Church Leadership

Ruling Elders

Current or “ruling elders” are BelPres members chosen to lead alongside our installed pastors in governing, discipline and strengthening and nurturing the faith and life of the congregation. Fifteen ruling elders represent the congregation on the session and serve three year terms, with five elders ‘graduating’ and being replaced each year. Elders function as liaisons between session, departments/ministries, and the congregation. An elder is a person of faith, dedication and good judgment. Their manner of life demonstrates the Christian gospel, both within the church and the world. More information about elders and the selection process is available on the FAQ page here.

Class of 2016

Steve AeschbacherLeadership Development

Steve lives in Woodinville with his wife Alice. Their two daughters are Annie and Gracie. Steve is an attorney in the litigation group at Microsoft. He loves hiking in mountains and deserts and listening to many kinds of music. He is studying to get an M.Div. degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, and is an inquirer with the Seattle Presbytery, looking towards ordination as a pastor.  He is currently also serving as a pastoral intern at BelPres, working with Caring Ministries and Faith + Work.  He also works with BelPres’ Presbytery Team, and enjoys participating in a small group and the Sunday Adult Bible Study. He recently completed a term as a Board Member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, which is the national agency for mission of the PC(USA). Fun Fact: My wife Alice likes to call Labor Day weekend my “high holy days” because I can always be found at Bumbershoot!

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Deneen BlakeFacilities / Finance

Deneen is a life-long elder and current usher who is passionate about local and global missions. She has two wonderful teen daughters who were adopted from Ethiopia in 2004. She has been on a number of short-term mission trips including Belize, Zambia, Guatemala and Haiti and is now happy to see her daughters going on mission trips. Fun fact: I have been to twice as many countries as states!

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Laura de VriesCaring Ministries

Laura is involved with Mother’s Fellowship, VBA, BelPres Preschool, and the New Baby Ministry. She is passionate about learning, helping people, cooking/baking, and distance running. Her immediate family consists of her husband Peter and her three children Martha (5), Pieter (3.5), and Johanna (0). Prior to being a stay at home mom, she worked as a counselor. Fun fact: I am a 5th generation born and raised Washingtonian, but for college football I cheer for my alma mater – the University of Oregon – Go Ducks!

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Laurie LosMissions

Laurie and her husband Jeremy live in Bellevue and have a son, Brian, and daughter Emily. Laurie’s current passion is family missions, stemming from her own experience co-leading a family mission team to Nicaragua. She would love to see local family opportunities and international opportunities for families. She was also a member of the Financial Missions Task Force and has helped with teaching Sunday school and youth choirs where her children are very involved. Laurie and her family are involved in Baby Basics, a ministry of families helping families, providing and distributing free diapers to the working/near poor on the eastside. Fun fact: On sunny or not-so-sunny days, you can find me on my paddle board taking in the beautiful sights and sounds on our many waterways here in the Northwest.

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Susan O'BrianHuman Resources

Susan started attending BelPres in 1999 and knew immediately that this was home.  She was baptized by Dick Leon and began serving in Women’s Ministries.  She and her husband, Tim, have ushered for years and have led three Alpha classes.  During those Alpha classes she met a group of people with whom she still attends bible study 14 years later. She is the mother of three grown Christian daughters and the grandmother of 14!  She’s been a family law attorney for the past 27 years. Fun fact: I have a 19 year old granddaughter who is a sophomore at Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, VA, who “walked on” to the freshman girl’s hockey team last year and became an All-Star!

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Class of 2017

Perry SatterleeFinance

Perry and his wife Melinda have been members of BelPres for 12 years. Melinda has served as a Sunday school teacher and is currently a deacon. They have four children – Josh, 15, Jake, 14, Stiles, 12 and Paige, 10. Perry served on the board of Linking Shields and currently serves on the boards of Eastside Academy and Jubilee REACH. Perry has spent the last 20 years in a variety of wireless industry start-ups. He has turned his passion for building businesses into building His kingdom on the eastside. Fun fact: I am a HUGE Bellevue High football fan.

