My name is Mary Sue Houston. I am a member of Christ The Redeemer in Yuma AZ. It has been my great privilege to serve on the ExComm the past 2 yrs. I filled an open position. Because of this, I am eligible to submit my name for a 3 yr term. I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve again. The DWA is in the middle of some exciting times with the formation of the Yellowstone Mission District. I feel it is very important to follow this progress for potential Mission Districts or separate Diocese in the future. We are also beginning the 3rd yr of the Bishops 5 Year Plan. I feel the knowledge I’ve gained the past 2 years will be beneficial to seeing the plan to fruition. While serving on the ExComm I have had the privilege of serving on the Governance Team. I attended Provincial Council as a delegate for the DWA. I have received so much information that has been a benefit to both the Diocese, the Arizona Deanery and my Local Church. I would be honored to serve the Diocese if it is God’s Will.
The Reverend John Laffoon, Minister to Youth and Families
Imagine a simple little country church building in Kentucky and you’ll probably have a good image of where I grew up. From infancy, the church and my family taught me and showed me that Jesus loved me and the whole world. I thank our God for this great kindness and blessing.
The Lord also placed a fantastic youth minister in my life who walked with me spiritually as a Christian teenager. He suggested that I consider studying at Kentucky Christian University, which I did and enjoyed very much. I majored in Middle Grades Education and Biblical Studies.
After college, I taught World History to sixth-graders for one year in Charlotte, North Carolina. I enjoyed teaching, but I discovered an exciting opportunity to serve as a youth minister in central California that I couldn’t resist. I served a wonderful congregation there for three years before the Lord provided me with another life-changing opportunity.
One of my best friends from college, and his wife, moved to Chile as missionaries to unchurched youth in the capital city, Santiago. They invited me to join them, so with the blessing of the California congregation, I packed up and headed south. I served there for three wonderful years before sensing a need and a desire for further theological studies.
In 2013, I began working on a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The thinking, reading, studying, and praying that were required to complete the degree have been of inestimable worth to me. I also became particularly fascinated with Early Church studies (Patristics). Therefore, I stayed one additional year to complete a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in Historical Theology.
Immediately after seminary, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to serve as the minister of youth and families at Christ Church Anglican in Phoenix. In 2021 I was ordained as a transitional deacon, and as a presbyter in 2022. I continue to joyful serve the youth at CCA, and I plan to continue doing so for as long as our gracious Lord wills.
I pray that the gifts and skills the Lord has given me will be useful for our diocesan executive committee.
I am honored to be a candidate to join the Executive Committee of the Diocese of Western Anglicans. I desire to help the Bishop, Committee and Diocese balance kingdom building initiatives with sound business and ministry decision making. I want to see the Diocese fulfill its strategic plan goals and objectives by using the abundant resources our Lord God has so graciously entrusted to us. I will use my experience as a deacon, priest, and financial executive at two Christian nonprofit organizations over the past 16 years to be a leader and effective contributor to the work of the Executive Committee.
For the past several years, I have been a member of the Diocesan Finance Committee. From 2018-2020, I previously served on the Executive Committee. I am currently the Assisting Priest at St. David’s Anglican Church in Burbank and have served as a supply priest at four of our churches. Since 2006, I have worked as Chief Financial Officer of the Los Angeles Mission and Los Angeles Christian Health Centers. Both organizations provide vital services and ministry to persons experiencing homelessness and poverty in the Skid Row neighborhood of downtown LA. I have grown significantly in my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ through these work experiences.
I am blessed to call three places home in different ways. I grew up and attended college in Wisconsin. I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in New York City after finding the amazing All Angels’ Episcopal Church community and actively participating in house churches for 10 years. Finally, Los Angeles is the place I found my vocational home, St. David’s church family, the Diocese of Western Anglicans, and my beloved optometrist wife, Michele.
I am excited for the possible opportunity of serving a second stint on the Executive Committee and making a more significant contribution to the Kingdom ministry God has called the Diocese to. Thank you for your consideration.
Faithfully in Christ, Steve+