Vicki Bowerman

Ginny Nieuwsma

The St. John Chrysostom Society is a unique group of committed donors who have made St. Vladimir’s mission their own through ongoing, monthly donations. The reasons that people join the Society are as varied as the people themselves! Here is one of their stories.  

On the other side of the country from Manhattan, in a town not far from Seattle, WA, Orthodox convert and law enforcement secretary Vicki Bowerman was listening to an Ancient Faith Radio presentation about St. Vladimir’s Seminary when the appeal was made for listeners to join the St. John Chrysostom Society. “I believe that the only hope for our country, for the world, and for my soul, is an encounter with the living Christ through the Holy Orthodox Church,” she notes. “Finances are always tight, but when I heard the call to give to the Seminary on the podcast, I thought, ‘I’ll just do it!’”

Vicki has never visited St. Vladimir’s, but as a convert she has felt the Seminary’s influence in her life. “There are a lot of fine Orthodox organizations,” she says, “and it’s hard to know which ones to give to, but there’s nothing more mission critical than the formation and preparation of priests for ministry. None of us know how much time we have on earth and I wanted to get serious about laying up treasure in heaven.”

Vicki’s family was chrismated in the Orthodox faith out of an evangelical Protestant background, with the encouragement of their convert-friendly Antiochian parish in Southern California. Later, they moved to Washington State; thirteen years ago, she was hired by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office as a Law Enforcement Secretary for the local sheriff’s department.

“The guys I work with are amazing; every day we see people with real hardships and mental illness, but our law enforcement officers are wonderful, patient people. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the suffering that comes through the front door of our office, but I’m blessed with co-workers who seek peace and are patient—spiritual qualities sought by those of us who are Orthodox Christians.”

Now that her three sons and daughter are grown, Vicki is a “mom” to Oso (a German Shepherd), Bridge (an Aussie Retriever), and two feline family members, Little Brother and Pumpkin. She is also learning the ropes as a chanter in her parish, and plans to continue her membership in the St. John Chrysostom Society as long as she can. “It’s been my experience that God honors our commitment to His work; when I put Him first, He takes care of me and things always seem to come out okay in the end.”