Vestry of Atonement
My husband Ricardo and I came to the Episcopal Church over twenty years ago. Serving on many different committees, being both senior and junior warren twice, has been extremely rewarding. Chairing the Gala committee for ten years has been a blast, but my favorite part of Atonement is the wonderful people that I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years. In my professional life I am a real estate broker and live in Hawthorn Woods and in East Lakeview with Ricardo, my husband of 29 years.
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 2014-2017, have served on multiple Stewardship Guilds, serve currently on the Altar Guild, and have assisted with refugee ministries and with priestly discernment committees.
James Hawkes, Clerk
Born and raised Boston area; attended Congregational Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hingham, MA; BS in Chemistry; MS, PhD in Food Science; worked at MIT as a technical assistant, Consumer Protection Agency in Saudi Arabia as a chemist, research assistant, assistant professor at University of Illinois, research scientist in the food industry including Sara Lee and Kraft Foods; member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for 13 years (Vestry member 3 years and clerk 4 years); member of Episcopal Church of the Atonement 5 years (clerk past 2 years).
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, who is 16, and Imani, who is 9. 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 is any of these).
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.
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 chairman, 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.
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.
After graduating from the University of Memphis in 1983, I moved to the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago and began attending St. Peter’s Church on Belmont, where I was an active parishioner for over 20 years. At St. Peter’s I served on the Vestry, as Jr. and Sr. Warden, and on various committees. In 2005, My partner Peter and I moved to Edgewater and began attending Church of the Atonement, as it was walking distance from our new home. Since arriving at Atonement, I have served a 2-year term on the Vestry, have served as an usher, and have served on the Social Outreach Guild. I currently work in Marketing at the corporate headquarters of True Value Hardware Stores, enjoy frequent travel, and all things outdoors.
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 (9) and Felix (6), 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.
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 am Mass.
My name is Daniel Polley. I have faithfully been attending this parish since I discovered it when I moved to the neighborhood in 2013. Not having regularly attended church since high school and deciding that it was time to find an appropriate venue in which to give thanks for the many blessings God has shared with me, I stumbled into Atonement in August of that year. Between the warm greetings I received from so many of you, the heartfelt and Spirit-filled homilies and the glorious music that I did not realize still existed in some parishes churches, I had found the spiritual home for which my soul had longed. I was received and confirmed by a bishop at the Atonement in November of 2014 and I have had the wonderful opportunities to join EfM, St. Cecilia's choir, and to participate in Sunday adult formation classes.