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Laurel FortinFamily Life Ministries

Laurel Fortin is passionate about the mission of BelPres and enjoys serving in several different areas. She currently teaches Kindergarten Sunday school alongside her 8th grade daughter, serves in BelPres Missions on the Global Outreach leadership team, leads mission trips with her family to work with Niños Con Valor in Bolivia, and serves on the board of Eastside Academy and John 14:2 Foundation. Laurel was part of BelPres’ staff for nine years, retiring in 2012 to spend full time at home with her children, Ellie (14) and Drew (12). Laurel is married to her high school sweetheart Dave. Fun fact: My favorite thing to do is run.  I have run five full marathons, many more halves and I recently got a dog, Otis, who loves to run too!

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Julie MetzChristian Growth

Julie Metz joined BelPres in 1990 and attends with her husband David and two teenage daughters, Katie and Lindsay. As a middle school teacher, Julie’s passion is working and playing with kids. Over the years she has enjoyed volunteering with our youth department, helping out at Jubilee Reach, leading recreation for VBA, and taking college and family mission trips. She loves being a part of the church community, especially watching her former junior high students become leaders and mentors for her own children. Fun fact: I visited BelPres twice when I was in high school with a team from my youth group from Southern California. We performed a musical and stayed with families from the church.

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Jeff StoneMissions

Jeff and his wife, Kim, and sons, Eliot and Gabriel, live in Bellevue and have called BelPres their church home for five years. Jeff works at Microsoft as a program manager in Legal and Corporate Affairs. He loves playing guitar in the modern worship band (and significantly raises the median age of band). Jeff led an African outreach partnership with World Vision while at his prior church and was formerly a board member for Olive Crest, a ministry to abused and at-risk children. He looks forward to once again being engaged in missions and outreach and is excited to see how God is working through BelPres to bring about revival. Fun fact: I love exploring tidal pools with my family so naturally the San Juan Islands are one of my favorite vacation destinations.

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Shaun StrattonMissions

Shaun Stratton has lived in Bellevue for nine years, along with his wife Marissa of almost 15 years, and his four children, Lilje (11), Josiah (8), Annabel (6), and Henry (3).  He is proud to call BelPres his church home for eight years.  He is involved with JUMP drama, VBA, was a member of the search committee for our current Children and Family Ministry pastor, and has just transitioned off of being a deacon.  He views serving the church as an elder as a great honor, and looks forward to seeing Christ use his passion and vision to help BelPres continue to  thrive and serve the community and beyond. Fun fact: I married my high school sweetheart whom I met in third grade and at that time kissed on the cheek in the planetarium (the same place I later proposed quite a few years later).

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Class of 2018

Linda FlukeHuman Resources

Linda moved to Bellevue in 1950, worshipped at BelPres since its beginning, took several years off as a young adult, then attended Rose Hill Presbyterian Church before returning here in 1980. She has worshiped at our evening modern service since it started in 1992. God has blessed her with three children and two grandchildren. She enjoys time with family, hiking, camping and fishing. Her primary area of service is prayer ministry, where she facilitates inner healing prayer. She has also been involved as a Sr. High mission trip leader, Sunday @ six communion, home-bound deacon, Journey-with-a-Village and spiritual direction. Linda likes rain, but she loves snow!

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Ryan BeielerFamily Life Ministries

Ryan and his wife, Alison, transferred their membership from First Presbyterian in Boulder, CO to BelPres in 2013.  They have two boys, Matthew (5) and Nathan (2) and three house plants that currently don’t have names.  Since joining BelPres, Ryan has helped with parking, Jubilee Service Day, Sunday school, Men’s Retreat Service Day, and in the kitchen for a number of BelPres events.  When he’s not at church, Ryan splits his time between running a small publishing startup, being a stay at home dad and drinking significant amounts of coffee. Fun Fact:  In 2007, I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain and managed to touch the horn of a very angry bull before leaping to safety.

