The Rev. Claire Nevin-Field came to the priesthood in 2006 after a career as a nurse and nurse-midwife, and joined Emmanuel in December of 2022.
Claire is a “cradle” Episcopalian, and has had a lifelong fascination with Jesus- finding him to be challenging, comforting, puzzling, humbling, joyful, engaging, and life giving. She is particularly passionate about God in Creation, about seeing and sensing God in the world all around us and she is a total Bible nerd-loving to read, study, and talk about the texts and the God we encounter in them. She fully subscribes to Anne Lamotte’s assertion that “laughter is carbonated holiness” and believes that one of the calls of the Christian is to get into good trouble.
Claire and her husband Andrew share their home with their dog Harriet, their cats Shakespeare and Little Bit, and they share their yard with 5 chickens.
Sandra is a nurse attorney who retired to Chestertown with her husband, Bob, in 2007 and has been a member of Emmanuel since coming here. She has been active in parish activities including Choir, Eucharistic Minister, Kitchen Krew, and Worship Committee. She also serves on two Diocesan committees and has been an elected delegate from Emmanuel to Diocesan Convention. Sandra has both been on the Vestry and served as Senior Warden at her previous parish. She volunteers in a number of community organizations. When not volunteering her time and services to the church and the community, Sandra enjoys golf, traveling, cooking, and puttering in the garden.
Tom has been a member of Emmanuel since 1989. Over the years he has served as a Sunday School teacher, a member of the Finance Committee, chair of the Stewardship Committee, and a member of the Building Committee that oversaw the renovation of the church, the new roofing, and the re-configuration of the classroom area, in addition to having served as the Senior Warden. When Tom is not performing one of the many duties of the Junior Warden, he can be found serving as the Eucharistic Minister, a lector/intercessor, or an usher, most often at the 8 AM Sunday morning services.
Tim Lavery is Vice President, Organization Development Manager at asset management firm T. Rowe Price, where he works closely with leaders to ensure that teams are appropriately structured, aligned and focused to achieve desired business outcomes. Prior to his role with T. Rowe Price, Tim was with management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton for 18 years, where he specialized in change management and strategic communication, primarily for the U.S. Army research and development community. Tim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with a minor in sociology from Loyola University Maryland and has earned multiple change management certifications as well as being certified in a number of organizational assessments. In his free time, he enjoys running, collecting automotive literature and maintaining a small fleet of old vehicles. Originally from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Tim lives in Chestertown, Md., with his wife Beth and son Harrison.
Penny moved to Chestertown with her husband Jim in 2014 after retiring from her position as supervising teacher at the Campus School of Smith College in western Massachusetts. She has been a teacher of various age groups, pre-K through college, all of her adult life, and continues to volunteer with children in schools and art organizations. Penny has also been on the Council of Washington College Academy of Lifelong Learning since 2015 and has enjoyed taking classes through that organization. At Emmanuel, she serves on the Kitchen Krew, Pastoral Care Committee, Garth Committee, and is active in the Holiday Bazaar. Penny has been the Registrar since 2015 and is a non-voting Vestry member.
Music Director & Choirmaster
Stephanie LaMotte became part of the Emmanuel team in October 2017 as our Music Director and Choirmaster. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from San Jose State University, a Master’s degree in Music and a certification to teach K-12 music from Lewis & Clark College, and a graduate certificate in Bible from Multnomah University. Stephanie studied conducting in Sarteano, Italy with Simon Carrington from the Boston Conservatory and worked closely as personal assistant and accompanist to renowned choral director Charlene Archibeque. She was the featured guest soloist with the Willamette Falls Symphony, performing the Grieg piano concerto. Stephanie has led five international choir tours, including trips to Germany, Ireland, Hawaii, Austria, and Canada. For the past twelve years, she was the Music Director & Organist at The Church of the Transfiguration, and previously was the Creative Arts Director in charge of vocal and instrumental music, drama, dance, visual and technical arts for a large metropolitan church in Portland, Or. Stephanie is highly sought after as a freelance accompanist and will be returning for her third consecutive summer as a faculty pianist with the Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy.
Avis Wheatley joined the Emmanuel music program as Organist in September 2016 after having played for many of our services of Choral Evensong for several years. Avis is a graduate of Bridgewater College in Virginia with a BA in music and Spanish. Currently she teaches at the Gunston School in Centreville. Previous organ posts include Centreville United Methodist Church, Bridgewater Presbyterian Church, and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Kent Parish, in Chestertown.
All Maryland natives, Laura and her family moved to the Eastern Shore in 1989. A stay-at-home mother for 12 years, Laura worked in a variety of public- and private-sector jobs beginning in 1995, and came to Emmanuel as the Parish Secretary in July 2011. Their two daughters grown, Laura and husband Doug live with their collection of dogs, horses, chickens, and one goat in the small town of Starr in Queen Anne’s County. Doug and Laura are active members of St. Paul’s, Centreville.
The Vestry is the lay leadership body of an Episcopal congregation. Vestry members are elected by the voting members of the parish and serve as the legal representatives and agents of the parish, charged with specific responsibilities by the canons of The Episcopal Church including the management of parish finances and parish buildings. In addition, the Vestry works collaboratively with the rector to define and articulate the mission of the congregation and to support that mission in word and in deed.
At Emmanuel, the Vestry is composed of nine elected members serving three year terms, two wardens, a treasurer and a registrar. Each year, at the first Vestry meeting following the Annual Meeting of the Parish, all members take the Vestry oath:
"In the presence of Almighty God,
I (name) do solemnly promise and declare that I will faithfully execute the office of Vestry Member of Chester Parish at Emmanuel Church, Kent County, without prejudice, fear, or favor, according to the best of my skill and judgement. And I further declare my belief in the Christian religion."
Sandra Bjork, Senior Warden
Tom Mack, Junior Warden
Tim Lavery, Treasurer
Penny Block, Registrar
Meet The Vestry
Term dates listed below member names.
D. Joe Smith
Capture the Beauty
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