Church of the Atonement Vestry

Vestry meetings at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement are held on the second Sunday of each month following the 11:00 Mass. Meeting minutes are recorded to provide insight to the agenda and discussions of church affairs, in addition to being used as a means to document important decision making on behalf of the Atonement Vestry. Following approval by the vestry, minutes will be posted on this site monthly, as well as our bulletin board in our parish hall.

View approved minutes

View the Vestry's Bylaws.

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Liz Sarnik, Warden


Although I first attended the Church of the Atonement back in the 1980s, I really came to know the parish in 2011, when I lost my son Eric suddenly and the people of Atonement were wholly and lovingly there for me. It felt like I “came home.” In my grief and sorrow, I turned to my faith and have not looked back.  In my work life, I am the executive assistant at Food for Thought Enterprises, where I have worked since 1999. I have served on several non-profit boards and as a charity planner and political campaign volunteer. I was on the vestry of Atonement from 2014 to 2017, have served on multiple Stewardship Guilds, serve currently on the Altar Guild, and have assisted with refugee ministries and with priestly discernment committees.

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Dave Beil, Warden

Dave Beil and his partner Jeremy McElroy moved to Chicago in 2016 after 11 years in Atlanta, where he completed his Master of Architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology. He continues to work from home for Foley Design in Atlanta, focusing on continuing care retirement communities while studying for his six architecture licensing exams. He currently sings in the Atonement and St. Cecilia choirs. He also had the privilege to sing at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in Manhattan while completing his Master of Science in Architectural Sciences of Built Ecologies, a joint venture of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. As a member of the vestry, Dave is excited to support Atonement’s music ministry, participate in community outreach, and assist in exploring opportunities for our facilities and grounds.


Michael Trumbold, Treasurer


Illinois has always been home for me and in 1993 I moved to Chicago to work as executive director of an intellectual property law firm. In 2004 I moved into the Edgewater neighborhood and was received into Atonement by +Bishop Montgomery. Since my first day Atonement has always seemed like home.  In 2011 I retired and was able to become a more active participant in Atonement activities. My ministries have included serving on the Finance, Building & Properties, Stewardship, Endowment and Outreach Guilds as well as serving on two discernment committees, being co-chair of a rector search committee, a regular lector/intercessor and usher. In 2011 I was asked to serve on the vestry and at the end of that year I became treasurer of the parish.  

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Michael Waltz, Clerk

I was raised in rural Pennsylvania as a member of a Lutheran church. While in college I joined Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport, Penn., a parish with a rich Anglo-Catholic tradition. Shortly after attending graduate school in Indiana I moved to Chicago and joined the Church of the Ascension. When my husband Steve and I moved to Edgewater in the early 1980s we transferred to Atonement and have been parishioners ever since, with the exception of a few years when my work took us to New York City. I’ve come to love Atonement not only because of the spiritual growth I’ve experienced here, but because I’ve found a community committed to caring for each other and for the larger community around them. 


Natalie Archie


I started attending Atonement in the summer of 2018 after moving to Edgewater. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago on the Island of Tobago, where my father still lives. I’m one of five sisters and (fun fact!), I have an uncle who is an Anglican priest. I am the mother of two, Omar and Imani. I am currently employed with the Illinois Department of Insurance as a financial examiner. I’ve spent the majority of career working with social service and advocacy organizations. My outside interests include reading, listening to music, traveling, visiting museums and art galleries (although I claim no expertise in any of these).


Jennifer Ash


My very good friend and neighbor, Jerry Mash, invited me to attend mass with him at the Church of the Atonement. This was just over three years ago, and I have been attending mass each Sunday at Atonement ever since. I had never before encountered a church community so welcoming, so accepting and so inclusive, and I am so grateful that I have found my “spiritual home” here at Atonement. I am currently a lector and intercessor, an officiant at Morning Prayer, a member of the committee for Adult Formation and an enthusiastic member of Q&A. It is a privilege and an honor to participate in the life of the community at Atonement, and I took forward to serving on the Vestry as we negotiate the various challenges confronting us during this period of transition.

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Richard Benson

I first set foot in Atonement in 2016 based on the recommendation of a friend in Bloomington, Indiana (Go Hoosiers!), where I was finishing law school and joining the Episcopal Church after an evangelical upbringing. After moving to Chicago, I remember Atonement’s then rector warmly telling me “this is your parish and I’m your priest.” That spirit of welcome and faithful growth and challenge has been my rock since moving to Uptown and now Ravenswood. Despite whatever life has thrown me, Atonement has shown me God’s joy, conviction, and peace. In 2020, I completed Education for Ministry, served as Stewardship Guild chair, and joined the lectors. As for paying the bills, I’m a tax attorney and am blessed to be on a two-year fellowship with CEO Action for Racial Equity. We are researching and promoting scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate practices to promote social justice, especially for Black Americans.

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Steven Britt

I’m a retired nurse and health care administrator who lives in Buena Park with my husband, Michael. I was raised a Methodist in rural Kansas but not long after moving to Chicago I started attending the Church of the Ascension where I was confirmed by Bishop Montgomery. I was an active member of Ascension until I moved to Edgewater in the 80s and decided to visit the Church of the Atonement. I immediately felt at home and regularly attended Mass and church events until moving to New York.  When I returned to Chicago I returned to the Atonement family where I feel I’ve been blessed in many ways.  Serving on the vestry is a way that I can give thanks and help contribute to the work the parish does for its members and its community.


