“I feel like my calling in life may be listening to people’s stories,” says member Jean Howard. “It’s a form of advocacy that encourages connection, compassion, and community.
A San Francisco Bay-area native, Jean earned her master’s degree in photojournalism from Ohio University and enjoyed a career as a photographer for The Palm Beach Post. Her work included a photo essay documenting children living with AIDS in Zambia, and profiles of mothers in Riviera Beach who lost sons to gun violence.
Jean joined St. Andrew’s over five years ago to teach Education for Ministry (EFM) classes. EFM instructs lay people in four aspects of living through study of The Old Testament, New Testament, church history, and philosophy. A four-year program of the University of the South, individuals learn how to cultivate theological reflections based on all aspects of living. “As a mentor, it’s a continual learning process and mentors get re-certified annually. You use your brain and heart a lot!” she laughs.
And it opened the door to a new form of artistic expression for Jean—doodle art.
“People share spiritual autobiographies as part of the EFM coursework,” she says. “As I listened, I found myself doodling—drawing their stories. The drawings eventually evolved into these large watercolors and now I have about 200 of them!” Jean continues to teach arts integration classes and recently collaborated with an online retailer who used some of her designs on handbags.
Jean says that through artmaking students discover their own possibilities. “What they create empowers them to connect with and develop compassion for others.”
When she’s not creating or teaching, Jean serves on St. Andrew’s Vestry, and faithfully attends morning prayer with Rev. Cori live on Facebook.
“In morning prayer Rev. Cori always discusses a daily reflection that emphasizes quality living. It acts as a great springboard for the start of my day. She also has a way of discussing the gospel that makes you think on a deeper level, and she does this in a creative way. She makes Bible stories relevant.”
Jean also appreciates what she feels is Rev. Cori’s quiet thoughtfulness. “She walked into the parish hall carrying one of my designed purses. I will always remember that special kindness.”
Five Questions for Jean Howard
Which service do you attend? Sunday, 7:30 a.m.
What is your favorite hymn? “Day by Day”
Do you sing in the shower or your car? Both!
What is something not many people know about you? Actor Aiden Quinn was an acting partner at Wisdom Bridge Theatre in Chicago.
How would you describe St. Andrew’s in one word or phrase? A kaleidoscope of a beautiful, loving community.