Meet The Vestry

Reverend Stephen Pessah

Rector
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It my joy to extend to you an invitation to join us for Worship at Church of the Holy Child Episcopal Church. Whether you are visiting from another State or Country, or are looking for a Church home here in Ormond Beach, we would be very pleased to have you come and experience the love of Jesus Christ in our faithful community. We would also encourage you to explore the various opportunities for fellowship and the study of God’s Word that take place each week here at Holy Child. No matter where you are in your spiritual journey we are confident you will find something that will help form you into the person God has created you to be. I look forward to meeting you soon.

Faithfully Yours,
The Reverend Stephen Pessah
Rector, Church of the Holy Child

June Rhodes

Senior Warden
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Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: I have loved the Lord since I was a small child. My faith has been with me all my life. I was brought up in a Christian home and taught that God loved me. Since then I have had times when my faith was challenged, but I always knew God was with me through whatever was in my path. All of us are faced with life’s difficulties, but prayer and reading the Bible will give us the answer.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: I was sponsored to go to Cursillo by Joanne Clements who was a dear friend for many years. I was a recent widow when I went. I did not know what God had in his plan for me at that time, but I listened to see what he wanted me to do with my life. I later realized what God wanted me to do, which have been to be a reader, a LEM, Christian healing and help to the elderly.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: To enlarge our faith based membership throughout our community. Increase our pledges with the growth of the church community. We also need to include the youth in our plan and support their activities. Always have a positive attitude.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: Invite others to come to our church. Be an example for others in my daily life and activities. Use my knowledge and abilities in the church.

Selvyn Byfield

Junior Warden
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Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: I was guided by my parents who were Baptist by religion. Also Mrs. Irving by Elementary School Principal was very influential in me becoming an Episcopalian.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: The religious experience I had when I attended Cursillo.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: The need for Growth and Commitment.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: By imparting to the Vestry how best I think, we can promote and maintain Growth and Commitment at Church of the Holy Child.

Cathleen Hayes

Senior Warden Emeritus

As the Emeritus she has no vote or voice (unless permission is granted). This position will sustain continuity and aid the new Sr. Warden with the support of past leadership.

Charles Knox

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Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: After 60 years of not having a relationship with and not knowing Christ I came to a point in time where I longed for a change in my life. I started attending Holy Child January of 2011 and the first sermon I ever heard was to “Trust in Jesus Christ, He wants to be your friend, He wants to help you”. There was something about that sermon that touched my mind and heart and gave me a sense of hope that there just might be some truth to all this. It ignited a fire of curiosity to explore who this guy really is and why everyone believed in Him. So I bought a bible and started reading and studying, and attending church on a regular basis. I joined an Alpha course which had a profound impact on my life; during the sixth week I came to “Believe” and “Surrendered” and “Confessed” my sins and begged “His Forgiveness”. That was the evening of April 4th 2011 an evening with an end and a new beginning. It ended the years of being a slave to Satan’s lies, to his deceit and his deception. It began a new life filled with the love of Jesus Christ. “His love, His comfort, His grace what a glorious discovery. Each day is a new and exciting discovery as I gain knowledge of this man that walked into my life.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: I have had many blessings; however the one most particularly rewarding is I now have a “Loving Family”. From my very first visit to now I always feel the “Love and Fellowship” each and every time I walk through those double doors.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: Being “Equipped” to serve the Lord. Being equipped to be the Christian in modern times that we seek to be can be an enormous challenge; it takes much study and discipline to come to a place where patience and peace become a part of our everyday living and even then it tends to escape us.. We know evil exist everywhere and I believe we need to better prepare ourselves in order to deal with it with the knowledge, wisdom, love and compassion and understanding that God freely gives us, yet we find so difficult to hold on to .

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: I believe we must know what tools we have available to us and how to use them. I also believe that educating ourselves to His Word is a powerful tool that will give us insight as how to deal effectively with our adversaries. Not being afraid to stand up and spread His Word is what He calls us to do and brings us a step closer to becoming the Christians He asks us to be.

