2016 – What a year! Many highlights and some sorrows. Here’s a quick recap for our family –
Married four years now, Jess and Joey expanded their family this year to include Belle – an adorable, little red-haired, energetic golden doodle pup. Reggie, their cat, is still adjusting, ha. They enjoyed visiting friends across the country driving out to California then back through Colorado last summer.
Jess serves as the director of worship for student ministries at Grace Church and central support for three campuses. What a gifted worship leader she is! Joey loves his role as the director of student ministries at Grace Church Fisher’s campus. They are having a tremendous impact. The youth love them. They are a great team!
Chris secured a job teaching high school math in Westminster, CO, and loves living in Denver. Amid the demands and piles of paperwork and grading, he squeezes in time to climb mountains, set up his hammock by mountain streams, tutor students, pursue his walk with God, hang out with friends, and tries to stay fit.
Michael completed (aced) his Master’s program in Mental Health Counseling and now counsels 30 college students a week at Anderson University counseling clinic. He is living out a life-long dream and loves helping students take healthy steps toward growth and healing.
Michael and Dana have taken three more courses this year in Death and Grief Studies focused on bereavement care. Walking through grief with others is truly holy ground for them. Sadly, adding to their own grief, Michael’s nephew Jeremy died in September. Our hearts go out to so many who are facing this Christmas with an empty chair and unanswered questions.
On a lighter note, Michael began riding his bicycle again and especially loved his 30-35 mile rides and eventually talked Dana into joining him (on shorter rides!). Dana and Jessica performed in ten shows of Beauty and the Beast this fall along with a cast of 90. Dana made a great villager, fork, and broom. A wonderful story that touched many lives.
Dana continues full-time in ministry: teaching, speaking at retreats, developing creative outreach tools, providing communication training, worship training, and now a grief training course she developed. Her travel/teaching schedule is filling up for the spring including PA, FL, OH, CO and Australia (ask her more about Australia J). She continues studies in grief care, and is in year two for spiritual formation/direction. Dana loves one-on-one appointments helping others process life, loss, transition, spiritual questions, and more.
Christmas celebrates the sending of God’s only Son, Jesus, to earth to live among us. And as we were sentenced for our wrongdoing, Jesus stepped in and said, “Take me instead.” His sacrifice to give us a new life is like none other. “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” May you walk more fully in this incredible freedom this Christmas and throughout 2017!