St. Edward’s Vestry

The St. Edward’s vestry is comprised of 9 members.  Leading the vestry are a senior warden and a junior warden.  There is also a vestry secretary, who is responsible for taking meeting minutes. The St. Edward’s vestry typically meets once per month and vestry members serve for a 3-year term.

The role of the vestry in an Episcopal church, as detailed in The Vestry Resource Guide by The Episcopal Church Foundation is as follows:

“Vestry members are legal representatives and agents of a parish, charged with specific responsibilities by the canons of The Episcopal Church.  They share leadership responsibilities with the rector.  As legal representative and agent, the vestry functions much like the board of any nonprofit, with responsibility for finances and management of property and human resources.  Many aspects of the vestry’s role are defined by entities beyond the congregation – local, state, and federal laws, and diocesan and Episcopal Church canons – as well as by the church’s own constitution and bylaws.”

“There is an important element of shared life and purpose in vestry leadership.  You’re not just elected to the vestry; you are called to a sacred ministry in your faith community.”

Vestry is laity and clergy working in shared leadership creating a vision and plan of action to fulfill God’s ministry and we are thankful for all who answer the call to serve on vestry.  Below you can get to know our current vestry members.  Please feel free to reach out to them with any questions you may have about St. Edward’s.

We give thanks to our retiring vestry members:  Karen Grant, Peggy Hanzelman, and Randy Westgate for their faithful service these past three years! 

Each year, prior to our Annual Meeting, St. Edward’s posts to the parish the candidates for vestry election.  This provides parishioners an opportunity to get to know the individuals the Nominating Committee has carefully discerned as candidates for election to serve for the upcoming 3-year term, replacing retiring vestry members.

Mike Freshwater

I was born and baptized as an Episcopalian in Ohio. I have been a member of St. Edward’s since the early 1990’s.  Having been a youth group leader through both my girl’s formative years, I then became a charter member of the famous St. Edward’s Praise and Coffee Hour Band.  If you don’t know me, catch the band on the third Sunday of the month between services. You will spot me singing, playing guitar, or playing the hand drums. I’m also the designated limb picker upper, Celtic cross stainer, and jack of all trades around the church property.

My life partner is Deann Buffington.  She lives in Lititz and is a member of Lititz Moravian Church.  She might attend St. Edward’s on holidays or take in a service once in a while with me.  Likewise, if she is a reader during a service at LMC, I might attend service with her (especially if they are having the Moravian Love Feast – coffee and Moravian Sugar Cake). We are grandparents to three wonderful, adorable, and amusing grandkids.  The older two, Nora and Colin, live in New Jersey with Alison and Mike.  The youngest, Avery, lives in York with Jaime and Mike (yep, both girls married a Mike!)  We love spending time with them.

I enjoy travelling and visiting faraway places. Other vacations are usually spent with my family who all live in Tucson. My retirement occupation has been as a part time guide and bus tour driver for the Amish Farm and House, the original tourist attraction in Lancaster County.  I have met dignitaries and celebrities from all over the world. When I get the time, I enjoy sailing, kayaking, biking and golf (pretty much in that order.

I look forward to serving St. Edward’s again and hope I can contribute back as much as St. Edward’s has given me.

 Ethel Lawrence

I was born in Philadelphia, PA. I have been an Episcopalian all my life. I’m a widow and I have worked closely with Peggy Hanzelman to start the widows group, which formed several years ago. I love working with the amazing woman of the needle arts group, who meet on Tuesdays. Recently, I have been helping with the finance committee.

Most of my life was spent raising my sons and building and managing several local businesses that served Lancaster and its surrounding communities for over forty years.

My hope is that life experiences will offer fruitful insights, in service to our parish as a vestry member, as we continue to steward and thrive as a strong and loving church family.

Kathleen Moretto Spencer

I was baptized a Roman Catholic and remained a practicing Catholic until I married a divorced man 40 years ago when that was and still is grounds for excommunication. (My late husband, Jim was a professor of physical chemistry at F & M.) I was introduced to the Episcopal Church while attending a funeral at Saint James and where I felt I had come home.  I was officially received at Saint James, and I have been an Episcopalian now for 15 years.  The saying goes that “the Episcopal Church is Catholic light,” but to me it is “Catholic compassionate.

I was born in South Philadelphia, all four of my grandparents emigrated in the early twentieth century to the US from the same small county in Italy.  I grew up in Yeadon, Pa and attended high school at the former Saint Leonard’s Academy of the Holy Child in Philadelphia on a music scholarship.  I received both an AB and an MA in music history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in library science from Drexel University.  While a graduate student at UPenn, I took a year’s leave to work as the interim librarian at the former Notre Dame International School in Rome, Italy which is where I began my life-long love affair with the Eternal City.  Later in life, I was also privileged to spend two extended periods in Rome at the American Academy, once as a visiting fellow and once as a participant in an NEH Summer Seminar for college teachers.

