congregation in the State of Maryland, if not the United States. Anyone interested in becoming a member of Christ Church Parish, Kent Island may obtain information by calling the Parish office at 410-643-5921.