The Messenger: October

Letter from the Editor

My mom was a goody two-shoes growing up. Her mother freely admits to her being the “best” of her children (behavior-wise, but I have my suspicions that she means best overall), and my mom happily claims this title. As the youngest by five years, she was still in her self-styled “angelic” elementary years while her three siblings were at various stages in their terrible teenage years. Perhaps the most egregious example of her sucking up is when her sister wanted to do something their mother refused to allow even though, “All the other girls’ moms said it was fine!” Before my grandmother could answer, my mom responded, “Kristen, mother is our standard.”

When my mom tells this story now, we laugh about how her sister must have resented her and how snotty she sounded. But hearing this story recently (we are very guilty of repeat story telling in my family) made me think about how my standards are determined. (more…)



Hearing the Call of Jesus

A Meditation

Waking up and walking in the Christian light

through daily prayer strengthens our being.

After we pray, the light shines through us like a beacon.

We are willing to tear down barriers and fences that

withhold our sensitive feelings from others.

With our defenses down, we can become a blessing.

We will be able to smile and talk with others in love.

We need to practice His presence in our lives.

Our primary focus is communing with our Lord.

We make plans, but He directs our path.

He infuses our energy.

“The Lord replied, ‘My presence will go with

you and I will give you rest.’” Exodus 33:14



Kendy’s Calling

“It has truly been my great privilege and exceeding joy to have served as one of your pastors. I have been so honored to be part of this community – God is moving in mighty ways as BelPres serves the city and partners with Jesus in the mission for revival. I look forward to seeing God continue to bless and guide BelPres. Thank you for being the kind of community that it is almost unbearable to leave. I will miss being part of a terrific leadership team of lifelong elders, deacons, volunteers and staff, being led in amazing worship in two languages of praise and being a pastor of such a faithful, generous, innovative, and Spirit-led community.”


Last month, we celebrated the ministry of Rev. Kendy Easley who left BelPres to become the Executive Pastor/Head of Staff at Bethany Community Church in Seattle. In reflecting on Kendy’s departure, Dr. Scott Dudley shared that, “While this is a big loss for BelPres, it is a brilliant move for the Kingdom. Kendy has been indispensable in moving BelPres forward. I will miss her partnership and I am sad to see her go. However, Kendy is so talented that I know God is going to use her to continue his work of revival in the Seattle area.” 

Kendy began serving as our Executive Pastor in 2007 and previously served at BelPres from 1990–1998 leading the Prayer + Care (formerly Caring Ministries) department.  (more…)



Introducing the BelPres Elder Class of 2018

Elders are church members nominated and elected by the congregation to share in the leadership of the church and to act as liaisons between Session and
our Ministries and Departments.

Sue Bliven

Operations (Finance)

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 find 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. (more…)



Juanita’s Books: A Nicolás Fund for Education Adventure

Juanita’s small home smelled of pine. She and her parents had strewn pine needles on the floor, a traditional Guatemalan sign of welcome for honored guests. Juanita and her parents welcomed us into their spare home, expressing gratitude for NFE supplying Juanita with her own computer and regular tutor. Standing about three feet tall, Juanita’s beauty shines through her disability.

The family presented a Mayan weaving embroidered with the words: “May the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you forever” to Al Lopus, a returning team member who had mentored Juanita. As Juanita showed us her work, she shared a poster on which she had written her three main goals: to teach her parents to read and write, to write her own story, and to help young people in her village. (more…)



Mathematics of Mentoring

As as a mentor for the staff of the Cambodian organization DOVE (Develop Our Village Economy), I continue to see how mentoring impacts the lives of leaders and builds God’s Kingdom. Mentoring involves investing significant time in building a relationship; some may wonder how investing in one person could impact a whole community. However, God’s math is different than ours!

Cambodia lost an entire generation of leaders when the Khmer Rouge regime executed anyone with an education. Today, the population’s median age is 24. Through the Onyx program, DOVE is developing young leaders who are transforming their churches and communities. Leaders, ages 17-35 and from different local churches, gather each Saturday morning for one year to learn through self-discovery and from each other’s experiences and then apply what they’ve learned during fieldwork. Topics include leadership, spiritual formation, leader’s timeline, peace and justice issues, men’s/women’s Issues, the five love languages, forgiveness, world view, and missional church. Each student also meets with a volunteer mentor once a month and with peer mentoring groups each week. The program is offered in four locations around Cambodia; BelPres supports two of these locations. (more…)



Call for Articles

We recognize that BelPres is full of many inspiring stories that detail God’s work
and presence throughout the congregation. While we sometimes hear of these stories, most of the time they go unrecognized. We would like to extend an invitation to submit articles (600-1,000 words) to The Messenger.