My working years were spent in academic libraries: for 2 years as a cataloger in the Music Library at SUNY Buffalo, and for 7 years as Assistant Director of the Yale University Music Library. While at Yale, I was awarded a year-long leave to participate as a management intern in the office of the University Librarian at UNC Chapel Hill.  In 1982, I was hired by F & M and worked there for 14 years as the library director and after retirement for five years teaching courses in the history of the City of Rome in the departments of Classics and Art History.  I retired as College Librarian Emerita and Adjunct Assistant Professor Emerita of Classics and Art History.

As a resident of Lancaster, I served on the Boards of the Lung Association, The Pennsylvania Academy of Music, The Lancaster Public Library, and The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra.   My most cherished volunteer accomplishment was my twelve-year tenure as Founder, Director, and Fundraiser of the concert series, Early Music at Saint James.

In retirement at Willow Valley Communities, I advocate for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and participate in memory and Alzheimer’s education for both staff and residents.

I have been a parishioner at St. Edward’s since Father Rick’s appointment as pastor.  I attend the 10:00 am Sunday service and also the contemplative mass on Wednesdays at noon.  I participate as a Stephen Minister, and when possible in the Friday Lunch and Learn.

As a member of Vestry at St. Edward’s, I will bring my experience at managing the library at F & M, a complex organization with a multi-million-dollar budget, and my board service in the Lancaster community.



In 1983, I became a member of the Episcopal Church at Holy Trinity in Coatesville, PA.  During that time, I became a vestry member, and the two most important events at Trinity were meeting a deacon of the name Bill Duffy and going on a bus trip to see Bishop Desmond Tutu, at the Philadelphia Civic Ctr. In 1986 Gail and I moved to Mount Joy with our son & daughter. We became members of St. Edward’s that summer and enjoyed a new relationship with Rev. Tim Small. What started my involvement was a retreat called Kingdom weekend. In my early thirties I was involved with youth group, teaching Sunday school and also teaching an adult class spirited by the Kingdom weekend. THROUGH the many years here at St. EDWARD’S THERE HAS BEEN many spiritual moments in community with Rev. Aaron Zull, Rev. Stephen Casey to enjoy and serve.  Fast forward to now retired, 4 grandsons, wife of 46 years, happy that Rev. Rick is here and wanting to help Rick in wherever the spirit moves him to help our community love and grow with the love of Christ in our hearts.


I was baptized in the Episcopal Church (at All Saints’ Church of Belmont, MA) a couple months before my 11th birthday. Since then, I’ve been on a faith journey partly guided by the wonderful youth leaders and parish ministers in Belmont, and later in Newport, RI. I have fond memories of yearly events like Night Watch and 30-Hour Famine (the second one is more fun than it sounds). I also sang in the church choirs. While at Ithaca College, NY, I joined a Gospel choir, a bit of a stylistic departure and an enriching, horizon-broadening experience. During the summer breaks, I served as Assistant Camp Director of the Ministry of the Arts summer program at Trinity Church and as a Sunday school teacher at St. Columba’s. Although I’ve found myself most at home in the Episcopal Church, I’ve cherished participation with other denominations in their worship and celebrations of life in Christ. Before moving to Lancaster near the start of the pandemic, I lived in Brooklyn, NY, attending yet another All Saints’ Church.

While I’ve been involved in various church activities since childhood, my spiritual life has entered a more mature stage recently. This may be a result of dramatic changes, both personal and global, as well as facing the great questions of faith and listening for God’s voice, wherever It decides to come from. It might arise from encounters with people who hold different beliefs from me. It might come from saints who have already walked the paths we’re walking today. It might come from a piece of media that ignites conversations, curiosity, and excitement about diving deeper into the Word, guided by the Spirit.

Since coming to St. Edward’s (thanks to my mother), I’ve been blessed to be invited to join the choir, become a lector, and now lead adult spiritual formation through “Lunch with The Chosen.” I can’t adequately express my gratitude for the warm welcome I’ve received at St. Edward’s, especially from Father Rick, Michelle, Bob Mosebach, Karen Waddill, and St. Edward’s Choir. I intend to give back the love, and I pray with God’s help I will serve His will well during my time in this community.


St. Edward’s became a regular part of my life in the Spring of 2015.  It is here at this place of worship that I was received into the Episcopal Church and that Bruce and I had our marriage blessed.  St. Edward’s has become a pivotal part of my life.  I find the parishioners welcoming, warm-hearted and profoundly generous with their gifts.  I am currently the lay leader of the Faith-in-Action Ministry.

