Suzi Robertson named new vicar

September 29, 2009

By Ari Cetron

By Ari Cetron
Like a lot of things these days, the Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson’s tenure at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church began with a chat on Facebook.
Robertson had been friends with Bishop Gregory Rickel, who oversees the Diocese of Olympia, from the time when both served in churches in Texas.
Good Samaritan was in need of a new vicar, and Rickel thought Robertson would be a good fit.
A few months ago, he sent her a message on Facebook that he needed to talk to her about something, and as of Oct. 1, Robertson is taking over at Good Samaritan.
“I love it here,” said Robertson. “I want to be very active in the community beyond the church.
Good Samaritan is 19 years old but has only been in its building on 244th Avenue for about five years, said Colin Elder, the church’s senior warden. It has not been fully established within the Episcopal Church for very long, so it is considered a mission church.
As a result, Robertson will serve as a vicar, meaning she was appointed by the bishop, as is the practice for mission churches. More established churches select their own clergy, known as a rector. She will be the congregation’s fifth vicar.
The congregation, however, did have a chance to weigh in, Elder said. Some of the church leadership had a chance to meet with Robertson before she was appointed and came away impressed, he said.
Robertson specializes in working with children, which Elder said would serve her well in a community like Sammamish, which has so many young families.
“She has a lot of energy,” Elder said. “She very much wants to be active in the community.”
Robertson comes from Texas, where she was born and spent most of her life. She has traveled extensively throughout North America, Europe and Africa, before returning to her home state. She and her husband, the Rev. Nolen Holcomb, have three grown children who have lives of their own in Texas.
“They’re mostly off the payroll,” she said.
Robertson, her husband and their Boston terrier, Rosie, now make their home in Sammamish.
Having come from a rural spot in west Texas, the couple has had to adjust to things like mountains, trees and of course, traffic, Holcomb said.
Robertson is eager to jump into her new ministry here, particularly because of the number of children in the area. She has focused much of her career on studying spirituality in children.
She plans to let children drive the worship service to a degree.
“I prefer to have children in worship – not tucked away in babysitting. I like to have them up close so they can see and experience” the service, she said.
She also hopes to start a children’s choir.Robertson says she hopes to have a shared ministry by working with the congregation to develop the church.
“In 10 years, if I retire or leave, they will own what we have done,” she said.
Holcomb agreed. He said his wife likes to solve problems and come up with ideas about how to improve things in the future, for both the church and the community.
“She has a strong commitment to making the world a better place for other people,” he said.
Robertson is eager to get started working with the congregation.
“This thing we are about to do together will be a lot of work and a lot of fun,” she said.
Editor Ari Cetron can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 233 or samrev@isspress.com.

Like a lot of things these days, the Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson’s tenure at Good Samaritan Episcopal Church began with a chat on Facebook.

Robertson had been friends with Bishop Gregory Rickel, who oversees the Diocese of Olympia, from the time when both served in churches in Texas.

Good Samaritan was in need of a new vicar, and Rickel thought Robertson would be a good fit.

A few months ago, he sent her a message on Facebook that he needed to talk to her about something, and as of Oct. 1, Robertson is taking over at Good Samaritan.

“I love it here,” said Robertson. “I want to be very active in the community beyond the church.

Good Samaritan is 19 years old but has only been in its building on 244th Avenue for about five years, said Colin Elder, the church’s senior warden. It has not been fully established within the Episcopal Church for very long, so it is considered a mission church.

As a result, Robertson will serve as a vicar, meaning she was appointed by the bishop, as is the practice for mission churches. More established churches select their own clergy, known as a rector. She will be the congregation’s fifth vicar.

The congregation, however, did have a chance to weigh in, Elder said. Some of the church leadership had a chance to meet with Robertson before she was appointed and came away impressed, he said.

Robertson specializes in working with children, which Elder said would serve her well in a community like Sammamish, which has so many young families.

“She has a lot of energy,” Elder said. “She very much wants to be active in the community.”

Robertson comes from Texas, where she was born and spent most of her life. She has traveled extensively throughout North America, Europe and Africa, before returning to her home state. She and her husband, the Rev. Nolen Holcomb, have three grown children who have lives of their own in Texas.

“They’re mostly off the payroll,” she said.

Robertson, her husband and their Boston terrier, Rosie, now make their home in Sammamish.

Having come from a rural spot in west Texas, the couple has had to adjust to things like mountains, trees and of course, traffic, Holcomb said.

Robertson is eager to jump into her new ministry here, particularly because of the number of children in the area. She has focused much of her career on studying spirituality in children.

She plans to let children drive the worship service to a degree.

“I prefer to have children in worship – not tucked away in babysitting. I like to have them up close so they can see and experience” the service, she said.

She also hopes to start a children’s choir.Robertson says she hopes to have a shared ministry by working with the congregation to develop the church.

“In 10 years, if I retire or leave, they will own what we have done,” she said.

Holcomb agreed. He said his wife likes to solve problems and come up with ideas about how to improve things in the future, for both the church and the community.

“She has a strong commitment to making the world a better place for other people,” he said.

Robertson is eager to get started working with the congregation.

“This thing we are about to do together will be a lot of work and a lot of fun,” she said.

Editor Ari Cetron can be reached at 392-6434, ext. 233 or samrev@isspress.com.

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Comments

2 Responses to “Suzi Robertson named new vicar”

  1. robroy on September 29th, 2009 1:51 pm

    The parish was actually growing up to 2003 (the year Gene Robinson was made bishop). Attendance was up to 160. It has fallen to 130 in 2007 (the last year data is recorded). This jibes with the diocese of Olympia where attendance began falling after 2002-2003 where attendance has fallen 15% with a 9% drop last year alone(!).

  2. Gay Pogue on October 4th, 2009 10:16 am

    Suzi is a ball of fire. She loves all God’s children. The Diocese of Olympia is fortunate to have her energy and insight. I will miss her and Nolan, but most especially Rosie.

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