The Rev. Albert "Bertie" Pearson
I began to feel a call to ministry as a small child, and while discernment was a constant feature of my prayer life through high school, it wasn't until college that I entered the process in earnest. In the late 90's I left my hometown of Austin for Berkeley, California where I studied intellectual history. During my sophomore year, I studied abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris, and became very involved at The American Cathedral, the Episcopal church in Paris. There I began a series of conversations about the priesthood, which continued with my parish priest in San Francisco. Through years of discernment, it became clear to me and to my church that I was indeed called to a life of ministry, and I began seminary at The Church Divinity School of the Pacific after finishing college.
I seem to be one of very few clergy in the Episcopal Church to have put himself through seminary by DJ-ing electronic music and playing the drums in rock bands. One evening, waiting for a soundcheck before a performance, I was reading a church history book in the back of a nightclub. A young woman from Holland named Rahel, who was recently arrived in the US for a post-college year abroad, sat down next to me and asked what I was reading, and a conversation ensued which has continued to this day. After I finished seminary, Rahel decided to return to Holland to do a Masters of Psychology and I followed her to Europe, doing further graduate study at Oxford University, where I also served as Assistant Chaplain at Hertford College. Rahel and I later returned to San Francisco where we were married and I was ordained. I spent my first two years as a priest serving on the staff of the Diocese of California, and later served as priest in charge of two churches simultaneously, Holy Innocents and St. John the Evangelist.
One of the great dangers of marrying a Texan is that we almost always come home. In 2012 Rahel and I moved back to Austin where she began a PhD at UT in Clinical Psychology, and I was called as Vicar of San Francisco de Asís in South Austin. I was also called to serve on the adjunct faculty of both the Seminary of the Southwest and the Iona School for Ministry where I taught Church History for seven years. In 2015 we welcomed our daughter Helena into the world, and in 2016 I began serving at Grace. (Dr.) Rahel is now a visiting scholar at the UT Dell School of Medicine working on a PTSD study for the VA and our son Augustine was born in 2020. We have found Grace to be the world's warmest, most prayerful and fun Episcopal Congregation, and we hope to see you in church!
The Rev. Mthr. Mary Ann Huston
I am delighted to be part of the Grace community, and I look forward to getting to know you all. I come to Grace from St. Mark's in Houston, where I served first as the Curate, and then as the Associate Rector. I learned much from my time there, and am eager to share my experience with you.
A common thread throughout my life has been an interest in peoples' stories. I studied Anthropology in college, worked as an archaeologist between college and graduate school, and later worked at an historical society in Kansas and the State Historic Preservation Office in Iowa. Part of what I enjoy most about ministry is hearing the stories of people's lives and how God is working in them.
I have served in God's church for much of my life. I grew up in Fort Worth, where I sang in the children's choir and was an active member of our youth group. As an adult, I served in our church in East Tennessee. I answered my call to ministry while our two children were small by becoming an EfM student and mentor for twelve years, a Sunday School teacher, and a pastoral care coordinator. I got additional training in
chaplaincy at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. When we moved back to Texas for Michael's work, I was able to finally attend seminary. I served as a hospital chaplain at South Austin Medical Center during and after my studies at the Seminary of the Southwest. I also served in an interim capacity at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, as their Adult Formation Coordinator.
My husband, Michael, and I have been married for 32 years. We have two adult children who are creatively making their ways in the world. Ann is a Park Ranger for Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona. She also is a poet whose work has been published in several journals. Thomas is living in Chicago and doing art installations in art museums and galleries, as well as selling clothes. Michael is recently retired from Texas StateUniversity, where he taught biology for the past 13 years. If you are interested in nature, ecology, biodiversity, or the Big Bend area, Michael is a good person to talk with! We are all excited to begin a new journey at Grace.
Office Manager / Administrator
Born about 30 miles from London, England, Elizabeth lived in a hamlet in rural Surrey. At age 7, she and her parents moved to rural west Wales; her brother continued working in London. Elizabeth and her mother attended services regularly at the local Church in Wales parish, and thus began her membership in the Episcopal Church. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen (B.Sc.) and Robert Gordon University (M.L.S.) in Scotland, and started work as a college science librarian in Yorkshire. In 1986 her husband was offered a promotion that relocated them to Pittsburgh, PA. She was frequently reminded of Oscar Wilde's comment "Two nations divided by a common language!" She worked as Museum Library Director for eight years at The Carnegie in Pittsburgh, then moved to Philadelphia for a promotion to work in two more non-profit historical research libraries.