I have been in the world of education, recreation and athletics my entire working career.  I currently am a substitute teacher in the Lancaster Area.  I also work for GEARS (Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation Services) as the Director of the Camp Lady Bug and the creator/counselor of the following summer camps: Harry Potter, Pokémon and Do-It-Yourself.  I thoroughly enjoy my family, Bruce and James and have a close relationship with my 4 brothers and 3 sisters.  I enjoy reading, crafts, sports spectating and walking.  I look forward to serving as a member of vestry for St. Edward’s, our community of faith.


I guess I am what you would call a cradle Episcopalian. Like my parents and my dad’s parents before him, I was born into the Episcopal church and attended St. Luke’s in Lebanon. I grew up in Palmyra, but that was the church we attended as a family. I participated in the boys choir at an early age and was a boat boy for my dad when he was the thurifer, which explains my love of incense. As I grew up, I participated as an acolyte, crucifer and eventually a thurifer. Back in those days at St. Luke’s for high masses like Easter, Palm Sunday, Christmas and a few others, we’d have both a choir and a clergy thurifer. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m proud to say my dad and I were able to turn the ceiling in the sanctuary blue with smoke. I present these examples and stories as a way to convey that I have always been involved and participating in one way or another.

I continued to attend St. Luke’s until I moved to Lancaster when Lori and I were married in 2014. Not wanting to drive to Lebanon on a regular basis, I found St. James in downtown Lancaster. Lori and I wanted to attend a church together as a married couple, so we both began attending St. James regularly. It wasn’t long before I became involved as a LEM and yes, a thurifer, and Lori began serving on Altar Guild.

During our time at St. James, Father Rick arrived, and we soon became friends. He was always there for me during some health issues, two heart attacks for those that don’t know, which further reinforced our friendship and health scares like that also brought a new found spirituality to me. During the onset of Covid, St. James was not holding services and St. Edward’s was, in some form, so we began attending both in person when possible and online each Sunday. When we were able to return to the sanctuary and became members of St. Edward’s, I found myself becoming involved as a LEM a lector and ushering. After meeting Randy Westgate at the onsite blood drive, I began my participation in the Praise Band, now called the Coffee House band. I very much enjoy my varied participation at St. Edward’s and look forward to furthering that participation as a member of your vestry, helping Father Rick grow our parish in love and community.


I consider myself a native Lancastrian, having grown up in Lancaster Township, and graduated from McCaskey High School.  Not long after that life drew me away, first to school in Berks County, and then to work in Chester County, and more school at Villanova University.  That was followed by a career in mechanical engineering and product management in the paper industry and two decades in Massachusetts where I met and married Jeanne; followed by work related moves to Florida, New Hampshire, back to Massachusetts, and finally home to Lancaster in 2011.

My mother ensured that my sister and I would grow up in the Methodist Church, but once away from home, at 19 years old, church took a distant back seat.  It wasn’t until Jeanne and I were married, almost 20 years later, that I would return to the fold; and that it would turn out to be the Episcopal Church.  St. Edward’s is our 6th church home, prompted mainly by job transfers.

In each location, church has played a major role and we have participated as fully as we could: many years of choir, altar guild, usher, vestry, Sr. Warden, search committee, Eucharistic Minister, verger, and formation opportunities along the way, and most recently Stephen Ministry.

I completed two years at the Stevenson School for Ministry and a year with the Vibrant Faith Institute to be certified by our diocese as lay preacher, lay worship leader, and lay catechist.  I have been particularly interested in Christian formation and have worked with several churches in our convocation giving confirmation classes and other formation opportunities.

It has been my privilege at St. Edward’s to work with Father Rick and others to further our offerings for Bible study and our Friday Lunch and Learn sessions on Zoom, and our Men’s Spirituality Group.  It will be my further privilege to serve on St. Edward’s vestry, and I look forward to what we might accomplish in the coming months and years.

MARY SNYDER, Junior Warden ’25

As a lifelong resident of Lancaster, I attended Grace Lutheran at Queen and James Street with my family growing up. While in elementary school, I joined the choir and preformed acolyte duties, there, until I graduated High School. About 7 years ago, I first attended St. Edward’s through the invitation of Dr. Randy Westgate.  At the time my long-term partner, Alice, was grieving the death of her daughter and we both found a friendly warm welcome here. Alice then passed very unexpectedly in 2016 and the congregation was such a help to me, and St. Edward’s is truly my church “family.”

Currently, I am active with ushering and altar guild, the Friday Lunch and Learn, and the New Member committee. Over the years, I have also enjoyed participating in Krist Kindling and getting to know others that way.

When I have free time I enjoy bike riding and hiking, and was introduced to kayaking this year which I hope to do more of. I enjoy being near water of any kind especially the beach. I also enjoy photography and contributing to the Scepter.  For all my working years I have been a mechanical inspector, and now work for a local company that produces medical devices and implants. My schedule is second shift (2-11pm) which doesn’t allow time during the week to participate in some church activities, but I join when I am able to.

I am looking forward to serving on the vestry as way to give back to this community that has supported me so much over the years.