(Nan’s note: Did you know that we have some of the most amazing volunteers at this church? We do! One of them, Cherie Lang, writes short bios of volunteers for the Messenger. I’ve included her most recent one here, but there are more! Look HERE to catch up on some of the extraordinary people at work throughout BelPres.)
I don’t really relish Hawaiian shirts. I think it takes courage to wear one, especially at church while greeting. You risk falling victim to whisperings from us female fashionista types. But that doesn’t bother Steve White. Greeting is just one of the ways he serves at BelPres. And when he does welcome us, that Hawaiian shirt goes on! He explains that when folks come through the door they’ll think, “Who is this nut in the Hawaiian shirt anyway, and maybe it will make them a little more joyful.”
Steve was raised in a large Presbyterian church where Sundays started at 6:30am. That’s when they arrived at church – not got out of bed. He folded bulletins, attended Sunday school, the main service, and Fellowship Hall. The family would head home around 2pm.
Fast forward 25 years. Steve landed a promising career in Seattle with Boeing. He couldn’t be happier to give up that Sunday routine! He’s a free man; except for the nudging in his heart that something’s missing and those weekly calls from mom asking if he’s found a church. Through someone at work, he’s directed to University Presbyterian Church in Seattle.
From that first Sunday that he decided to attend, amazing things started to happen. He says he’ll never forget the lady he sat next too. She warmly welcomed him and encouraged him to check out the Singles’ group; that’s where he met his lovely wife, Sheri. They had a set of twins, against medical odds, and having kids brought about their transition from UPC to BelPres to accommodate a closer commute between home and church activities. Lucky us!
Steve has been a Sunday school teacher for 25 years. That’s a long time! He’s ministered to us as a Deacon, a Jubilee REACH participant, through feeding folks at Camp Unity, by assisting with the Video Crew, setting up for congregational meetings, and with the Communion cleanup group. He says the relationships from the cleanup group have become like extended family.
Steve has worked seven years on the Men’s Retreat Committee. From this group, a smaller
group of men have become his pals. To quote Steve, “I’m not an outgoing person, and have difficulty truly connecting with people as a close friend. God, in His faithfulness, has sent me the guys in my small group so I can stay connected to Him since I don’t meditate and reflect very well.” Here’s what Steve has to share about experiencing serving. He encourages us to listen to God’s nudge about where we can serve, as it keeps us close to Jesus and others. Volunteering nourishes relationships with our children as they serve alongside us. And last, but not least, consistent attendance at church as a child can bring us back to the Savior as an adult.
Thank you for all of your wisdom, service, and faithfulness, Steve White! You’ve shed new light on the hidden virtues of Tommy Bahama apparel. All this Hawaiian talk prompted me to look up the meaning of “Mahalo,” which means, “May you be in Divine breath.” That’s powerful stuff, and we leave you with that blessing.