722 N. 145th St. | Shoreline, WA 98133

Faces of Our Ministries: Claree Vandegrift

Foremost, I am blessed. You have been so welcoming, warm and friendly. You have accepted me to serve on the Altar Guild and included me as a lector. The Mission Statement is at the Heart and Soul of it all:

Inspired by our worship together we grow in Christ through welcoming the stranger, feeding hungry bodies and spirits, giving of ourselves, and inviting others to join us in this journey of faith.

My Christian journey was as most children in our small Oklahoma town. There were Fundamental and Evangelical churches and summer revivals in the park. The Community Church, across the street from our house, was our family church. The pastor was a retired Presbyterian. The other denominations were Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite and Nazarene. The Baptists had Vacation Bible School.

Two Memories: I got a weekly allowance of 25 cents and 10 cents of it went into the offering plate. At age five, I stood alone in front of the congregation and sang, “In the Garden.” They cried. Sometime later I realized it was because my Mother had died when I was seven weeks old.

At Oklahoma A&M, I attended the Presbyterian church, the youth group and sang in the choir. I received my BS degree in May 1948 and married my husband, Peter, in August. In 1950 he finished his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, was hired by Boeing, and we moved to Wichita, KS. In 1963 on to Mercer Island and 1976 to the South End of Whidbey Island where there was no Presbyterian church.

We “found” the Episcopal Mission with Fr. Bill Burnett, Vicar in 1977. Pete became a member of the Bishops Committee (Bishop Bob Cochran), although not yet an Episcopalian. When we became a parish and Fr Bill, a rector, we had become “official.” We both served in many capacities including Senior Warden twice (Pete) and I twice was the Junior Warden. St Augustine’s in the Woods continues in my prayers.

I have found guidance from Fr David with a particular doctrinal concept, The Nicene Creed. Re “I Believe.” A translation is helpful to me: I Trust I Love I Cherish.

Another is The Lord’s Prayer. Forgive us our sins? Really, sins?
I routinely said it. But…

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

One Sunday I had an awakening! I got a message. It was direct. I had far too long nursed a trespass against me. I pray for that forgiveness.

I credit Fr David with what I see in myself as Spiritual growth.