Announcement of New Senior Warden

Dear members and friends of St. Barnabas,

As many of you know, for the past nine months that I have been here St. Barnabas has been without a Senior Warden. I would like to thank Amy Sussman for the work she did in preparing the parish for a new rector and keeping the faith alive and active throughout the building process. I also would like to thank Dana Hess for her support, guidance, and hard work over these last months in her role as acting interim Sr. Warden. I am delighted to announce that we have a new Sr. Warden who will begin this month—Butch Willard!

Butch has been an active member of St. Barnabas for a number of years, and has been involved in the greater Carroll County area assisting at the Holy Trinity Parish Cemetery and as a Master Gardener. He brings a number of skills to this position from his previous employment as a Human Resources Director in Columbia, MD and Richmond, VA. I believe that we will work together well as a team to provide leadership, identify our mission and goals, to help develop a strategic plan for St. Barnabas and to implement our plan and assess our progress.

I look forward to working with Butch and all of you as we continue to make St. Barnabas a wonderful place to worship and grow in faith! Included below is a personal letter from Butch as he begins this new adventure.

Yours in Christ,

Mother Meredith


As we begin the New Year and will later this year celebrate St. Barnabas’s 166th birthday, I would like to share a few personal thoughts and aspirations as I begin my tenure as Senior Warden of our wonderful parish family.

First I want to thank Amy Sussman for her service as Senior Warden during the three year transition to call our new Rector and for leading our Stewardship program.  Our recent past has offered a wonderful time of reflection.  Amy, our Vestry and our Transition Team did an outstanding job of readying us for Mother Meredith’s arrival.  These lay leaders and a multitude of other dedicated volunteers helped us identify our strengths and consider opportunities for improvement.  Amy demonstrated a posture of calm and confidence.  I’ve often heard Amy make the statement “All will be well, all will be well”.  Thank you Amy.

Secondly I would like to thank Dana Hess for serving the past six months as our Interim Senior Warden.  Dana’s leadership is clearly visible and evident in every part of our parish life.  We depend on Dana for much including Communications; Fund Raising; Vestry service and other miscellaneous activities.  Thank you Dana.

We’ve are blessed to have many dedicated lay leaders (Commission team members, Church officers, Vestry members, Volunteers, Wardens, Employees, etc.) who have prepared St. Barnabas for a bright future.  I want to personally thank each of you.

I’ve accepted this significant responsibility for several reasons:

Mother Meredith challenged each of us during a sermon early in Advent by asking that we live out our faith by leaning into opportunities where we might make the most difference.  I pondered that challenge for several days before our discussion about our vacant Sr. Warden role.  Where could I make the most difference?  To be open and candid about myself, I shared with Mother Meredith my personal strengths (macro thinker, strategic partner, perceptive, gaining consensus, action orientation) and flat spots that need improvement (not detail oriented, can be too candid at times, impatient, poor with minutiae, listening skills).

I asked Mother Meredith about her expectations of our Sr. Warden.  My summary of her response to this question follows:  to serve as the rector’s warden. Not an assistant rector. Not as an employer or employee but to serve as her partner in our ministries.  My goal is to become her lay advisor, encourager, supporter and confidante.

I also asked about her personal aspirations and her long term strategic plan for St. Barnabas (e.g. our Mission, Vision, Core Values, Priorities and Goals).  If we were to achieve our Mission of “Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve and Minds to Grow”, what would that look like in our everyday lives?  Her response:  with the Vestry & Officers to facilitate a living, forward looking strategy and actions for St. Barnabas which will reach into our communities (internal and external) and create a healthy thriving community.

I’ve considered that after many years of personal volunteer experiences as a Greeter/Usher, Counter, Vestry person, Communications team member and Stewardship team leader/member, how might I best serve our parish family?  Stepping into our Sr. Warden role seemed a natural fit at this point in my life.  I believe God gives us the grace and gifts to serve as God pleases.

Lastly but importantly, I asked my wife for her thoughts and concerns.  As you might imagine, Terry is supportive and believes this is the right time in our personal and parish life for me to step forward and contribute.

As we begin this New Year and ponder how we all will increase our personal faith journeys with Christ, I ask that you include Mother Meredith and her family in your prayers.  I also ask for your personal support and patience with me as I grow into this new role.  Lastly I ask that you continue stepping forward by leaning into our goal of bringing to life the mission of St. Barnabas Sykesville.

Thank you,