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Member Spotlight

At St. Peter’s we love our parishioners!  How well do you know your fellow parishioners?  Do you feel like St. Peter’s is part of your family?  Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own lives, that we miss an opportunity to be part of our amazing and loving church community.  Each month we will take a moment to highlight some of our faithful parishioners.  We hope you will enjoy getting to know our St. Peter’s community, matching names to faces, thanking God for our family, and holding all in prayer.

Mike Booher

How did you become involved at St. Peter’s?

I am a lifelong Episcopalian. I had been working at Publix for about 5 years and living in the Carrollwood area of Tampa. I wanted to eliminate the commute so we decided to move closer to Lakeland. Before even looking at houses in Plant City we attended church one Sunday morning. We were warmly welcomed and have been here ever since.

 
What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

St. Peter's is our extended family. We have all shared so much with each other. Births, anniversaries, losses, marriages, you name it. So many of our children grew up together and to this day remain lifelong friends. It is a community that is rooted in God's love of each of us.

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

1) The liturgy and how we are all bound together through liturgy. 2) The way you can simply be, if that is all you can do. You are not a commodity immediately pressured to join various programs, you are free to participate as you are comfortable. It's not that we won't invite you to participate, we will, but we seem to get to each person on their own terms. 3) It makes room for those who've been burned out, worn out or otherwise cast out. The Episcopal Church is a refuge, a respite, a place where we can come as we are and learn to receive grace again. 4) At the altar we are all the same. We all confess our weaknesses and we all receive the sacraments of bread and wine.

 
Who is someone who has had an impact on your spiritual journey?  How did that person contribute to your formation?

The priest at my childhood church (St. Christopher's in Tampa), Fr. Williams. My mother was his parish administrator and we spent many afternoons at the church office. I used to mow his lawn. My brother and I were acolytes and there was a Tuesday morning men's service (morning prayer) followed by a men's breakfast that we served at. In many ways I grew up while Fr. Williams was at St. Christopher's. I don't recall any one event, but just knowing he was always around and present during so many of my early years had an impact on me that I remember to this day. Sadly he died in the late 1990s of lung cancer.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Traveling. Patti and I enjoy Europe. We hope to do more traveling, particularly visiting our children and grandchildren as they have scattered to cities to live their own lives.

Do you have any practices that help to nourish you spiritually?

Nothing really. I am not a biblical scholar, although I do enjoy John's classes. For me being involved in the service, whether as a reader, a Lay Eucharistic minister or as a member of the choir moves me in profound ways. I always feel some sort of emotional response during each service.

What is something your church family would be surprised to learn about you?

(e.g. hobbies, education, career, interesting/unique job you’ve had, etc.)?

As a freshman in college, I was voted "King Buns" by all the women in the Gator Band.

 

What is your ‘go to’ or favorite bible verse?

Philippians 4 1:23

What is the last book you read?

The Terminal List by Jack Carr

 
If you could have an endless supply of any food, what food would you pick?

A really good steak.

 

Share a personal example of an answered prayer.

Bishop Smith calling me to be the Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese.

 

What is something that you are passionate about and would like to spend more time doing?

Working with the various committees of the Diocese. I have learned so much in my 7 months as the CFO. There is so much good work being done throughout the Diocese that I was unaware of. One item in particular is converting underutilized properties into affordable housing.

 

What is a way that God has shown up in your life recently?

 

I believe the hand of God is always present. Sometime however that guiding hand turns into a swift kick in the rear. For me it is getting over disappointments and setbacks in life. The environment at the Diocesan House is full of love and support for each other. That was never present in my Corporate work environment. The love and support I see every day has allowed me to move on and realize that God needs me to be whom I am. Past events form us, but should not constrain us from what God calls us to be.

 

What is one item on your or your family’s bucket list?

Visit (not just drive through) all 50 states.

Did you develop any new skills or hobbies during the pandemic?

I tried to re-learn how to play the clarinet. That lasted about one month. I even had my clarinet refurbished. I need to find time to practice, alone. No-one should have to listen through that noise again.

Rebecca T

How did you become involved at St. Peter’s?

Our family was looking for a new church to belong to, and we loved learning about the Episcopal Church's teachings. We decided to check out St. Peter's, fell in love with it, and have been attending since!

What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

Our family loves the extremely welcoming environment, and the activities that keep us busy and involved with the church!

