The Deacons and members of the Membership Committee got to know prospective members during a series of gatherings in which we discussed our faith journeys. We shared our stories, talked about our common and divergent backgrounds, and celebrated the faith that has brought us together here. Alleluia!
This introduction will help you recognize Lucy Fales Evans, Charlotte Jennings, Jack Kieffer, Kernan Manion, Donna Baker Schwenk and Terry Schwenk as we welcome them to our church family.
New Members who joined the Old Sloop on Pentecost, May 28, 2023
Born in New Jersey, Lucy Fales Evans was raised on a farm with four older, very vocal siblings. She explained, “from an early age I learned to be a much better listener than speaker.” As a child, Lucy was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. She graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in nursing and moved to Denver where she earned an MSN, a nurse practitioner degree, and a M.Ed. in literacy. She sang in the choir and served as a deacon and ruling elder in St. James Presbyterian Church in Colorado and later was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in New Haven, CT. She has four children and seven grandchildren. Lucy moved to Cape Ann in October 2022 and looks forward to exploring how she can serve the church and the wider community.
Donna Baker Schwenk wrote the following thoughts on joining the Old Sloop:
I am grateful for the warm welcome as a new member of the First Congressional Church of Rockport. With diverse experiences in art, business, and consulting, I most importantly bring unconditional love and support to the community. As the president of DBS International, LLC, specializing in consumer products, LED technology, and marketing, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Portable Lights American Trade Organization. Guided by my religious mother, Martha, her faith in God has shaped my spiritual foundation in life. With humility, openness and compassion, I join this church community to share my experiences, talents, and love for the Lord. My goal is to deepen my faith while growing in outreach and understanding through actions. I am also excited to explore Cape Ann and travel to new countries.
Terry Ray Schwenk was born 81 years ago in Pennsylvania and raised in the Methodist Church. His last 20 years of work before retirement were at Endicott College as the Director of Purchasing. Terry wrote:
I believe that Jesus will forgive my sins and help me to love everyone, including all nationalities and races. I am truly grateful for your warm and embracing welcome.
Steve Thibodeau was born in Rockport and graduated from Rockport High School. He and his seven siblings were brought up in the Roman Catholic Church. Steve explained: “I’ve been baptized and confirmed but church never grabbed hold of me. (I did not understand the Latin which was a lot of the service.)” Steve lost a very close friend last November and Steve attended his funeral here at the Old Sloop. Steve recalls: “I thought he might like it if I came the following Sunday. I felt welcomed so I came the next Sunday and have been here ever since. I’m not sure what I have to offer, but I feel like I belong here. I’m still working full-time, but I will help where I can.”
Members who joined the Old Sloop on Epiphany, January 8, 2023
Charlotte Jennings attended Norwood schools and graduated with a BA in English from UMass Amherst in 1959. She worked in various positions at AT&T from 1960–1989 and took early retirement when her husband Martin had a heart attack and retired on disability. She and her husband had commuted daily for 30 years over the Tappan Zee Bridge to White Plains. After Martin passed away at 83, Charlotte moved to Cape Ann at the suggestion of Rick Rafuse, her cousin. Rick was able to help her find a condo and make new friends before he, too, passed away. Charlotte says, “I have two cousins remaining and a cat who lets me live with her.”
Jack Kieffer graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1956 with a BS in architecture. He became a partner in an architectural firm in 1970 where he designed about 30 buildings that were constructed and are still standing today. He received letters of commendation from Huntington City and Brooke County, West Virginia, for success. Jack is married to Rev. Virginia Derr.
Kernan Manion is a physician who founded and leads CPR, the Center for Physician Rights, an advocacy group working on fairness and transparency in medical regulatory matters. As a coach and workshop leader, he is an expert in remedying professional burnout, an occupational stress syndrome now at academic levels throughout the medical profession. With extensive experience in PTSD and working as a clinical psychiatrist, he was a vocal supporter of efforts to provide newly returning post-combat Marine and Navy troops with comprehensive mental health care to best enable them to return to fully productive, psychologically healthy lives. Kernan is an active blogger and podcaster on substack.com (find him at Physician interrupted and ShrinkRap). He has hosted many interactive webinars on timely whistleblower and medico-legal topics.