Vestry Nominees Class of 2020

Who is Eligible to Serve on the Vestry?

According to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Canon 11, Section 4:
Only lay persons who are confirmed adult communicants in good standing of the church, as defined in General Convention Canon 1.17., shall be eligible for election as Vestry Members of such church. However, regardless of eligibility of a person for election, no person shall be elected at a duly convened congregational meeting to consecutive full terms on a congregation’s Vestry or Vestry Committee.

So what does this mean in plain English?
“Confirmed Adult Communicant in good standing” means the following:

  • You are age 16 or older.

  • You have been baptized and confirmed in the church, and we have your baptism and confirmation duly recorded.

  • You are active in worship, and have received communion at least 3 times this year.

  • You have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God (meaning you are active and intentional about your participation in the life of the church and are known to the treasurer of the church).

Furthermore, this Canon states that you can only serve one consecutive full term (3 years) on the Vestry.

Chandler Van Voorhis


My parents instilled in me a simple truth --- the two greatest joys in life are the tilling of the land and the cultivation of character. One anchors us, and the other elevates us. For centuries, we have understood the tilling the land, but we have only faintly grasped how the cultivating of character deepens the soil of the mind and spirit to promote public virtue. Trinity creates the space, structure, and sense of place that enables this cultivation to happen. Our community is enlarged, and its betterment realized through the compounding nature of God’s love made manifest.

For over twenty years, Trinity has been an integral part of my family. My wife Heidi and I were married at Trinity in 1998. Both our children, Claiborne and Haley, were baptized and confirmed at Trinity. As they grew, they participated as acolytes under the wonderful guidance of Lillian. We still have many those beautiful handwritten notes she sends to all the acolytes after their service.

While the cultivation of character takes place at home and in the pubic square, my professional work has been about the tilling of the soil. Along with Carey Crane, we co-founded a company that has become the leading carbon reforestation project in the world. In partnership with 500+ landowners, comprising roughly 120,000 acres, some 42+ million trees have been planted. The growth of those trees helps to purify the air, filter the water, and provide habitat. These actions of commerce are about building equity in each other and our land.

As citizens, congregation members, and children of God, our cross is comprised of two structural elements. The first is the vertical alignment between ourselves and God. The second is the horizontal alignment by loving our neighbors as ourselves. As we individually and collectively as a congregation find that equilibrium, divine love compounds and enlarges the heart of us all.

The love that compounds and enlarges will only deepen and anchor Trinity Church also. Trinity is getting ready to write the next chapter with a new rector. If elected, my hope is, we as a congregation can find a new equilibrium that becomes a steppingstone to that future.

Melinda Gable


Melinda has been entrenched in advancing natural resource issues on the political playing field for 25 years. Her passion is a blend of taking ideas from conception to execution and the facilitation of bringing federal, private and NGO partners together to advance natural resource policy and achieve common goals as well as helping organizations excel in launching new programs and major marketing initiatives. Her current work is on promoting the sustainability and economic viability of family forest landowners and the stewardship of the natural resources under their care.

Married to Brad, a lifelong resident of Loudoun, Melinda has been entrenched in the community and Episcopal church for twenty years. She has two daughters who were active in Trinity's former youth program and current robust and lively acolyte program. I feel most at home in Trinity when the congregation is full of generations of families old and young.

Dan Murphy


Beth and I have been part of the Trinity Congregation for over 25 years. Our daughters, Grace and Molly, were baptized here, sang in the choir, and joined in youth activities. Beth serves on the Outreach Committee. I sang in the choir for years and have previously served on the Vestry, leading the Stewardship effort for two years.

My work as a museum exhibit consultant has given me insight in non-profit governance and experience in building mission-driven programs to inform dialogue and strengthen communities. I am excited to renew my commitment to Trinity through service on the Vestry during this period of transition. I am so grateful to those that have worked hard over the years to build such a wonderful church and community, but I truly believe that Trinity’s best years are ahead. If elected to the Vestry, I look forward to listening to the heart of the congregation and working to make our church strong and our future bright.

Bob Appenzeller


Thank you for considering me for the Vestry Class of 2022. Kathy and I have made Northern Virginia our home since 2001 and we have been members of Trinity Upperville for over 8 years.

I am a small business owner producing Defense electronics and was honored to have served on the 2016 Vestry while leading the Outreach Committee. Our class weathered significant issues within the church that still resonate today. We met the challenges head-on and with prayerful discernment. I am committed to the idea that Trinity is and will continue to be a congregation that can change the world for the better; we have the capability along with the drive.

My commitment to Trinity Upperville is stronger now than ever because I understand the delicate balance between church leadership and the congregation. Vestry is key to maintaining that vibrant Trinity community with all of its inherent complexities. If our wonderful building and campus ceased to exist tomorrow, Trinity would still be a Church in Upperville, VA. We have strong bonds that keep us doing God’s work out in the world.

I am ready to serve again.

Elizabeth H. Thomas


Because we are a congregation under the banner of “Trinity,” I will try to introduce myself through three identities:

Episcopalian - This is our foundation and my religious orientation, one that I treasure while still having questions about my Christian faith. Trinity has been my church home since moving to the country in 2010. Like a beacon, Trinity draws me to worship, to fellowship, and to the gift of grace in all endeavors.

Psychotherapist - My professional life concerns human beings in distress, but just as often wanting to learn more about their interior world. Some might understand this to be attention to one’s soul. It’s what I try to attend to in my practice as well as what is most assuredly attended to in participation in the life of Trinity.

Wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, etc. - Family is the fabric of life, be it generationally determined or experientially cultivated. Family and friends are everything. Trinity is both and more. It is the hope, the conflict, and the promise – three in one – that propels us forward. It is vital, and I would like to serve in a more active way the mission of the Church.