Two Whidbey residents receive Episcopal awards

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Two Whidbey residents recently received awards from the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, recognizing their services to their parishes.

Molly Felder-Grimm, a parish administrator at St. Augustine-in-the-Woods in Freeland, was awarded the Ky Chen Employee Excellence Award.

Harry Anderson, treasurer and co-chair of the stewardship campaign at St. Stephen’s in Oak Harbor, was awarded the Bishop’s Cross.

Both recipients were honored during a virtual annual convention Oct. 23-24 held by the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia.

A Langley resident, Felder-Grimm has worked as an administrator for her parish for the past five years.

Some of her many daily tasks over the years have included running the church’s office, whether that be moving furniture, warning drivers about the deer “in-the-Woods” or offering campus tours. She has provided music for the services when the organist has been sick and signed up almost every time for dishwashing duty at coffee hours.

“I do a little bit of everything,” Felder-Grimm said. “I wear a whole bunch of hats, and it’s fine with me.”

When the coronavirus struck the nation, she set up a home office and learned how to video record services, which are now being put online for the congregation to view.

“Countless times she has put her own work aside to help with an emergent need — and always with her sense of humor and characteristic charm,” said Senior Warden Susan Campbell Sandri, who nominated Felder-Grimm for the employee appreciation award.

Her fellow award winner, Anderson, agreed.

“She is sort of the heartbeat of the church operation there,” he said. “She just takes care of everything.”

Over the years, Anderson has been a part of both of the sister Episcopal parishes on Whidbey, but he is currently a member of the congregation at St. Stephen’s.

The Coupeville resident has held a number of leadership roles, but his most prominent role has been helping with the church’s annual stewardship campaign.

Anderson was nominated by several people to win the Bishop’s Cross award.

“I was flabbergasted,” he said about the recognition.

During his time on Whidbey, Anderson helped institute an “abundance table” of garden-fresh produce to be placed in the church’s social hall after services.

With the exception of this strange year, the table has been a success.

Many parishioners have brought extra produce from their gardens, and others have been able to take what they need.

When he was a part of St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods, Anderson wrote the script for a comedy skit as part of the parish’s annual stewardship campaign. The skit was called “The Vicar of Whidbey,” a nod to the British sitcom “The Vicar of Dibley.”

Bishop Greg Rickel, the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, said that he has a record of only six other Whidbey recipients of the Bishop’s Cross award. In the last 53 years, Anderson is the seventh recipient of the Award.

The Ky Chen Employee Excellence Award, which Felder-Grimm received, was established in 2011 to honor hardworking employees.

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