St. James’ 2021 Vestry
Each Vestry Member Serves in a Ministry Assisting Volunteers
Below are the Ministry Areas and the Vestry Leadership
Buildings & Grounds: Anne Sveen (chair), Cathy Valentine, Rev. Becky Coerper
Finance: Susanne Rynkiewicz, Bill Spalding, Doug Smith, Rev. Becky Coerper
HR: Amy Allyn, Nancy Corl 
Nominating: Bill Spalding (chair), Cathy Buck, Cathy Valentine
Representative to the Safety Committee (Formerly Re-opening Task Force): Nancy Corl
Representative to the Thrift Shop Board: Rev. Becky Coerper, Doug Smith, (John Gilly from Finance), wardens as needed
Special Projects: Amy Allyn, Barb Burton
Stewardship: Rev. Becky Coerper(chair), Barb Burton, Cathy Buck
Susanne Rynkiewicz-Senior Warden (2020-2022)
I am honored to be writing this biography, and grateful for the opportunity to join the current Vestry and fellow nominees in this leadership mission and ministry of faith. My 10+ years with St. James’ have been an absolute blessing. Being a member of the Vestry in the past not only brought me closer to the inner workings of our faith community but it greatly enriched my spiritual life. I carry those teachings with me daily. Over the years I have become co-editor of the Spirit Monthly Newsletter, filled a seat on the finance committee, served as a member of the Capital Campaign, and sing in the Choir at the 9 a.m. service. Witnessing the works of the Spirit in and around St. James’ has been a true honor, and has filled my life with love. As for qualifications, I have held many work titles which lead me to the last 15 years at the Ivystone Group now as Business Analyst. These roles have taught me humility, patience, empathy, honesty, tact, organization, logic, creativity and strength. Combined with an open heart and ears turned towards the Lord, these are the skills and experiences I will continue to draw on as Warden. Finally, what do I envision for St. James’ future? My story has not changed in the least. I still share the vision of continuous growth against all odds. This expansion is not just in reference to the number of families making up our parish or of the building as it stands, but in Spirit, blowing open our doors and encompassing those in our community as well as abroad. In a world where many churches are struggling to reach those at the margins and inspire, this parish family’s solidarity and faith in God’s plan will become contagious and inviting to all wherever they are in their journey of faith.
Bill Spalding-Junior Warden (2020-2023)
I was born and raised here in Skaneateles. After a 10-year sojourn in Cortland where I met my wife, Molly, I moved back home. My grandparents and my parents were/are St
James’ members. I was christened and confirmed here. Molly and all three of my children were baptized in the lake here at St. James’. My business, Upstate Temperature Control, is based here in Skaneateles servicing HVAC Control systems for larger commercial buildings
throughout Upstate. I am excited at the opportunity to give back through service on the Vestry.
Amy Allyn Vestry Member (2021-2024)
I have been a member of St James’ for almost 25 years. My husband Dave and I had attended each other’s churches while dating, but began a search for our own family church almost immediately after our wedding. Father Skip was a real spiritual guide at that time of transition for us both. Every time I hear the welcome, “Know that whoever you are, wherever
you find yourself on your journey of faith . . . there is a place for you at St. James,” I am filled with gratefulness at our decision. Our family grew quickly and I ended my teaching career to focus on our busy 4 children ; Dave was traveling a great deal with Welch Allyn at this time. In these early years of our membership, I enjoyed teaching Sunday school and volunteering in the nursery. My involvement in the community has taught me so much and given me so many opportunities to witness the good and grace in so many people. It was insightful to be part of the grassroots organization that is now Matthew House, home for the terminally ill in Auburn. I spent 9 years on their board and a term as President and I feel I was part of the fundraising and planning team that set the home up for financial stability. For seven years I had the distinct honor of serving on the National Down syndrome Society. Though my responsibilities were numerous on the board, most notable was being part of the team during the execution of the TIME ACT on Capitol Hill. In 2015 this piece of legislation amended a previous act from 1938 which allowed people with disabilities to be paid cents per hour! I am most recently serving on an advisory board with InclusiveU bringing students with disabilities who want to experience college life in a fully inclusive setting to Syracuse
University. Together, Dave and I are currently co-chairs for the Finger Lakes Land Trust in their capital campaign. I have been so grateful to be able to help promote and preserve local lands that, especially during this pandemic, have become such a a safe outlet for so many! As I look back toward home, I cherish the greatest gift that is my family. My happiest days are in the
summer when everyone is at home and we have dinner together on the porch, sharing our love of food and the lake with extended family and close friends. ( and always a couple of dogs!) I have recently volunteered to read for services and to complete some small outreach projects with one of my daughters. It is such an honor to be nominated for the Vestry at St James’. I look forward to discovering how I can serve and support others and our mission, with your blessing.
