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The Elder Class of 2022

Donna Britt

I believe that God’s beginning is a mystery and that the beginning of all creation is from God; that God’s spark, or Spirit, is within all things God created; and that this ubiquitous Spirit guides us when we make space and silence for the Spirit to speak and lead.I believe that Jesus of Nazareth did this flawlessly, boldly following the divine Spirit’s guidance, reaching his full potential as a child of God. Jesus vulnerably and painfully exposed God’s joyful, wise, selfless, sacrificing nature, showing us that neither life nor death need be feared.I believe that our Bible, when read with an open spirit, teaches us how to live more faithfully, like Jesus. Committing its words and stories to our memories, aided by prayerful reflection and discussing them together, offers us strength, hope, and grace during life’s struggles.Even with God’s spark in each of us, humans are incomplete without each other. When we invest our time and energy together with humility, faith, hope, and active love, God’s Spirit empowers us—the church—to do what Jesus did: bring wholeness, healing, and strength to people and all of creation. Without attentiveness to God, we cannot love each other as well. When we express God’s love as Jesus did, we can change the world.


Jeanne Fishwick

Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Ask and these things shall be given unto you.I believe in the infinite wisdom of God the Creator. I believe that Jesus is God incarnate in man. I believe in the divinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe the life of Jesus, in birth, death, and in resurrection, provides guidance, grace and salvation for my life. I was fortunate to be raised in a loving home with the church as the center of our friendships and faith. The church of my childhood was heavily scripture-based which provided a strong foundation and knowledge of the Bible as the inspired word of God. I believe in the importance of a community of like believers where we can gather in His name. As an adult, I have experienced times of doubt, question and weakness, but my knowledge of the word and the love and the support of the church community have sustained and inspired me. The small group ministry at Raleigh Court has been particularly important in my spiritual growth and faith. The “Love Ladies,” before small groups were an organized ministry, was a multi-generational group of women. We read, prayed and visited together on a weekly basis. My faith grew in the presence of those strong women. The current small group that I attend is so full of wisdom and faith that it is simultaneously intimidating and amazing. Meeting to discuss the scriptures, the sermons, and the rewards and struggles of faith is one of the most important parts of my week. I believe we are each called to do service in the name of the Lord. In every way, my view of the world, and my place in it, has been shaped by my understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ. In daily prayer, I am thankful for the wonders and mysteries of God’s world, for the undeserved blessings I have received, for the trials of others, for discernment regarding the will of God, and I offer confessions for the many times I have fallen short. I believe that God wants me to continue to grow in faith, and that I will be shown a way to serve that calling. Here I am, Lord.


Bill Johnson

My statement of faith reflects my journey and struggles with my faith throughout the different times in my life. As a child I was raised in the Baptist church and attended Sunday School, regular church services as well as Vacation Bible School. I remember those times as times of joy, family and having that spiritual seed planted in me mostly by my mother and grandparents. Unfortunately, during my teen years and after my parent’s divorce, my perspective on God and my faith seemed to change. I didn’t really think that God was present or working in my life. I didn’t need God. That perspective remained until my later twenties when I started dating my future wife. At that point I started to realize a sense of needing something in my life other than things and experiences. I needed love. I wanted to share my life with someone. I needed and wanted a relationship with a God that had been patiently waiting for meFrom that point on, my life has gone from ignoring God to unexplainable humility in thanking God for my faith, family, and friends, most all of which have been a result of my involvement in church. I marvel that my life as a once doubting disbeliever could have been changed so dramatically. While I still struggle with my faith and acts in ways that disappoint God, I’m grateful that God continues to “pluck my ear” and reveal himself to me in ways I am not expecting.I believe a successful life is one that intentionally seeks to serve and honor God and your fellow man with your talents and gifts in every aspect of your life.


Steve Nash

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, who through his divine sovereignty has complete dominion over everything that exists in this world. I believe that God exists in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the creator and unifier of all things. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and that he alone is the head of the Church. I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit is the living presence of Jesus in our world today. As expressed in the Confession of 1967, I believe as an expression of his love, God created a world for the benefit of humankind…a world for enjoyment, but a world that I must strive to protect. I look to the scriptures as my main source for understanding God’s truth. I aspire to lead a life in obedience to scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards and reformed faith of the Church as expressed in The Book of Confession. I look to the Apostle’s Creed for renewed faith and energy. And finally, I believe my purpose in this world is to love the Lord with all my living fiber, and to live a life not to be served, but to serve.


Autumn Visser

I believe in God,I believe in the Holy Spirit, who’s ways are truly mysterious and unknowable but recognizable. I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God, who came to show humankind a new way to live, to teach us that a life honoring God is full of grace, mercy, love, humility, and sacrifice, who died to save us from sin and rose from such death, forever triumphant. I believe that God has called us to be active members of a holy family, the Church, where everyone has a seat at the Table of the Lord, where all people may find love and affection, and where each of us should use our abilities to make Christ’s way of life a reality to those who have nothing to believe in or live for. I believe that, but for the grace of God in and on my life, I would be a wanderer, lost without mercy or kindness, knowing only the fleeting pleasures of a dark world. I believe that, in response to the creator and unifier, the mysterious and unknowable, the grace, mercy and love, my life should be spent in praise to the God from whom all blessings flow.


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