2010 Vestry Bio Book


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2010 Vestry Bio Book

  1. 1. Cindy Darnell I began seeking Christ after experiencing an inexplicable fullness in my chest when visiting a church about 14 years ago.  I subsequently explored where that fullness was coming from and tried to understand what people there seemed to get that I didn’t.  Over the course of about 4 years (God is SO patient), I explored Christianity and became convinced that Jesus is Lord and was baptized in January of 2002.  I have grown in my faith primarily through relationships built in small groups, mission teams, inductive Bible study and the CS Lewis Institute Fellows program.  Prayer, Bible study and deep Christian friendships have been essential to my growth in the faith.   Value I could bring to the vestry: my “sweet spot” is a role where I can think strategically, streamline processes and empower people.  Additionally, I would love to see Restoration’s singles have a vestry seat and would be honored to fill that role.  In looking at Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3, I am keenly aware I fall short of living these verses out perfectly and I’m humbled to have been nominated to serve Restoration in this way.  My dream for Restoration is that we would be a place where people can find…restoration; where God is actively changing us to better reflect His image in a broken world.  I pray for our church to be built on authentic relationships where we can challenge one another when needed and still be a safe place for the unconvinced.  Contact Info: cdarnell12@comcast.net c: 703.627.4098 Jan Ryerson Restoration has been a true gift from God as He continues to weave the tapestry of my life. I grew up in a Christian household and was fully engaged in an active Bible-based church. I taught Sunday School, helped run Vacation Bible School, and spent a summer with Teen Missions. My 20’s and 30’s were spent searching for, among other things, a new church home. My husband, Jim, and I have been at Restoration since the very first Sunday and truly believe that Restoration is a place where we can be actively engaged in the life of the church, be challenged, and grow in faith. Restoration feels like coming home to a new extended family that we love. My journey has also resulted in the convergence of my personal life and my professional life in some unexpected ways. Overlaps abound in my role as a Regional Manager overseeing a significant portfolio of apartment communities, my role on the board of the Arlington- Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, and my work with the Long Range Facilities Team for Restoration. My dream for Restoration is that each of us continues to find ways to support and challenge each other; and that Restoration will have a transformative impact on our friends, families and the greater Arlington community. I believe that God has a vision for Restoration and that we need to keep our eyes firmly planted on Him as we strive to discern and fulfill the work He has for us. Contact Info: mailforjan@aol.com h: 703.855.4282
  2. 2. Julia Simerly  The roots of my faith are found in many places, but my time at Wheaton College was significant for my spiritual growth. There I learned the power of faith-based redemptive work and discerned God’s call on my life to care for the poor, both internationally and locally. After graduating from Wheaton College, I worked for four years serving DC’s homeless population at Central Union Mission. In 2008 I joined an East African social enterprise called Amani ya Ju where my daily challenge is to coordinate an international business. With a desire to live in a way that reflects Jesus’ love and care in my own community, in July 2007 Dawnielle Miller, Emily Mancia and I formed an intentional Christian community in Alexandria called Casa Chirilagua. While living in community, I developed spiritually by participating in daily prayer, scripture reading and studying works by Christian authors. Today, my husband Isaac and I continue these same disciplines and remain involved in Casa Chirilagua. One thing that has remained consistent since my formative years at Wheaton is my desire to live out my faith in a variety of ways: intellectually through reading and study, personally through relationships and lifestyle, and socially through work environments that effect change. I’m honored to be nominated to serve on Restoration’s vestry. My hope and prayer for Restoration is that it would be a place where people are welcomed and get connected to each other and to God. Contact Info: juliasimerly@gmail.com c: 703.994.8494 Mitch Wallin I came to faith in Christ during my early adolescent years through the witness of my parents and the teaching of the Lutheran church.  Both Young Life and FCA were influential in my high school years in developing my relationship with God.  It was my undergraduate years at Wheaton College that served to deepen my faith and cultivate a desire for missions. Accountability through small groups has been critical for maintaining my faith walk.  