Ray is a Ph.D candidate at Georgetown University, and he has been attending Western since he first moved to DC to start this chapter in his life. After his first visit, he was drawn back to Western by the vision and values of this community as it was reflected in the leadership, church programs, and congregational life. He felt like he found a place where he could call his ‘spiritual home base’ as his research takes him out of DC every so often.
Annette is involved with Western Presbyterian as a choir member, regular volunteer for Miriam’s Kitchen, participant in the women’s book group, and Flower Team leader. She also manages the Ronda Gilliam Clothing Bank in South Arlington, where she began volunteering in 1973. Since retiring from Lockheed Martin five years ago, she has continued her involvement in international standards for systems and software engineering, serving on a number of boards, committees, and working groups for ISO, IEC, and the IEEE. Currently she is working on a standard for applying ethical values to systems design.
Cindy and her husband Roger attended Western when Roger’s son was singing in the choir and they had just married. They stayed because they were inspired by the sermons; Cindy was baptized and became a member of Western in 1993. Over the years, in addition to providing spiritual sustenance, Western provided fellowship, friendships, and community support that continued through Roger’s illness and death in 2014. Since retiring from Arlington County as the director of housing assistance, Cindy has found purpose in serving on Western’s Mission Team and the Session. She is committed to “figuring out” how to follow Jesus and live out Christian values in the turbulent times we live in, ensuring that the least amongst are loved and not forgotten. She also finds joy in singing in the Chancel Choir.
Susanne is renewing her term as an Elder and currently works with the Facilities Ministry and the Plaza Task Force Ministry. She is a teacher at Emerson Prep School. (More info to come.)
Bill began intermittently attending Western in 2008 but did not become a member until 2018. While perhaps slow to commit at first, since joining, he’s tried to be an active member of the community by volunteering to be an usher, helping with Sunday school, and participating in other Western activities. He’s married to Megan, a member of the church who recently has been devoting her Sundays during the school year to studying while in night law school. They have two children: Wyatt and Nadia. He’s also an attorney at the firm Sheppard Mullin where he helps energy market participants resolve regulatory and commercial problems. He hopes to continue to engage with the Western community by serving as a Deacon.
Alec is a second-year law student at The George Washington University Law School, currently focusing on national security and criminal law. He came to and stayed at Western because of the encouraging community and homely environment that the church provides, even though he was not a Presbyterian in the past (he grew up Baptist). This church continues to be a second home for me as he navigates his new life here in D.C. As a law student, his first steps in D.C. were some of the most tumultuous and anxiety-inducing, and the subsequent steps continue to be. However, he feels blessed to find in Western a congregation that can help me relieve those stresses and strengthen my relationship with God. He thanks the Nominating Committee for giving me the opportunity to serve the Church even further than I already do as a member of the choir. As a deacon, he promises to promote the welcoming environment that he holds so dear to ensure that others take part in this community and do not feel left out, no matter their culture and upbringing.
Cayla moved from New Jersey to Foggy Bottom to attend the GW School of Medicine. She started worshiping at Western, and quickly fell in love with the mission of service and feeling of community every Sunday. Cayla has volunteered at Miriam’s Kitchen for three years and attended college ministry events before becoming a member last year. She currently serves as an usher and feels blessed to continue deepening her relationships at Western by serving as a Deacon.
Laura has been a member of Western Presbyterian Church since January 1997. She was actively involved in Project Create for ten years, serving as chair of the committee overseeing the program, and now serves as co-chair of the WPC Flower Committee. She met her husband, Donald Schwarz, at Western in 1997, and they married at the church in 2000. They live in Silver Spring, Maryland. Laura’s career has been dedicated to higher education communications/ public relations, and currently she is a communications consultant serving higher education associations, colleges, and universities. Previously, she served in communications positions at a DC think tank, and worked for eight years on Capitol Hill in both the House and Senate. She began her career as a radio news journalist. Laura earned a Master’s degree in Legislative Affairs at George Washington University and a BA in Communications at Kent State University. She is an award-winning watercolor artist, loves to travel, is an avid reader, and enjoys entertaining.