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Tim DaviesMissions

Tim and his wife Patty have been married 28 years and have two adult children, Eric, 25 and Kelsey, 22, who were raised in the church. They have been members of BelPres for 21 years. Tim’s most enjoyable service has been building community through Children & Family Ministries as a committee leader, Sunday school and bible story teacher and family camp coordinator; as well as outreach through a cross-cultural ministry team, Tijuana home building mission and as a tutor at JRC. Tim is a project manager with AT&T wireless and helped manage the implementation of a platform for one of the first iPhone apps – visual voice mail! He loves cycling, hiking, his BelPres book club and watching Kansas basketball.

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Sue BlivenFinance

Sue has been a member of BelPres for 20 years.  She has been married to Andy for 33 years, and they have three children – Spencer, Hunter, and Hillary.  Sue has served as a Sunday school teacher, as an elder for Children and Family Ministries, and as a member of a pastor nominating committee.  You can currently see her around the church at the GetConnected kiosk, serving communion, announcing baptisms, and greeting families who are dropping their children off at Sunday school.  Sue is Director of Finance for Imagine Housing, a non-profit housing development organization located in Kirkland. They are thrilled to be new grandparents this year!

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Henk DawsonMusic & Worship

Henk and his wife Kristen have been members of BelPres since 2004. Their two children are Andrew and Derek and they both go to the UW. Henk is a commercial artist, enjoys water skiing, and playing bass guitar in an indie rock band. He and Kristen have been involved in youth ministries, leading worship and doing mission work. Henk has also led worship services at King county jail. He looks forward to being engaged in music and worship at BelPres and is excited to see what God is going to do next. Fun Fact: When the kids were young they called the traditional service the LA LA LA service and the Modern service the BAM BAM BAM service.

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Life-Long Elders

Once an Elder, Always an Elder Did you know that approximately one out of every ten BelPres members is an ordained elder? And once ordained, an elder is an elder for life (whether ordained at BelPres or another Presbyterian church).

Life-long elders are called to remain active and embrace God’s call to continued leadership in the church. They are encouraged to be informed and knowledgeable about the efforts of session and to share this information with the congregation.

In order to stay fully informed we have annual meetings and share our session minutes and BelPres and department roadmaps, which let our life-long elders know how we are planning for the year and for our future in a thoughtful, discerning, Jesus-focused way.  See below for links to these resources.

Roles and Responsibilities

Session, Elders and Life-Long Elders

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen       Ephesians 3:20-21

Role of Session

The session is responsible for the mission and government of a particular church.

Book of Order 2007/2009 G-10.0102

The role of Session is to lead the congregation in service of God, provide strategic oversight, and be accountable to the congregation for the management of the church in accordance with the Bible*, the Book of Order*, and the Book of Confessions.

Providing oversight and strategic focus of fiduciary and generative responsibilities ensuring that FPCB remains true to its mission and values.

Upholding a vision for the total life of the church.

*Biblical and Book of Order references include, but are not limited to, the following:

Scripture:  1 Peter 5: 2-3, Eph. 4: 12-16, 1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 1 Cor. 11:1

Book of Order Part II 2007/2009:  G-5.0100, G-6.0300, G- 10.000, W-1.4004

Life-long Responsibilities of Elders at Bellevue Presbyterian Church

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;  not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.   1 Peter 5:2-3

The life-long responsibilities of ordained elders include:

Spiritual growth, development, and leadership through participating regularly in Christian activities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Prayer, both individual and corporate.
  • Bible study.
  • Worship.
  • Tithing.
  • Acts of service.
  • Serving communion.
  • Participating in prayer ministries, such as pre-worship service/post-worship service prayer, anointing prayer, and prayer meetings.
  • Willingness to serve on strategic task forces, ministry teams, or committees.
  • Willingness to be elected to other governing bodies of the church such as Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly.
  • Assisting in the reception of new members.
  • Remaining active and embracing God’s call to continued leadership in the church.

Deacons

Deacons are leaders who are committed to the care and encouragement of the congregation. They minister to those who are in need, the sick, the friendless, and to all who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith. BelPres has over 200 Deacons who serve the congregation.