St. Paul's Annual Meeting will take place in person on Sunday, February 26th at 9:45am in the Sanctuary.
There will be a special children's program with musician Margaret Hooten in the Nursery school Big Room during the Annual meeting.
2022 Annual Report
The Election of new Vestry Members will take place the weekend of the Parish Annual Meeting, Feb. 25-26, 2023. Polls will be open for voting for Vestry on Saturday, February 25th from 5:45-6PM, and Sunday, February 26th from 8:45-10:00AM.
The Vestry is the volunteer lay governing board of our parish. To learn more about what our Vestry does and its current members, click here
In this election, you will vote for four 3-year positions. Bios for all vestry candidates are below.
1. Approximate date you connected with St. Paul’s: My family and I joined St. Paul's in 2014.
2. Other family at St. Paul’s: Steve (Husband), Preston (son) and Graham (son)
3. Occupation: Nurse Practitioner
4. Do you have prior Vestry service? Yes, I stepped in to fill an opening on the Vestry in August 2022 through the present date.
5. Past & present church related activities & ministry within & outside the Church: I was previously an usher until COVID and then became a Safety Greeter. I have also volunteered with the Pageant in the past as well as have been a substitute Sunday School teacher.
6. Where do you see your passions & gifts strengthening St. Paul’s mission? I was previously the President of a volunteer organization and have participated in various other volunteer positions of planning events/board positions. I am very organized and passionate about giving 110% in the roles I engage in. I have also been able to get a taste of being on the Vestry, as noted above, and would love to continue my journey in service on the Vestry.
7. Most transformative moment at St. Paul - When my youngest was baptized at St. Paul's. It was amazing to see everyone in the congregation being so present and welcoming as well as the joy on the children's faces who came up to help/watch (including my oldest son).
8. Some of the core values of our church are Inclusiveness, Learning, Service, Community, Social Justice, Stewardship and Faith. Give an example of how you see St. Paul’s demonstrating a commitment to one of these values -
I see all of these values through St. Paul’s. Personally, St. Paul's is truly a community to myself and my family. The smiles on the faces, the passing of peace, bringing people together, etc. all bring community into my life.
1. Approximate date you connected with St. Paul’s:
1958 (as a child), grew up at St. Paul's, moved away in early adulthood, returned in the 1990s when married with children.
2. Other family at St. Paul’s:
Jane (my wife); children (Katie & Ben) raised at St. Paul's are now adults.
Money & Politics Editor, KDKA-TV (CBS/Pittsburgh).
4. Do you have prior Vestry service?
Yes, three terms over several decades, plus this past year elected to fill a vacancy.
5. Past & present church related activities & ministry within & outside the Church:
Present: Vestry (chair, Stewardship Commission); Coordinator, Lay Eucharistic Ministry; Deputy from St. Paul's to Diocesan Convention; Deputy to General Convention (81st) from Diocese of Pittsburgh;
Past (St. Paul's): Senior Warden (2016-2018), Vestry member, Lay Eucharistic Minister & Visitor, Choir, Acolyte;
Past (Diocese): Standing Committee (secretary); Diocesan Council (president); Transition Committee (chair); Project CREED (chair); Deputy to General Convention, 78th, 79th & 80th
6. Where do you see your passions & gifts strengthening St. Paul’s mission?
I know my reputation is as a good communicator, but I am also a reasonably good organizer who gets things done by working well with others in a collaborative team approach. Another gift I hope to bring is an institutional memory of this church and Diocese of what works and what doesn't work, coupled with a certain gutsiness to try new approaches!
7. Most transformative moment at St. Paul's:
For me, it was serving as Senior Warden responsible for the overall process under which we called the Rev. Noah Evans to be our Rector in 2017, an incredible experience witnessing the Holy Spirit at work through the multiple skills, strength, good will, and personalities of the people of St. Paul's.
