First Pres’ Nominating Committee has presented a slate of leaders for approval to serve as elders and deacons for a three-year term starting in January. On Sunday, Aug. 22 during a 10:15 a.m. Congregational Meeting, the committee seeks the congregation’s approval of these leaders.
In their own words, meet our leadership candidates.
Judy Von Seldeneck
My husband, Roger, Jeff (our only child) and I moved to Harrisonburg in December 1979 from Baltimore and tried several churches but did not find a comfortable one until eight years later, when Ed and Betty Chappell invited us to hear John Sloop preach. We both were very inspired by his sermon and decided in 1987 to join by adult baptism. I served on Session first under John Sloop (just before he retired) and then under Jon Heeringa. Both times I really enjoyed the challenge this job entailed. I have sung alto in two church choirs (Simply Alleluia and our current one) and have been in several Sunday School classes. Currently, I’m attending Jim Dye’s class. I am in a small group and support June Hosaflook with Circle of Kindness. Roger and I are now living in Sunnyside and are very happy here. I am thrilled to serve on Session under all three of our dedicated pastors.
I came to First Presbyterian 40 years ago as a transfer student at JMU. I was invited to a church picnic and have been here ever since. I met my husband, Terry, here, we got married here, and raised our children here. I’ve enjoyed volunteering as a children’s teacher in Sunday school and JAM. I have also been involved in women’s ministry and Soup Kitchen. I had the opportunity to go on several mission trips and serve as a bridge person with our sister church in Jimma, Ethiopia. I have served in various leadership positions, including as a deacon and elder. Terry and I have two grown children and two grandchildren, whom we love to spend time with. After God, family comes first!
The first moment we walked into First Pres, we were welcomed by numerous people. The warm, caring and friendly people of the church helped our family feel instantly connected and accepted. We knew that God was present in this Spirit-filled church, and we wanted to be a part of it! We soon discovered that First Pres does well with discipleship. From the children’s programs to adult studies, our church helps people feel connected and grow in their faith. I have recently studied the “Good and Beautiful God” Series by James Bryan Smith, and recommend them to small groups that wish to deepen their faith through study and action.
I grew up in the Dayton area and attended JMU. My husband, Dan, and I have been married for 15 years—blind dates really do work out! We have two daughters, Madelyn, a sixth grader, and Molly, a fourth grader. My parents, Frank and Annette Sprinkel, also attend First Pres. I have been a teacher for the past 16 years and will transfer to Ottobine Elementary this school year to teach first grade. Hiking is where I enjoy God’s creation. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to exercise and push myself on the trails amidst the beauty of the mountains with my family or friends.
After a year living in Central Asia (2017-2018), a job opportunity for my husband, Bradley, brought my family to the Valley. We were looking for a strong, supportive congregation and found it at First Presbyterian. We were drawn to the church’s commitment to Jesus and scripture as lived out in connection to the local community and the world. I am originally from Draper, Virginia, and attended King College (Bristol, Tenn.) for a degree in biology and Rutgers (Piscataway, New Jersey) for a master’s of public health. I work as a statistician with Yale University Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, a position I’ve held since 2010, except during our year in Central Asia. Bradley and I, married in 2007, have two daughters, Susie, 6, Jenya, 4, and a new addition arriving in October.
I grew up in Augusta County between New Hope and Verona, and I graduated from Fort Defiance High School, and then earned a degree in computer science at Mississippi College. I work for Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, and now live in Mount Sidney. My wife, Mel, and I have six children and five grandchildren that keep us hopping! We were drawn to First Presbyterian because of its warm and inclusive nature. We love being able to connect with folks through Sunday School and small-group Bible study. This is where “church” really happens. Meeting and studying with other fellow Christians is one of the keys for spiritual growth. These opportunities have also allowed Mel and I to develop solid relationships with other Covenant Partners at First Pres. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and riding motorcycles.
My husband, Jim, and I relocated here from Northern Virginia in the summer of 2019. We were invited to First Presbyterian by friends in our neighborhood and warmly welcomed by them and many kind members who have extended the love of Christ with us. It soon felt like God’s plan that our new home included First Pres as our church home and we were pleased to become covenant partners. I enjoy small-group Bible study and fellowship with others. Prior to our move, I facilitated a caregiver support group for several years and now am a facilitator for GriefShare here at First Pres. I am a registered nurse retired from Kaiser Permanente and have worked in many areas of healthcare over the years, the last in quality care, and then teaching at a community college. Jim and I have three grown children and two grandchildren, and we are grateful that they are all within a couple hours’ drive. Travel and RVing with Jim are favorite pastimes. I enjoy cooking and baking, especially when it’s shared with family and friends.
Bio to come…
Bio to come…