Touché December 18, 2015
Posted on December 18, 2015 by under Touché,


Re: From Our Offices to You….Merry Christmas

“…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”

(Ephesians 4:12)

Usually the week before Christmas I post our family’s Christmas card to all of you, but Cathy does not want to send the card out until we have a picture of everyone together.  That picture won’t happen until we are together next week for Christmas, so we will send an after Christmas card that will update you all on what is happening with the Holbrook household.

I do, however, have a Christmas picture of our staff and I thought that it might be fun as a staff family to include an update on where we are this year at Christmas.  We had our staff Christmas party last week at our home and we fit everyone around the table.  It was great.

John Barach is the longest tenured paid staff member; he began as sexton April 1, 1993.  He works effectively and quietly behind the scenes making sure that this place is clean and ready for ministry and worship.

Pam Hansen missed the Christmas party as she was down with her mom during surgery, but she has been working here for twenty-three years (she started as a volunteer).  Pam is at the heart of Hopewell’s caring ministry and we are praying for her this year as she deals with the death of her father and support for her mom.

Birgit Chisholm has been behind the desk in the office since 1996.  She coordinates how we communicate and makes sure that things run efficiently and effectively here at HRC.

Cyndy Warren was at the party, and while she is not paid staff, she has been working at Hopewell since before I arrived.  She is our financial secretary, but she is the woman for all seasons as she decorates, bakes and serves in every way you can imagine.

Sue Nieves and Nancy Geysen were at the party.  Sue has led Bright Beginnings through all it years and Nancy has been her right hand woman for much of that time.  Jessica Beals could not make the party, but she has done a great job these most recent years as the director of Bright Beginnings.  We are especially blessed this year as the program has seen an increase in kids.

Sheryle Silvern has been our Children’s Ministry Director for over ten years.  She designed and put together another world class Christmas pageant and continues to lead a ministry of blessing for our kids.

Steve Dambra has been leading the miracle of Odyssey since the journey began in 2007.  His leadership and pastoral presence has help to guide that congregation through significant growth and transition.

Lisa Ruvo balances our books well and also coordinates many hospitality events at HRC.  She arranged for the food and the service of our party and works closely as a volunteer with EPIC youth.

Wesley Joseph has worn different hats on staff as choir director and organist, and now as our discipleship intern and organist.  It has been a joy to see Wesley continue to blossom in so many ways.

Warren and Lynette were here for the party, but have headed to South Africa for Christmas.  In their fourth year leading our youth ministry and Lynette sharing in the music ministry they have been an amazing blessing to this congregation.

Carl Nussle is in one of the pictures and he is in the picture every day at Hopewell as he has taken over as facilities manager, a volunteer position which includes vacation.  He watches over this building well.

Kate Valdivia was not at the party because she is expecting a baby any day now (they will induce on December 21, if needed), but she has prepared worship through her baby’s birth and on to Easter.  We have never been in better shape with worship planning and she has brought great gifts to the staff.

So like a proud father of a family, I write celebrating all the gifts of this staff in equipping the saints (that’s you) for the work of ministry.  From my house to yours and from our office to your home, we wish you all a very…

Merry Christmas.



without  Carl



without Sue