Laura Cruse (2023)

I am honored to be nominated for the vestry of St. John’s Church, a special part of the Body of Christ that has nurtured, supported, and grown with my family since 2004. My family has been a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church since 2004. I grew up attending the Methodist church in Temple Terrace with my grandparents and active in youth group. When Hugh and I moved back to Tampa after college, we started looking for our church home. We found our connection at St. John’s and our 3 boys were all baptized here in 2007. Since that time, the boys have been active with Children’s Church Sunday School and now are loving EYC and acolyting. We have participated with the summer Youth Mission trips and VBS for many years. I ardently supported my husband Hugh’s volunteer activities at church as a Sunday School teacher and when he served on the Vestry several years ago. I have a great sense of peace and community in my involvement with SJE. We typically attend the 9:15 am service, though in 2020 we are usually online at 10 am with coffee and prayer book in each hand! (As much as I love coffee during church, I am looking forward to when we can all be safely worshiping on site outside of the cloud of the pandemic!)

We have supported many of the outreach opportunities at SJE, including Sandwich Sunday and Metropolitan Ministries, and most recently, LOVE, INC. Over the recent months, I have been growing in the Sacred Ground group, discussing race relations and diversity, and the role of the church to support all people.

I grew up in Tampa and attended Berkeley Preparatory School and then studied psychology at Emory University. My education continued at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, specializing in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. During medical training and private practice, I have volunteered at school in the lunchroom and various activities at Berkeley, as well as at the Judeo-Christian Clinic and the Catholic Charities for Migrant workers.
I currently practice Rheumatology at AdventHealth Medical Group, joining in 2019. My passions professionally and personally overlap as healthy food, healthy lifestyle, and healthy mind! I enjoy cooking, spending time with my family especially playing music together, where I am learning the ukulele. I also enjoy being outside in the garden, on the paddleboards and walking our dog.