Guidelines for Articles:
The Messenger is a publication provided by Bellevue Presbyterian Church. It is full of
inspiring true-to-life stories of people’s walk with Christ, their struggles and triumphs, in order to help lift one another up in Christ.

To submit your piece for consideration, please email Katie McRoberts,
KMcRoberts@belpres.org.



Spiritual Duff

Observing things in nature has always prompted me to take a closer look at my spiritual life, and the Pacific Northwest is an area filled with abundant examples.

We are blessed to have the opportunity to spend time tending a forested property in the mountains. The previous owners did not actively manage the wooded acreage, so one of our first tasks was to interface with a forestry management expert in order to learn how to make the area more fire safe. Not only did he highlight the downed branches to be disposed of and the numerous trees to be thinned and trimmed, but he also instructed us that we needed to do some work on the forest floor. He took his tool, hacked it into the pine needle covered ground and pulled up this four-inch brick-like chunk of matter. “This is called duff,” he said. “It is the result of years of accumulated pine needles, pressed down and compacted.”   (more…)



Mentoring

met the Lord when I was fourteen and starting high school. My family didn’t attend church and I knew nothing about God, the Bible, or the Christian faith. I only knew that I was lonely and fearful, and I wanted to know that God was real. I began attending a Bible study taught by my friend’s mom, Virginia. As a new believer, I would have been lost without her. She saw my hunger to learn about God and she gave me my first Bible. We met weekly one-on-one; she taught me about Jesus, encouraging me to discover all that God had done for me out of His great love. I grew in faith, attended a lovely church, joined the youth group and sang in the choir. In the midst of the hardness of my adolescent experience, Virginia mentored me, giving me hope and courage to stand strong in Jesus and not give up.

Fast forward to college and the beginning of my sophomore year at University of California San Diego. Due to poor decisions my freshman year, I had lost my way, and was on academic probation. My Christian roommate, a seasoned Young Life leader, saw beyond my failures and thought I had leadership potential. Not believing her, but secretly hoping it was true, I agreed to attend a Young Life leader’s meeting. There I met Steve and Kathy, team leaders for a local high school, who became mentors to me for the next twenty years. Through them I learned what a loving marriage looked like, what healthy Christian parents looked like, how to discipline myself as a student, and what it meant to humbly and joyfully serve God. (more…)



Jesus, The Leader of My Life

Jesus, teach me how to follow you
May I follow your example in all that I do
I want you to be the leader of my life
You lead me to joy, not boredom or strife

Jesus, I want you to be the mentor I turn to first
Fill me with your Spirit so I feel I could burst
Teach me your ways, give me your words
Guide my steps, so I can soar like a bird (more…)



Do Not Handle It Alone

recently had the privilege of participating in a Pastors ordination. It was a humbling and eye opening experience. I have attended ordinations before, but this one was different. This particular ordination was filled with a diverse group of mentors who journeyed with the pastor being ordained. I heard stories, advice, and admonishments from new and more experienced pastors and colleagues. Reflecting on this experience, I couldn’t help but remember the story of Jethro and Moses.


Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Exodus 18:17-18


In an early story in the Bible we come across an account of Jethro the father in law of Moses who recently emancipated the Israelites from under the rule of Pharaoh. After escaping Egypt, Moses was in the wilderness with thousands of families, trying to govern them and their disputes. With governing thousands of people Moses was wasting away and so were the people. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law whom Moses worked for years as a shepherd, recognized the issue immediately and gave wise counsel to Moses on how to handle the situation. He pointed out the fact that Moses, “…cannot handle it alone,” Exodus 18:18b. (more…)



Behind the Scenes with Jim Arthur

Never underestimate the influence of a good woman – or a trombone. Jim Arthur claims that his trombone and wife were instrumental in bringing him back to church after a hiatus for most of his adult life. 

About 11 years ago, the couple went to a concert at a church in Seattle and happened upon a friend who played the trombone. Knowing Jim played the trombone, the friend invited Jim to come join an active trombone group at BelPres. Jim was hesitant, “I heard that Bellevue was where the snobs lived and we’re just not like that,” but his wife encouraged him to go. It was a rough start to feel welcome in the group, yet he came back. Jim and his wife, Liz, thoroughly enjoyed the services when Jim played and began attending regularly. Apparently, the congregation redeemed themselves. As Jim puts it, “Turns out they were very friendly!”  (more…)



Birth Announcements October 2015

Samuel James Hultman
Born 7-13-15 to
Eric and Young-Mi Hultman

Caleb Joseph Bourne
Born 7-10-15 to
Joe and Kristie Bourne

The New Baby ministry seeks to greet new babies in our church community with the love of Christ. If you know of a family who is due to have a baby or adopt a baby in the coming months please contact Di Alexander, newbaby@belpres.org, or in the Church Office, 425-454-3082, so we may include them in this ministry.