 

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

We love the sacredness of the service, the more liberal leaning beliefs of the Church, and the idea that God loves ALL.

Who is someone who has had an impact on your spiritual journey?  How did that person contribute to your formation?

Chris's father Jerome was a Catholic deacon. He led his family in faith in so many ways, including showing how to serve others, and the importance of family.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Our family loves to go camping, go to Disney theme parks, and relaxing around our backyard campfire.

Do you have any practices that help to nourish you spiritually?

 

We both experience quiet time where we can listen for the Holy Spirit and in being lay-readers and lay Eucharistic Ministers and by sharing our gifts musically

 
What is something your church family would be surprised to learn about you?(e.g. hobbies, education, career, interesting/unique job you’ve had, etc.)?

Jim has produced and directed many theatrical productions in regional theatre. I was fortunate to work with and be host to many famous people like President Carter, Muhammed Ali, Richard Thomas, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom when I managed English Grill and Lobby Bar at the Brown Hotel

 

What is one item on your or your family’s bucket list?

 

An Alaskan Cruise

Mike Sicignano
How did you become involved at St. Peter’s?

A friend invited my brother and I back in 2015-2016. After the birth of my son and during the Pandemic, I joined an online/Zoom Episcopal 101 class held by Mother Alissa which led to me joining and not long after my son Enzo was baptized.

What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

I love the liturgy and beauty of our church, but most importantly I love how family-oriented the church is. It can be intimidating for young parents to bring a child into a "quiet" liturgical church. Everyone at St. Peter's is welcoming and kind.

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

I love the Via Media. I like that I can participate while still having questions, doubts and uncertainties.

Who is someone who has had an impact on your spiritual journey?  How did that person contribute to your formation?

My brother Nick has taught me to go against the grain from time to time. He taught me the importance of being authentic and it has helped me immensely in my spiritual development.

Neal Ward and Jim Jeffries

How did you become involved at St. Peter’s?

Through Christi Wilson who knows friends of ours in Terralargo in Lakeland

What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

St. Peter's is a great example of a loving spiritual family.

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

The multitude of thoughtful, quiet and humble and loving ways we are blessed with to serve God and each other

 

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

We have entertained hundreds of people over the years. We are about sharing the open table. We love travel both in the states and across the pond. We have an incredible chosen family and have built long term relationships with people in all the places we've lived.

 

 
Photo_2023-04-19 Neal and Jim_edited.jpg
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

I enjoy cooking and hanging out with my wife and son.

Do you have any practices that help to nourish you spiritually?

Mindfulness has been a very helpful. I would recommend it to everyone.

What is something your church family would be surprised to learn about you? (e.g. hobbies, education, career, interesting/unique job you’ve had, etc.)?

 

My wife and I are almost high school sweethearts. We started dating in the summer after highschool (15 years ago this July) and got married right after college.

 

What is your ‘go to’ or favorite bible verse?

 

"Peter do you love me" - Christ's love and acceptance of Peter even after Peter's denial of Christ during the crucifixion is very impactful to me.

 

What is the last book you read?

 

That All Shall be Saved - David Bentley Hart

 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what food would you pick?

 

I love southern bbq but I would have to stick with my Italian roots and say pizza.

 

Share a personal example of an answered prayer.

 

My wife's pregnancy was a bit difficult. During the labor, all I wanted was a healthy wife and a healthy baby. I am blessed to say that my prayer was answered.

 

What is something that you are passionate about and would like to spend more time doing?

 

I love traveling and I hope to do more of it now that my son is a little older (5).

 

What is a way that God has shown up in your life recently?

 

I see his work in fatherhood. I've learned more about God since my son was born than all the years prior.

What is one item on your or your family’s bucket list?

 

We want to go to NYC during Christmas time.

 

Did you develop any new skills or hobbies during the pandemic?

 

I bought a smoker and built a small pizza oven. I did not lose weight when the restaurants were shut down.

Nick Sicignano
What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

My friend, Zach Mays (now at St. Catherine's Episcopal), invited me back in 2015, and I basically spectated until my confirmation in 2023.

 

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

It's allure; the stained glass, white walls, gilded ornaments, wooden architecture, 360 alter, etc. evoke a sense of peace, reverence, and history.

 
Who is someone who has had an impact on your spiritual journey?  How did that person contribute to your formation?