I currently meet with three Christian men on a regular basis to share and pray.      Community building and a passion for missions are qualities I will bring to the vestry.  God has given me a heart for the poor and the sick.  I’m a neurologist at the VA Medical Center, where I care for many of Washington’s urban poor and teach medical students and residents.  I remain active in medical teaching and research in the developing world.  At my former church, I served as a deacon and lead usher.   I’m excited to be a part of the ministry of Restoration and currently serve on the Outreach Team and as a small group leader.  I’m blessed with a loving wife and two young, energetic boys.  I see Restoration as being a place of love, grace, and justice that is catalyzed by the gospel.  Our church body and ministries should be attractive to our postmodern culture and the diverse population of metropolitan Washington.  Our mission should be outward focused to the local community and the world.   Contact Info: mtwallin@gmail.com h: 703-532-3046 c: 703.963.1103
  3. 3. Adam Lucas Restoration has been the home for my lovely wife, Nadia, and I since its second worship service. It was a welcomed change for me as I was seeking God's depth and grace in a more tangible way—through impacting sermons and community—after having come to know the Lord only three short years prior. Jesus met me at the same place I met Nadia— IKEA (they do have more than Swedish meatballs and sofas)! A co-worker of mine and now dear friend, Will, spurred my thinking about life and significance through asking a few candid questions about "what I believed." It was his confidence in the Lord, along with my openness to new perspectives, that revolutionized my thinking on life—I didn't realize how much of the world I was missing. God has since given me a deep passion for people and service, which I fulfill through the church and community by teaching Children's Church with Nadia and volunteering at the Cherrydale Rehab Center. The Lord has blessed me with a master's in business communications and a profession in proposal writing and training for a defense contractor. Jesus has been merciful by giving me an eye for organization and project management. My prayer for Restoration is that we would become a church full of members equipped and ready to ask "candid questions" about faith, and our dear friends and family who don't know the love and grace of God would be sitting right next to us on Sunday mornings. Contact Info: AdamRussell112@gmail.com c: 412.337.2071 Krista Obitts My faith in Christ started at an early age.  Although my trust in God's sovereignty has been challenged in the midst of difficult circumstances, the result has been a keen awareness that I am his precious child – fully known and loved by him. I came to D.C. from Wheaton College to work on Capitol Hill and, later, was the Director of Communication for a major nonprofit. It was not until the arrival of many little ones that I realized the need to totally depend on God and submit to Christ's rule in my life.  All that I previously depended on for an identity; vocation, relationships, and accomplishment, passed away -- I love being in this place. Since moving into our Arlington neighborhood over eight years ago, our family has desired to be salt and light to those around us. We have been blessed by the like-mindedness of our new church home (just blocks from our own) where we have been challenged to use the gifts he has given us to creatively love our community. It is my prayer that Restoration will continue to reach out to our local and global community and help demonstrate Christ’s love by sacrificially laying down our live for each other (I John 3:16), so those in our spheres of influence may also fully realize that they too are children of God and are loved and known by Him. Contact Info: kjwobitts@yahoo.com c: 703.626.9617 h: 703.351.1160
  4. 4. Adam Rocap Family and friends blessed me with an early foundation in life with Christ, but my adult faith grew and was defined by living in South America. Returning from jarring experiences with poverty there and all the upheaval of assumptions that comes with living in a different culture, I was able to rebuild my faith and worldview through a re-exploration of the gospel message, which now had a new and deeper meaning. Remembering that God weeps for injustice, cares about its remedy, and tells us at the communion table that we are forgiven and the world set aright allowed me to find my footing again. My path led me to my career in social work, where I have focused on working with seniors, people living with mental illness, and people who are homeless. I now direct the social services programs at Miriam’s Kitchen (a DC soup kitchen), and I feel fortunate every day to walk alongside people in need and use my gifts of care and counseling, listening and discernment, and vision casting to serve them on an individual and systemic level. My hope for Restoration is that we continue to be a vibrant place of care and community filled with frailties, forgiveness, and grace, where we always remind each other of the gospel. I want us to be a