By Francesca Norsen Tate
Grace Church-Brooklyn Heights recently inducted longtime parishioners Thomas Chittenden and Ann Gaffney into the Francis Vinton Society, during the congregation’s annual meeting earlier this month.
The Francis Vinton Society, named for Grace Church’s first rector, was established in 2010; and this year, the fifth consecutive set of honorees were inducted. The Rev. Stephen D. Muncie, rector of Grace Church, said, “After my arrival at Grace, I knew I wanted to establish a society to honor parishioners who have exercised commendable and distinguished leadership in our congregation. The dedication of faithful churchmen and churchwomen inspire all of us in our ministries….Francis Vinton was our first rector. His visionary leadership contributed to the organization of Grace Church in 1847 and the construction of this beautiful church several years later.”
Vinton Society honorees have typically contributed to parish life for many years—often decades—serving in a variety of ways. Chittenden is currently serving his closing year as senior warden of Grace Church. Ann Gaffney, also well known to the Brooklyn Heights community for her artistry, was not able to attend the ceremony. She will be presented with her plaque at a later time.
The inaugural year Vinton Society inductees were Lynn Vardakis and Bronson Binger. Other honorees include Lois Osborne, Vernon Vig, Charles Cole, Anita Yglesias (honored posthumously), her husband, Jim, who, in 2013 was inducted along with Dorothy Pilch.