Cathy Buck-Vestry Member (2019-2022)
 My name is Cathy Buck, and my husband Andy and I have been attending St. James’ since spring of 2015. I grew up on a dairy farm in Gilbertsville, NY where I learned about the love of Jesus at my Presbyterian Church home. During my teen years, I taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and learned to play the church organ. Andy and I live on a beef cattle farm near the hamlet of Owasco, where we have resided for 28 years
Carrie, Mary, Joseph and Lyda are all spread out. Carrie is married and lives with her husband Craig Feyerabend in Vestal, NY; Mary is pursuing a masters’ degree in speech pathology at Nazareth (Rochester); Joseph is in his fourth year as a Mechanical Engineering Major at RIT (Rochester); and Lyda is a Senior at Skaneateles and has been accepted to Cornell in the fall. We have truly enjoyed being part of the St James’ family; and Lyda feels at home worshipping and singing praise songs at the 10:45 service. I enjoy reading scripture and prayers at this service, as well as serving as chalice bearer and ushering with my family. I am happy that I was able to help initiate the inter-service brunches that have helped to give our members a time to be fed, unwind and converse. In 2018, I was blessed to be a member of the Learning Communities Initiative team for St. James’; and I am a member of the current Stephen’s Ministry Class, which will be commissioned at the 10:45 service on January 27th. I also had the privilege of facilitating a class on the Beatitudes this past fall. I have been overjoyed to be able to participate in various Rescue Mission projects, events and trips, since St. James’ partnership formed in the spring and summer of 2017. It has been an honor and a pleasure to get to know the families at Merriman Circle and to volunteer alongside my friends at St James’. I am currently a substitute teacher at Skaneateles schools, where I enjoy working with the students of all ages. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Cornell University. I am also a long-standing Board member of the Owasco Zoning Board of Appeals, and a Board member of the Skaneateles Music Guild. In my spare time, I love to hike, bike, camp, read, and write poems and lyrics. I find great pleasure in working with and teaching young children – I even led a children’s choir for 5 years at my previous church. I am a movie buff, and especially like stories based on real life; enjoy hosting friends and family; and spend most of my time outdoors (preferably by the water) in the summer months. As a member of the vestry, I will uphold the mission of St. James’, share the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and continue to work diligently for the greater good of the congregation, in accordance with God’s Holy will.
Barbara Burton Vestry Member (2021-2024)
Hi, I’m Barb Burton have been a member of St. James’ for the last 10 years. I was raised in Camillus and married my husband Rick at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Syracuse in 1981. Rick and I spent the next 39 years attending Episcopal or Anglican churches in WI, CT, OR, CO and NSW, Australia before arriving back in Camillus in late 2009. I’ve been a member of both the
Praise Band and choir, served on the Altar Guild and am currently active with the St. James’ Thrift Shop, serving as board secretary. In the past I’ve served on the vestry and as Sr. Warden at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Eugene Oregon. I attended Keuka College and my professional career has included working as a medical social worker, veterinarian
nurse and medical receptionist. Rick and I have three grown, married children, one beautiful granddaughter and a second grandchild due in February 2021. I love to travel, enjoy outdoor adventures and reading. I’m very humbled and excited to serve on the vestry. I believe I can learn a great deal from those presently serving. As a vestry member, I will be able to give back to my church, the community and beyond Skaneateles. I look forward to this next adventure in my Christian walk.
Nancy Corl Vestry Member (2021-2024)
My name is Nancy Corl and I have been attending St. James’ with my husband, Jim, for the past twelve years. Many of you know that Jim is a retired priest, who spent his active ministry years entirely in the diocese of Central New York, which has given me a wide ranging perspective on the workings of our diocese. As you can imagine, when you are married to a priest, the workings of the church in the world are never very far from your mind, even as you pursue your own profession. In my case, that meant working as nurse and then as a Family Nurse Practitioner until my own retirement. We chose to come to St. James’ because my father’s family has longstanding connections with the parish. In fact, my father was an acolyte here MANY years ago and some of you may be familiar with Ducketts who still live in the area and are related to me. Over the years, it has always been interesting to discern what I felt God wanted me to do next, both within the church and outside in the world, especially in these trying times when we are largely at home. I never served on a vestry until I came to St. James, but I have taken part in many other church roles over the years. While some of my preparation for what I do is a bit different (for example, I doubt that many of you who have a spouse who reads Katherine Sondenegger’s excellent book Systematic Theology in bed and shares some insights with you), much is also the same. Through prayer and the daily
offices we do here at home, plus opportunities that are presented through email, social media and extra readings that we do together and separately, I try to remain open to God’s voice. I am currently one of the parish nurses and I hope to find new opportunities to make His will be more clearly seen in our world, in our church and in our personal and shared lives, going forward.
