Vestry nominees, 2019

Sunday, December 2 we host our annual meeting, with the Reverend Eric Long's state of the parish address and voting for the 2019 vestry slate (there will also be an opportunity to vote during the 5:00 Gathering service). Please be with us in the parish hall at 9 a.m.! Following is our slate of vestry nominees.

Thomas Bass


Works in sales and marketing for the oil industry

At St. John’s for 13 years; Sunday School teacher, ushering team; board chair for Family Service of Roanoke Valley

“St. John’s is a truly welcoming place for everyone. The mission and outreach to the community makes it a flagship church in Roanoke. The church has evolved with the times and has created a fellowship for every generation. I believe the focus on families and children has set it apart from other churches in the valley and created a place for my family to enjoy.

“Faith is an important part of how we raise our daughters, perhaps not as much in spirituality but in basic human decency.  We believe in following the lessons of Jesus to teach inclusiveness and love to our children every day and show the importance of these beliefs especially in a time where these qualities are not always evident.”

Stephen Belderes


Dean of students, director of summer programs and mathematics chair, North Cross School

At St. John’s for more than eight years; Tuesday evening men’s group, ushering team

“I remain impressed and uplifted with many things at St. John’s. Specifically, we are continually encouraged with the relationships that my wife and I have established with members in and out of our age bracket. The cross-generational relationships within the congregation are a strength. Furthermore, I remain thankful for the strong support from volunteers giving their time to lead our young people. Finally, the clergy and staff remain friendly and approachable allowing for friendships and spiritual growth.”


Pat Burns


Retired vice president and senior trust officer, Chase Manhattan Bank, Rochester Division

At St. John’s for 11 years; chalice bearer, lay reader, ushering team, weekly office volunteer, Episcopal Church Women, Foyer Groups, Fine Wines, blood drive volunteer, Music on the Corner co-chair, coordinated publication of 2008 parish pictorial directory

“St. John’s is distinguished by the quality and breadth of its music.

“One’s spiritual life is a private endeavor. That being said, my daily goal is to strive for internal balance.

“Volunteering in each parish and community where I have lived (Dallas, Texas; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Rochester, New York and Roanoke) has been, and continues to be, an important part of my life.”


Jo Loop


Title insurance underwriter with the Title Company of North Carolina

At St. John’s for 10 years; youth group leader and volunteer, teaches youth confirmation class, lay reader/chalice bearer, involved in Women at the Well

“[I love] the people, welcoming environment, outreach work in our community and beyond; growing youth program and the improvements currently being made to the youth space.

“I grew up Presbyterian. Brian and I visited an Episcopal parish while searching for a church home shortly after we were married and felt immediately at home. We were both confirmed in the Episcopal church in 2000. I love the Episcopal church for its tradition and inclusion of all people.

"I practice my faith by attending church, my work with youth & trying to be a good person."


Lawrence McConnell


Executive editor, The Roanoke Times

At St. John’s since 2015; ushering team

“St. John’s is a lively, spirit-filled church, with inspirational preaching and teaching. It offers an impressive variety of opportunities for all ages in Christian fellowship, education and outreach for our entire community.

“Because of my previous service as a vestry member and then senior warden at Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, I am keenly aware of the opportunities that this role affords for ministry as well as service to our church.

“I pray. I know firsthand that prayer has made all the difference in my life, as well as in the lives of others.”


Alan Perry


Construction industry

Member of St. John’s since 2010; study groups, ushering team

“I like the feeling of community when I’m participating in study groups or sharing a meal after the Gathering. When I usher at the Gathering service, I have a chance to become an active part of the service and to give back a little something that has been so freely given to me. The atmosphere at St. John’s is a warm and welcoming feeling that I look forward to when I walk through the doors.

“I have been in the construction industry for 50 years and I tell people when asked that I have worked on everything from dog houses to nuclear power plants. I feel I could bring this experience to St. John’s and could help assure the upkeep, maintenance and a mindful eye on any future plans concerning the physical structure of St. John’s.”


Amy Rockhill


Carilion; orthodontist for the cleft palate team

At St. John’s since the early 1990s; ushering team, handbell choir, plays violin/fiddle in the Gathering Band and for other occasions

“I love our acceptance of diversity. I would like to return to working, in some capacity, with CYP. I attempt to behave, and treat people, in a way that Jesus would approve.”


Lauren Walker


Director of alumnae relations at Hollins University

At St. John’s for six years; Foyer Groups, Young Professionals working group, ushering team, baby ministry meal team

“I love the feeling of community and connection as soon as I walk in the door – the people are my favorite part about St. John’s! The music and message on Sunday is food for my soul – how lucky we are to have such a strong music program and passionate priests.

“Since I have an almost three-year-old I am excited to take a more active role in the children’s ministry. Additionally, with my background in events and catering, I hope to become more involved in the planning and organizing of church events (for example, the welcoming picnic and chili-cook-off). I am looking forward to learning more about the daily operations of the church.”

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