In 2003, Elizabeth moved to Texas; she felt as if she had moved to yet another country! She worked as a Library Consultant then Coordinator for a consortium
of 65 public libraries, covering 28 counties in southeast Texas; her first job not working as a science librarian. She was laid off in the summer of 2012, when the consortium closed due to severe cuts in state funding, and moved to Georgetown. She soon attended Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, and was welcomed into the choir. Elizabeth also discovered an active Cursillo Community here, having made her Cursillo in Pittsburgh and served on teams.
She had found her new Church home. In September, She started the four-year curriculum, Education for Ministry (EfM). After 30 years as a librarian, Elizabeth is still an avid reader and life-long learner, so she looked forward to having something spiritual to focus on while settling into her new life in Georgetown. She expects to graduate from EfM in 2016.
Elizabeth served as part-time Office Administrator for Grace Lutheran Church in Round Rock from December 2012 until October 2015. After closing down an organization over three years, it was a great relief for Elizabeth to work where the priorities were not dollars or quantities, but God’s work instead. In August 2015, she was honored to be hired as Parish Secretary here at her home Church, Grace Episcopal. Preparing weekly bulletins keeps her steeped in scriptures and she enjoys making a difference through her ministry of service and encouragement. Elizabeth is thankful to be surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. Far from her family in England, her friends and home Church have long been very important to her.
Dr. David Polley
David Polley began serving in the position of Director of Music at Grace in September 2015. He comes to this position after serving 17 years as Organist at University United Methodist Church in Austin. He is also an adjunct Professor of Organ at Southwestern University. After forty years of teaching secondary music education, Dr. Polley retired to pursue a more active career in church music. He earned degrees from Concordia University, Seward, NE; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; and the University ofNebraska-Lincoln, NE. He has served Lutheran, Catholic, and Methodist churches in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Texas.
As an accompanist, Dr. Polley has toured with the Southwestern University Chorale and the San Gabriel Chorale to China, Hungary, Italy, and France where he played the largest organs in China (Shanghai) and Hungary (Budapest). He has also performed as a featured recitalist in concerts in the Georgetown Festival of the Arts playing the music of Schubert, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Vierne, as well as Gade, Grieg, and Larsen. His most recent invited recitals include Church of the Heavenly Rest Episcopal, Abilene, TX and St. Austin Catholic Church and Westlake Presbyterian in Austin, TX.
In the future, Dr. Polley plans to continue serving as an accompanist and clinician in the area public schools as well as playing recitals in Central Texas.
Dayna graduated from Georgetown High School in 2001 and earned her Master of Accountancy degree at Abilene Christian University in 2006. Following college graduation, Dayna completed an accounting intern in Indonesia with the Christian international relief organization, Samaritan's Purse. Dayna met her husband Ryan, a fellow intern, during this time and they were married a year later. Dayna obtained her CPA license in 2008 while working as a public auditor. Later she and Ryan returned with Samaritan's Purse in Liberia, Africa, where she served as Finance Manager.
In 2009 they settled back in Georgetown and Dayna began an accounting position at Southwestern University. Their first son, Sawyer, was born in 2012 and their second son, Micah, in 2014. Dayna has primarily been a stay at home mom since then. She spends most of her time with her family and friends, and also enjoys biking and serving in local ministry. She is grateful for the opportunity the Lord provided to serve as the bookkeeper at Grace.
Patty has been working at Grace Church for four years as Sexton and the last two as the ARK Coordinator. She is wonderful with the little children.
Patty has three grown children and four grandchildren. She likes to garden, read and shop, but her first love is those grandchildren and that fills up most of her spare time.
Our Vestry is made up of church members who are elected by the congregation to serve 3 year terms. The Senior Warden leads the vestry and the Junior Warden is responsible for the church property and buildings. The Vestry manages the resources and finances of the Grace Church, and works with the Rector to further the mission of the Body of Christ.
Senior Warden - Jim Gossett
Junior Warden - Kevin Ross