 

Mr. Alan Schism. As one of my high school teachers, he taught me to appreciate literature as the place where all the greatest philosophical questions and moral dilemmas can be explored and dealt with. This was formative for how I would go on to consider how God, Religion, Spirituality, etc. relate to the human condition.

 

 
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

 

Hanging with family, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, shopping, Genealogy, Boardgames, Videogames, and Audiobooks.

 

Do you have any practices that help to nourish you spiritually?

 

Going to Church. I don't feel like a very spiritual person; I find most spiritual practices ineffective or boring. Going to church, especially St. Peter's, is where I feel I can "experiment" with Spirituality.

 

What is something your church family would be surprised to learn about you? (e.g. hobbies, education, career, interesting/unique job you’ve had, etc.)?

 

work as a Vice-president Investigator in a Financial Crime division for one of the world's largest banks- JP Morgan Chase. I liaise routinely with federal and local law enforcement, the FBI, and other members of the intelligence community. It's super cool and rewarding, and I never planned to build a career like this; I wanted to be an English or Language Arts teacher.

 

What is your ‘go to’ or favorite bible verse?

 

Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

 

What is the last book you read?

 

LOTR: Return of the King

 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what food would you pick?

 

Snow Crab

 

Share a personal example of an answered prayer.

 

I don't really pray (unless in a fit of panic maybe), and I hardly ask for things. "The person who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he or she can instruct god how to put them right."

 

What is something that you are passionate about and would like to spend more time doing?

 

Genealogy! I've been at it for nearly 20 years, but there are details and roadblocks that Id really like to dedicate more time to exploring.

 

What is a way that God has shown up in your life recently?

 

I'm pretty sure he was at my confirmation.

 

What is one item on your or your family’s bucket list?

 

To visit NYC or Paris all together.

Did you develop any new skills or hobbies during the pandemic?

Yeah, social distancing….

Erick Corryn
How did you become involved at St. Peter’s?

 

It all started with being invited to Wednesday night

dinners by my parents back in 2010.

What do you love about attending St. Peter's?

The mix of the old traditions and the modern.

What attracts you to the Episcopal Church?

The classic feel of the old church traditions with the touch of the modern along with the true meaning of open hearts open doors. Not many faiths in the US (especially the south) are totally open to welcome the LGBTQ community as members of GOD'S family. St. Peter's especially has been very open and accepting of me, then my husband, along with the numerous members who have since found St. Peter's as their spiritual home. St. Peter's truly shows the true meaning of open hearts open doors.

Who is someone who has had an impact on your spiritual journey?  How did that person contribute to your formation?

My late maternal grandmother...she was insistent that my sister and I got a religious upbringing. It didn't matter where we went as long as we honored the Lord. Baptized as a baby Catholic, went through confirmation in the United Methodist church to being confirmed into the Episcopal Church I have come full circle...even though she never got to meet my husband I know that she would be proud that even though I am part of the LGBTQ community I am keeping a place in my home for the the Lord.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

Cooking/baking, relaxing overall try to spend time with family.

Do you have any practices that help to nourish you spiritually?

I try to get out into nature and just take in the beauty...one of my favorite places currently is...Circle B in Lakeland off Winter Lake Rd.

What is something your church family would be surprised to learn about you? (e.g. hobbies, education, career, interesting/unique job you’ve had, etc.)?

I am an AFOL (adult fan of LEGO) my collection is vast and accumulating since I was in elementary school.

 

What is your ‘go to’ or favorite bible verse?

 

The golden rule verse.

What is the last book you read?

Earthseed by: Pamela Sargent

 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what food would you pick?

 

Reeces

 

Share a personal example of an answered prayer.

 

My late father had a life insurance policy that no one knew about and it helped my sister and I get a lot of bills caught up.

 

What is something that you are passionate about and would like to spend more time doing?

 

Travel...until I went to Texas for my cousin's wedding in 2021 the furthest west I had been in the US was Alabama, and 2022 the furthest north was my birth state of Michigan when we went to New York for Justin's cousin's wedding.

 

What is a way that God has shown up in your life recently?

 

He has given me the strength to keep my cool in today's society with some of the questionable things going on, so I don't say or do something unchristian.

 

What is one item on your or your family’s bucket list?

 

To visit the UK.

Did you develop any new skills or hobbies during the pandemic?

Patience...it isn't as easy as it seems.

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