Jeannie Norcia

Risk Management
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Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: Growing up in an Episcopal family, church was always a part of our routine. It felt as just that to me then, a routine. Going to Engaged Encounter with Father Comforted leading opened my eyes. My Cursillo weekend was without a doubt the first time I felt his presence and knew there was a living God.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: Again, my Cursillo will always be the stand out event in my life, however having the love of our past Rector, who ALWAYS showed up when there strife in our life, without a phone call, he was in the ER when our daughter Megan was two and had to have surgery on her toe. So many events he was a part of and I still don’t know how he always knew. Always feeling the prayers of church family in everything is undoubtedly what sets us apart from so many church families.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: Getting people to accept change. That change is really ok. New parish family in our church as leaders, I’m so excited for our churches possibilities.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: Be a voice. Try to do activities to grow our church family. I’d love to see more younger families.

Corinna Oakley

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Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: I was guided by my parents who were Baptist by religion. Also Mrs. Irving by Elementary School Principal was very influential in me becoming an Episcopalian.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: I was drawn to the Church of the Holy Child almost 6 years ago with my search for a church to have my first daughter baptized. I was looking for a church that had some of the traditional customs of the Anglican influence that was use to growing up in Jamaica. I felt at home at the Holy Child and so do my girls. I have met a wonderful group of friends who are warm, welcoming and always eager to help. I have sought other churches that had a younger population, however, my girl always want to go back” to their church”.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: A real challenge that I see for the parish is recruiting a younger crowd. I do find that at the present time, that the church lacks diversity in its population and has not been able to attract younger members and hence the growth has been stagnant.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: As a Vestry member some ideas would be to make our presence in the community be more apparent. Perhaps by offering support groups that are geared more towards teens and young families, summer vacation bible schools, being present at more community events. Vamping up the children ministry and the music ministry, be more open to changes that could in turn help our growth as a church.

Jim Clements

Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: I was brought up Roman Catholic and even went to Catholic school from 4th-8th grade. I knew about Christianity but, I did not know Jesus. Around thirty years ago, I had a motorcycle accident which resulted in a head injury that left me semi paralyzed on the left side of my body. Six months later after regaining full use of my left side, my oldest son, Patrick was born. These two factors brought me back to church. I began worshiping at Holy Child because my parents worshiped here. Seeing my father’s faith as he was dying of cancer, was the catalyst that sent me on a journey to find that faith for myself. There were many thing that brought me to that faith. This church family was one of them.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: My blessing is this churches strength. I am blessed to have a loving church family that I like to be around. When I am here I can sense God’s love.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: To find ways to share the love that we have within these walls with others who don’t yet know that love.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: I would find ways to support programs that help us share our love with others. Programs like our cold weather shelter for the homeless and the program that the Men’s ministry is working on to support Grandparents raising their grandchildren.

Stephen Knight, M.D.

Q: What is your “faith” story? How did you come to know and love the Lord?

A: My two loving parents baptized me as a baby and all my youth I went to Sunday School, summer church camps, youth groups and as an Eagle Scout took personal ownership of the scout law that “a scout is reverent”. As a searching youth I convinced myself that I could worship just as well if I met God on his beach or on my bicycle so my days in the pew dwindled. One summer day before I turned sixteen, I walked over the sand dune in Cocoa beach to check the waves and lo and behold there were six young lovelies, one of which was Nancy. Many twists and turns and eight years later she became my beautiful wife of now 42 years. Thanks be to God, she was Episcopalian, knew the Lord better than I and was a girl I could take home to meet mom. These “God appointments” still amaze me, but they seem to be the way He works and I love Him for it.

Q: Share one particular personal blessing you have had as a result of worshiping at Church of the Holy Child.

A: Having sat on many pews, heard many different teachings and been to services large and small, it was at Church of the Holy Child that I heard this over and over: my mission was to use my spiritual gifts in my own personal style and with my own personal passion to be a witness for Him.

Q: I think an important challenge to the parish is….

A: Although we are not large in numbers, we can seek ways to be salt and light to each other, our families and our community. We are part of an enormous force that is changing the world.

Q: As a vestry member I would do the following to address that challenge….

A: Likely, life will throw us plenty of curve balls. Another storm will come, the roof might leak, the sprinkler fizzle. Whatever the detail, it will be our opportunity to work together to support our wonderful leadership, to steer a safe heading and keep us off the rocks, to be a witness than we can be good stewards and faithful witnesses of God at work in our personal and collective lives.