Baldwin and his wife Judy have been attending St. Mark’s since 2002. They liked Fr. Ladd– particularly his “gentle, kind-hearted” manner—and have liked all the clergy who have served since then. It’s the people of St. Mark who keep the Ogdens coming back. They’re “super,” and also gentle and kind-hearted.
Baldwin has had a varied career as an attorney, practicing in Louisville, Washington, D.C., and then Grand Rapids, from 1982 until 2013, when he retired. In Grand Rapids, he was an Administrative Law Judge, deciding primarily disability cases for the Social Security Administration. He believes the organizational skills he learned as an attorney will also help his work on the Search Committee.
Baldwin supports our Breakfast Café. Two recent experiences giving rides to guests showed him its broad reach, spanning most of Grand Rapids, north and south. One guest wanted a ride to his home off Fuller, north of 196. A few weeks later, another guest asked for a ride to his home off Division, north of 28th St.
As to the future, Baldwin is looking for a rector with vision, who will assist us in an “orderly expansion of already existing ministries, within the limits of our budget.”
Judy Freeman Walker
Judy and her husband Tom Walker have been attending St. Mark’s for about ten years. They work downtown in diverse settings and wanted a downtown church experience. They stay because of the people. The church “feels like family. It feels like where we should be,” says Judy.
In her role as Co-Chair of the Rector Search Committee, Judy can draw on an impressive range of experiences in elementary education. She’s “hooked on education” and has used her talents to provide leadership with a variety of at-risk populations: special education, early childhood, gifted and talented, and English language learners.
Because she knows parents are essential if students are to learn, she runs a Parent Institute to teach them how to partner with a school for their children’s success.
As a busy teacher and administrator, Judy wants her profession to be an expression of her faith. She has been relieved to realize that her work is also her ministry, an insight she gained during an EfM class. “How can we help every member of St. Mark’s find his or her ministry?” she asks.
Carmel has been coming to St. Mark’s every Sunday for breakfast since July. She learned about it through Dégagé, where she felt comfortable after some difficult times elsewhere, and where worked to build her faith. She came because of hunger and the name—she grew up Catholic, and she thought St. Mark’s would be a Catholic church. “People here didn’t look down on us and they had things to say to us. Mother Sue sat with us. Then she said, ‘Now you know I’m gonna keep track of you,’ and she has.”
After time in Houston and New Orleans, Carmel returned to Michigan to be closer to her son and her four-year-old and expected grandchild, but she didn’t want to burden her son as he was starting a family. Her purpose is to feel established with God, home, income, and kids. She now has a voucher and an apartment and she has started babysitting for her son. Reaching this goal feels like a miracle to her, “but it doesn’t surprise me because it’s God.”
Carmel would like St. Mark’s to maintain the welcoming of all, the activities, and the encouragement for everyone to use their gifts.