Doug Smith Vestry Member (2021-2023)
My name is Doug Smith, and I was born in Syracuse, brought up in Skaneateles, and attended local schools. I graduated from the University of Miami in 1969 and moved across the street from First Presbyterian to St. James’s to marry my childhood sweetheart, Bev Fairs, that same year. Upon returning from our honeymoon, my 1-A draft notice was in our mail box. Consequently, the next several months were spent in training at Fort Polk Military reservation in Louisiana and I ended up in
the Army Reserves for the next six years. We moved to Auburn, where Bev was teaching, from Camillus and raised our two children there. Eric, 47, now lives with his wife , Heather and family, five children and three grandchildren in Canton, GA. Krista, 44, lives with her husband, Dave, and two children in Keller, TX. Bev and I currently live on Highland Ave. in Skaneateles. My 51 years at St. James’ include three terms on Vestry, two as Warden, teaching Sunday school, ushering, hosting numerous parties and gatherings, volunteering for capital campaigns and work days and the last 22 years attempting to sing bass in the choir.
Along the way, I found time to coach Little League baseball and softball, serve the community in the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary Club, participate in the Skaneateles Community Band, drive for Laker Transportation Project (Laker Limo) and am a member of the Robert J. Hydon Post #239 of the American Legion. I’m a huge N.Y. Yankees fan and also follow the Buffalo Bills and SU sports, especially basketball. In my spare time I play golf at Dutch Hollow Country Club from May to October.
My business life was highlighted by 25 years in the kitchen cabinet distribution business, designing kitchens, as a manufacturer’s representative for coated polyethylene films, selling stainless steel polishing services to industry, and residential real estate sales. I even flipped a couple of houses which I remodeled. I retired in 2015. I feel that my extensive business background will offer a unique perspective to discussions and decisions which will undoubtedly have to be made during the next few critical months as we deal with the pandemic and its impact. My faith in God and His plan for each of us is the foundation for my
Anne Sveen-Vestry Member (2020-2023)
I have been a member of St. James’ for more than 18 years. I am married to John Sveen and have three daughters, Sarah (21), Mia (18) and Lily (10). We lived in Camillus for 20 years and moved to Skaneateles about 6 months ago. I am a pediatrician at Upstate Medical University and have been there for over 20 years. My faith has always been a significant part of my life. I was raised a Catholic, but came to the Episcopal Church about 20 years ago and found a welcoming community here at St. James’. I feel it is important to live my faith and participating in the church community is one way I can do this. In the past I have done this through my music or volunteering my time. I am pleased to be asked to be on the Vestry because I feel a calling to participate more. Thank you for considering me for this opportunity.
Cathy Valentine-Vestry Member (2019-2022)
My name is Cathy Valentine. I was baptized at Christ Episcopal Church in Jordan and confirmed at St. Patrick’s church in Jordan. I am married to Russell and have 3 grown children, Jennifer, Elizabeth and Michael. My mother passed away in 2012 and I was searching for a church that I felt comfortable with, aligned with my own Christian beliefs and I could call home. I had attended a couple of churches in Jordan, Skaneateles and Camillus. I did not feel real welcome and they did not match with what I was looking for. When I attended St. James’ and Becky said “All are welcome to the Lord’s table…”, I felt that was what I was looking for. Also, during the peace everyone was so welcoming and friendly. You can feel God’s presence during every outside service. I received my Associate’s degree in nursing in 1983 and my Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Upstate University in 2006. I have been an RN for 35 years most recently as an administrative nursing supervisor at Upstate University Hospital. I went out on disability retirement in June 2018 and felt very lost. My whole life has been helping and serving people. I am currently in the Stephen Ministry training and soon will be starting the volunteer training for hospice. I realized that my salvation was in St. James’ ministries. My vision for a church is to be welcoming to everyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality, or financial status. In addition, I like the idea of reaching out to all the many people that are in need of resources, an ear to listen or assistance in any way. I look forward to assisting St. James to continue with their mission.