Ann Cassidy

I welcome the opportunity to serve on the vestry of Church of the Atonement and use whatever talents I possess in that service. I am a cradle Episcopalian but baptized and confirmed into the protestant end of that faith. It wasn’t until I met and married Tom in 1981, who was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, that my spiritual journey was opened to the Anglo-Catholic liturgy. We were members of Church of the Ascension in Chicago for 21 years and had our civil marriage blessed in that church. In 2002 we both had taken early retirement from careers in finance and accounting, and moved to Sandusky, Ohio, to care for my parents. While living in Ohio, we would spend periods of time in Chicago and worshiped at Atonement with friends who were members here. Tom and I both longed to be a part of this wonderfully diverse and prayerful community.


In 2020 we officially moved back to Chicago to be closer to our two sons and their families who live in Evanston. We also fully became members of this blessed place. I have been active at Atonement as an usher and reader, an auditor of the parish financial records, and member of the 2021 Gala Committee. With experience in two other Episcopal parishes as a vestry member, warden, search committee member, altar guild chair, and accountant, I wish to use some of this experience in any way I can. I look forward to working with other vestry members in our commitment to making Atonement the best it can be at drawing others into this sacred space.


Rufus Gonzales


I work as a professor at Loyola University in the counseling psychology program and also have a psychotherapy practice in Edgewater. My husband Ed Hebson owns Flaco’s Tacos with his brother and cousin. Ed and I have been attending Atonement since 2007 when we moved into the neighborhood. We felt immediately welcomed and at home here and became regulars at the 8:00 Mass, until we adopted our first child and started to attend the 9:00 family Mass. We now have three children, Michael, Ana, and Dennis, who all were baptized here. As a same-sex couple, with a multiracial and adoptive family, we have experienced Atonement to be an affirming spiritual home. As a family, we love the sense of community and connection that we have. We really appreciate the coffee hours, when we can have them, and have enjoyed brining treats to share. I have been mostly involved with activities for kids, helping out with the Easter Egg hunts, Christmas cookie decorating, and Sunday school. When the Sunday school program began, I helped initially with the pre-school kids, but now assist the lead teacher with the older kids. As a member of the vestry, I hope that I am able to continue to support and foster the participation of families and children at Atonement. I am looking forward to becoming more involved and helping to shape our community.

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Amanda Kim

My husband, AJ, and I joined Atonement in 2009, after moving to the Edgewater neighborhood. We were immediately drawn to the atmosphere of thoughtful wonder, the liturgy, music, and friendly community. We have been delighted to bring up our two boys, Hugo and Felix, in this loving and faithful community. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with other parishioners on the vestry. I work as an attorney for the Office of the State Appellate Defender, representing indigent defendants in criminal appeals. When I'm not shuttling the boys to their various sports practices and activities, I enjoy reading, cross-stitching, and traveling as much as possible.

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Barbara Newman


I've been attending Atonement with my husband, Richard Kieckhefer, since 2007. Raised in a secular Jewish family, I was baptized as a college student on the Easter Vigil at Christ Church, Oberlin. Soon afterwards, the priest who baptized me was defrocked  after a rare formal trial for heresy. His offense was repeatedly inviting one of the Philadelphia Eleven (uncanonically ordained women priests) to celebrate the eucharist in his church. As a graduate student I left the Episcopal Church for a long sojourn with the Russian Orthodox Church. My spiritual father was the Russian archbishop of London, the late Anthony Bloom, whom I revere as my father among the saints. After 17 years in the Orthodox Church, I returned to the Anglo-Catholic fold. My ministries at Atonement have included adult formation, two discernment committees, the rector search committee, service as an acolyte and then a lector, and now organizing the lector rota for the 11:00 Mass.


Rick Velon


My name is Richard Velon, many of You know me as “Rick.” If I was called Richard as a youngster I was in a big heap of trouble. I'm a native Chicagoan, born and raised on the Southwest side. My 46-year career in visual merchandising/store planning and design has allowed me opportunities to relocate to Orlando, Pittsburgh, Houston, Atlanta, New York, and Richmond, VA, opening and renovating stores in the South/Southwest, Midwest, and the East Coast. I've been an active parishioner at the Church of Atonement for nine years. The first time I was introduced to be involved in a "ministry" was by Fr. John David requesting me to do the crèche for Christmas. I was thrilled and scared at this challenge but accepted. Nine years later, I'm still honored and blessed to do it. Through the years I've become more comfortable with offering my time to help where needed as an active participant with hosting coffee hour, helping in the kitchen and decorating for receptions. I also enjoy gardening and landscaping, and am a member of the Buildings/Property and Outreach Guilds. I have served on the Atonement Fundraising/Gala Committee and am a member of the Q&A Group. I retired from working for Howard Brown Health at the Brown Elephant store in Andersonville after 10-plus years. This has given me the opportunity to offer more of my time to volunteer to help the church and the community. Being a part of the Atonement Family has enriched me spiritually and I look forward to continuing to help in whatever way I can.