2021 Nominations

The Annual Meeting on January 31 elected the following members of the vestry.

Listen in to the rector’s conversation with our new vestry members (recorded the week before the electing meeting)”

Fran Caradonna

Elected for a first term

I come from a long line of Episcopalians on both sides, and the church has always been a central part of my immediate and extended family’s life.  We sing the doxology before large family meals, and I’m related to a number of active and retired priests and vestry folk.  

When I moved to St. Louis in the early 80s, my new “raised Catholic” husband and I were regulars at the 8:00 a.m. service at St. Michael and St. George.  When our children were little, we attended Emmanuel in Webster and became active at Transfiguration when we moved to O’Fallon.  I grew up knowing that if (when?) the going got tough, my church family would be there for me.

And it was.  When my world fell apart, I could always find my place in the sanctuary, hear the comfortable words and be surrounded by people who knew me and could love me back to some kind of new normal.

But over time my connection to the church began to unravel.  I had a meaningful spiritual awakening in entirely different context and found myself drifting away from my Episcopal roots.  My children grew up, my 30-year marriage ended, and my career languished.  In 2016 I pulled up stakes in O’Fallon, moved to University City and started over.  

Still…I felt the need to find a church home.  Even with ties that were tenuous, the connection seemed important.  So I visited the Episcopal church closest to my house and, before we celebrated the Eucharist, I knew that I’d found a new place at Holy Communion.  

What I find so attractive at HoCo is that together we walk the talk, we do the work, and we show up…not just on Sunday morning, either! We make a difference — to each other, but also to our neighbors and the community at large.  

I am so grateful for this renewed appreciation of our church traditions, and I’m happy for the new relationships and opportunities to serve that I’ve found here.  I look forward to our shared journey and trust that God is with us every step of the way. 

Courtney Dula

Elected for a first term

In 1984 Courtney Dula-Pearson was baptized in Oakland, California at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Her family moved to St. Louis in 1989 and began attending All Saints Episcopal church with other family members. After spending nine years out of state for school, she began regularly attending services at Holy Communion in 2010. At Holy Communion, Courtney has acted as lay co-organizer of the Holy Communion Parents And Caregivers of Kids (HoCo PACK), joined the Grant Committee and in 2020 was a lay delegate for the parish at the 181st Convention of The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri.

Outside Church, Courtney works as a research coordinator in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. When not working or learning a new hobby, she enjoys spending time with her husband (Adam), daughter (Vivi) and son (Phin). She is delighted to have been nominated to Vestry.

Rudy Nickens

Elected for a second term

I wasn’t looking for a church home when I first visited Holy Communion in 1998. I was happy to be an occasional visitor. But it did not take many visits to recognize that this is the parish for me.

I was raised in a family that was faithfully Christian, and unchurched.  Seeking something more, I  started attending church as a young adult and was confirmed at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where I served in a variety of roles there, including cook, vestry, Junior Warden, and representative on the diocesan task force on AIDS.  Since joining Holy Communion, I have also served on a variety of committees including the Diocesan Search Committee for Bishop.

My vocation is in the field of diversity and inclusion.  Currently I serve as Chief Diversity Officer for the Missouri Department of Transportation and as Executive Coach and head of Equity for the California based consulting firm, Evolution. I am fortunate to work locally, nationally and internationally on a variety of programs especially in the areas of racism and sexism.  In my volunteer roles, I serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Deaconess Foundation, board member of David Dorfman Dance and I lead the equity committee of the Missouri Historical Society’s tribute to the LGBTQ+ community, Gateway to Pride.

It has been my privilege to serve as a member of the vestry and I am honored to serve a second term.