8. Some of the core values of our church are Inclusiveness, Learning, Service, Community, Social Justice, Stewardship and Faith. Give an example of how you see St. Paul’s demonstrating a commitment to one of these values:
To be honest, I see examples of each of these core values almost every day at St. Paul's. As chair of the stewardship effort this past year, I marvel at how many volunteers came together to create both online and offline mailings, testimonials, and connections at St. Paul's, allowing us to set a new record for both pledges and dollars pledged for 2023.
But stewardship is more than just treasure; it's also time and talent. And it's impossible not to see how many members of the parish volunteer their time and talent to everything at St. Paul's. Take our worship services. Where would we be without our musicians, choir, lay Eucharistic ministers, lectors, altar guild, acolytes, and greeters? You can observe every other aspect of St. Paul's involvement from our youth & education programs, our outreach, to our social justice efforts. In each and so much more, we see a commitment of time, talent, and treasure by parishioners. God willing, it will continue to grow in the years ahead.
Date connected with St. Paul’s:
Family members at St. Paul’s:
Wife: Lois Cusick
Son/Daughter-in-Law: Nathan and Nina Hammer
Daughter, Husband and two grandchildren: Christine, Bryan, Bailey and Brody Althaus
Registered Nurse: UPMC Birmingham Free Clinic for the Uninsured/Underserved.
Prior Vestry Service:
Past and present church ministries:
- Assisted with organizing and attended the first Adult Mission Trip to McDowell County, West Virginia.
- Active Usher/Greeter ministry since 2019
- Assisted with Lenten fish frys
- Assisted with Claudia Circle Rummage sales.
- Assisted in the kitchen with various church special events.
- Prepared, delivered, and served meals for the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.
- Prepared, delivered, and served meals for the Downtown Pittsburgh Cold Weather Homeless ministry located at the Smithfield United Church of Christ.
- Delivered flowers for Altar Flower ministry.
- Assisted with the South Hills Food Bank delivery to needy populations in the Pittsburgh area.
Where do you see your passions and gifts strengthening St. Paul’s mission?
I have devoted the last 12 years of my nursing career serving the underserved populations in Pittsburgh. I feel I can connect with passion to the mission work St. Paul’s has committed to the various underserved populations.
Most transformative moment at St. Paul’s:
Being received at St. Paul’s in 2019 was the most transformative moment for me. After attending services and various programs for approximately one year, the ceremony of being received solidified my commitment to the Epicopal Church.
Example of how I see St. Paul’s demonstrating a commitment to one of the core values:
Community: The various outreach ministries such as the food drives, Trinity Walk-In ministry, gifts at Christmas, and the Neighborhood Resilience Project are just some examples of ways St. Paul’s has committed time and resources to the improvement of life for our underserved communities.
My husband, John Sozansky, and I returned to Pittsburgh in 1992 and joined St. Paul’s shortly after that. I grew up in the Lutheran tradition and John in the Byzantine Catholic. We found the Episcopal Church through friends while we lived in Florida.
Our 2 children, Michael and Lara, grew up in the St. Paul’s family. During their youth I taught Sunday School for more than 10 years, participated in multiple youth retreats and grew spiritually through adult forum and EfM (Education for Ministry). EfM is a program, that while giving the participant an opportunity to learn about the Bible and Christian tradition, is focused on theological reflection. A process whereby a person examines their beliefs with a focus on personal ministry. I was a participant and Mentor with EfM for more than 12 years. I am also a trained Stephen Minister. During my time at St. Paul’s, I served on the Vestry three brief periods.
I recently retired following 35 years as a Human Resources Director. My faith walk was instrumental and in my success in Human Resources where a key component is respect for each individual’s perspective and working together to reach common goals.
As with a family, or church family, there is not one moment that binds you to each other, but many. A call when a family member is ill, flowers from the altar delivered to your house, the awareness that most of your close friends are members of your church family, working with others to provide food and fellowship opportunities while raising funds to support outreach goals, participating in worship and feeling surrounded by God’s love are but a few examples.
St. Paul’s is community that supports each individual and family in their walk to love and serve God. If chosen to serve on Vestry, I will support all members of our congregation as they identify ways to be God’s hands and feet on this earth.