Annual Parish Meeting, January 31, 2021

The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 31 at 11:30 am via Zoom.

We will have Curbside Communion pickup and also SNO to Go lunch that Sunday immediately following the 10am service! Meet us on Zoom afterwards!

This year’s meeting will feature absentee voting for vestry candidates.Ballots must be requested by emailing the parish office at goodshepherd@gslookout.com or calling the office at (423) 821-1583.  Please note that because of the pandemic and its effect on church staff, we are currently often working from home.  If you leave a voicemail requesting a ballot, please know your call may not be returned as quickly as usual.  Email is the faster way to reach us presently.

Absentee ballots must be returned to the church by January 24.  Ballots will be counted at the Annual Meeting.

At the meeting, we will review how Good Shepherd ended 2020 and what plans we have for 2021. We’ll also thank our outgoing Vestry members for their service to the parish and vote for and meet our incoming members.

Please find information about this year’s vestry candidates below.

Ginger Birnbaum

Background

I was born and raised (mostly)  in Mississippi with some years in Texas, as a cradle Catholic.  Our family did not miss a Sunday at church, and I learned a lot about spiritual responsibility as I watched my mother take on every church role under the sun.  I grew up to marry Alex who had been raised in the Jewish community and felt a strong connection to the spirituality of his childhood.  Before getting married, we agreed that we would attend the Catholic church (at that time it was the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in downtown Chattanooga) and raise our children in the Christian faith while also honoring Alex’s heritage.

However, even when I was young, I had a longing to connect with the Episcopal church.  Once Emma Virginia got a little older, that longing became even more present, and it was nearly impossible to ignore.  The first visit to Good Shepherd was a test run!  I did not want to bring the whole family and cause a fuss, so I attended on my own with our neighbors, Carol and Garrison Martin.  I returned home excitedly to tell Alex how wonderful it felt to be at Good Shepherd.  He was eager to attend!  From there we grew close with the young families at Good Shepherd and Aloyse Brown and Brice Burbank invited us to sit with them on Sundays and learn about the service.  Looking back it feels like a pretty big leap!  We jumped headfirst into getting involved with all that Good Shepherd had to offer.

I can not begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to be a part of the Good Shepherd family.  It is such a blessing that we were welcomed with open arms and that we took a leap of faith!

Biography

Wife of Alex and mother to King (9) and Emma Virginia (12), Ginger is a community advocate and volunteer. She has worked in local and national organizations for the last 15 years.  Once her son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, she began to focus intensely on the needs of those living with CF.  Aspects of her work on behalf of that community include healthcare advocacy, emotional wellness, partnerships in care, fundraising, and volunteer leadership.  Professionally, she worked as a pharmaceutical representative with a focus in pediatrics and neuroscience.  Her personal interests include reading, hiking, antiquing (treasure hunting), playing with flowers, and watching her children become bigger people.

Why do you feel called to the vestry?

I feel called to the Vestry because I want to do everything in my power to ensure that Good Shepherd is here for a long, long time!  In the years that our family has been at Good Shepherd, we have been sustained in many ways.  In the immediate future, I want to help the church as we begin to come out of this pandemic time and into a time of growth and stability.  We have a beautiful opportunity to meet our church family as they emerge from a painful time.

What gifts will you bring to the vestry?

I believe that my vast experience in volunteer organizations will be a benefit to the Good Shepherd Vestry.  Each organization is so different, so I will be ready to listen and learn more about the needs of the people of Good Shepherd.  I bring to the table an integrative workstyle utilizing storytelling, investor stewardship, and deep knowledge of community relations.  Additionally, over the years and across organizations, I have played a part in the planning and execution of countless special events.

I am exceedingly honored to receive this nomination for the Good Shepherd Vestry.  Thank you for the opportunity to become more involved with a place, and with people, that I love very much.

David DeVaney

Biography

A native of Chattanooga, I joined NAI Charter in 1988 and have served as President of the company since 1998. With over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate sales and leasing, I’ve led to the growth of the company started by his father in 1972. I’ve extended NAI Charter’s influence through five states with a third party listing portfolio of over $90,000,000.
In the last ten years, I’ve successfully completed commercial transactions of over $250,000,000.

I have been married to Bena for 31 years and have three adult children. Bena E is married to Jeff Pearson and lives in Atlanta. Bena teaches at a small Christian school, Eastside Elementary, and Jeff is a CPA with Bennet and Thrasher. Frazier works with me at Charter and is engaged to McCall Morgan. Stewart, our youngest, is in Asheville.

Why do you feel called to the vestry?

Throughout my life when I was in times of trouble and stress my christian brothers and sisters have been there to lift me up. Most of the times I did not realize their support until I looked back. When walking through the doors of GSC, I feel peace,  strength and love. My hope is to help GSC in its ministry to support its flock, its community and beyond. Specially to encourage families the importance of making GSC part of their daily lives. Also while doing this to make GSC a bigger part of my life.

What gifts will you bring to the vestry?

I feel I have in some form or fashion the gifts of finance, organization, empathy and common sense. My hope is to assist GSC where needed so the church staff can focus on where they are called. I feel it is important for the vestry to support the church in the daily operations so that the church staff may truly minster. Also in a selfish way I want to learn more about the episcopal faith.

Krista Stein

Biography

I was born and raised in Illinois and went to local public schools and was the first of my family to earn a four year college degree from Iowa State University. For the last 10 years I have owned and operated a landscape business and in my spare time, you can find me volunteering at the Humane Educational Society working with dogs to help connect them to their forever homes. I have two grown children from a previous marriage, a step daughter, and two teenagers with my husband Doug.

Why do you feel called to the vestry?

I was drawn to serve on the Vestry at Good Shepherd because I am a wife and mother, a woman and a business owner and I took baptismal vows.  I love what the Good Shepherd offers our community, and if I can add in any way, I will.

What gifts will you bring to the vestry?

As an entrepreneur and a business owner, I believe I can bring a fresh perspective to the business of Good Shepherd whether it be dealing with budgets, helping set visions or supporting the mission of Good Shepherd.

Susan Stein

Biography

I am originally from Lake Forest, Ill. My family moved to South Florida, Delray Beach when I was 10. I was lucky enough as a child to spend my summers in Quoque, Long Island and Chatham, Cape Cod, and spring breaks in Sea Island Georgia. I went to an all-girls boarding school in the north east called Miss Halls. I then went on to Lynchburg College for 2 years where I met my  first husband Greg Holland. Greg and I, and our daughter Carolyn, moved to Lookout Mountain in 1991 to join Greg’s father who at the time was running Signal Apparel. Heartbreakingly, as the whole family was transferring to a new endeavor in South Carolina, Greg was killed in a car accident. I was 23 at the time and, Carolyn being only 3, I decided to stay here on Lookout Mountain. I felt that, if I was to be a single mother, Lookout Mountain was probably the best place to give it a shot. With no family here, I dove into being a part of the community. Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga loved us back offering us the healing community we needed to move forward.

I married Taylor Stein in 2002. Taylor and I met here at Good Shepherd Church where we were both members. We blended our family and raised all 3 girls Catherine (33), Emily (31), and Carolyn (29), on Lookout Mountain. I have been soccer coach, room mother, Sunday school helper, a member of The Garden Club of Lookout Mountain, and have served on the boards of The Chambliss Center for Children, The Hunter Museum of Art, AVA, The Fairyland Club, Homes and Havens, Beloved Woman, The Launch Pad and The Montessori Elementary at Highland Park. Along with Taylor and Robby Taliaferro, I headed Family Promise for over 3 years and I’ve served on the Stewardship Committee on 3 separate occasions. Taylor and I have both attended Cursillo and I’ve served as staff as well. I am a 2011 woman of distinction and have a design degree from UTC, and have worked for several design firms here in Chattanooga. I have owned my own clothing business, Etc. apparel. Now retired, I work for Anthropologie as a hobby and I am focused on my board work, in particular advocating for underserved women and children and women recovering from addiction. I volunteer at the Food Bank Mobile Pantry and Chambliss Center for Children on a regular basis and attend the Thursday Women’s Bible Study and Sunday Lectionary Class. Taylor and I live downtown in a condo overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River and now have 2 sons in-law and 2 grandchildren Harrison (2) and Charlotte (18 Months) to add to our growing family.

Why do you feel called to the vestry?

I am really excited to participate in the vestry first because I love our church. Many of its teachings have transformed who I am as a person. I also believe deeply that there should always be an Episcopal church on Lookout Mountain. I have worked hard to raise monies for the budget, and I am interested in being on the other side of that. I love being on a team. I work better that way. I am really excited to work and get to know the existing members of the Vestry and to work with the new class as well. I am especially excited to work with my sister-in-law Krista Stein so we can do more things together. I think our church and staff have done an exceptional job at pivoting during the COVID-19 crisis and I think we have an opportunity to move forward as a community with a whole new set of skill sets that really will make GS stronger and our reach in the community farther in the years to come.

What gifts will you bring to the vestry?

I think my biggest gift that I will offer to our vestry is HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT. It is what has been offered to me and my family since I was 23 by Good Shepherd and the Lookout community and I am honored and humbled to give that back tenfold.

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