relevant presence in our local Arlington community. I hope that when God asks our community how we cared for the least of these, we can answer with confidence. Contact Info: a.rocap@gmail.com h: 301.266.6481 Ray Blunt   My journey with Christ has been a long one with many side trips. I am more conscious than ever of two streams of God’s grace: for rescuing me and for putting me back on the path so often. Worship every Sunday at Restoration helps me to remember these truths in wise teaching and the Eucharist. I am much convinced that faith is “a long obedience in the same direction”—and one of daily persistence by grace. In this “third half of life,” I am called to help grow leaders who serve. Thirty five years of public service leadership plus positions on several boards and vestries have helped me see that God was shaping this last phase of my life. Mentoring young couples with B.J., mentoring people on vocation; teaching leadership to doctoral students or worldview to high school students; consulting for organizations on a healthy culture--these are all parts of my current vocation. If I am also called to serve Restoration, I see God has clearly been doing something amazing. Our time is one of both opportunity and challenge. The opportunity is that Christ came to redeem our Jerusalem, Arlington, and our Judea, Washington, D.C.: arguably the leading world metropolitan area. We have a unique opportunity to help restore this culture and to seek its flourishing for “the least of these,” materially, and for all the “poor in spirit.” Our challenge is not to get out ahead of God, while patiently waiting on him, despite great “success.” Contact Info: rblunt@cox.net c: 703.856.5698 h: 703.780.1016
  5. 5. Anthony Swisher I am deeply humbled to serve on Restoration’s first vestry. At David’s suggestion I have been reflecting on Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3. Those passages set a high standard that I will always strive to meet, ever mindful of my need for grace. I bring to the vestry all the gifts God has given me and am honored to serve with the dedicated men and women who pour themselves into this church. Restoration is a special place where God is using relationships and community to draw people to Himself. In my own walk, God has always been faithful to give me relationships to teach me what it can look like to be Christ’s man in the world. My aspiration is to be whole and consistent: whole in Christ, and the same person – God’s person – at church, at home, and at work. My hope for the church is that through our relationships we would show our friends and neighbors the love of Christ and strengthen each other in our walks with the Lord. As I look at all of the current and soon-to-be middle schoolers with whom we are blessed, I particularly pray for a vibrant youth ministry to serve them at a critical time in their lives. This is an exciting time for our church. I am so grateful for the wonderful people God has drawn here, and I am excited to see what He has in store next. Contact Info: anthonyswisher@gmail.com h: 703.516.4086 Mary Vinson Born in Roanoke, VA, I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home, so I can never remember a time when I did not believe in Jesus. I married fellow believer Ken in 1979, and we moved to Virginia Beach, where I worked for Bell Atlantic. We had two kids while living there, Kat and Braxton. In 1993 we moved to Richmond where I took a Director’s position at Bell Atlantic. While there we both attended a weekend retreat called “Walk to Emmaus” where I made a recommitment to Christ. Shortly after, we moved to Hawaii for 8 years. There I worked as a Technical Director for a start-up wireless company, which later became part of Sprint. While working for Sprint, I felt the Lord’s call to leave corporate America and work in full time ministry. I’m still Executive Director for Hawaiian Islands Ministries; I just do it virtually from Arlington. I also consult with the Christian Leadership Alliance. Before The Falls Church and Restoration, I was a lifelong attendee and an Elder in the Presbyterian Church. I have a BS in Public Administration and an MA degree in HR. My spiritual gifts are administration and hospitality. I have been on the Servant team since October of 2008, and have been handling all personnel matters for Restoration with the help of a great team. I also recently coordinated our second fall retreat. My hope for Restoration is that we are a loving community who welcomes all who seek Christ. Contact Info: mvinson@himonline.org c: 808.371.9500 h: 703.534.3432 Current Vestry These bios are included to inform you of the current vestry members, so that you may pray over what the team will look like as a whole.
  6. 6. Logan Breed Things you should know about me:  I have the best wife in the world and four incredible children.  I strive (sometimes failing miserably) to honor the Lord as a husband, a parent, and an attorney.  I cherish deep community, authentic worship, and bacon.   My story:  After years of building deep relationships at the Falls Church, I never thought we would leave.  Starting a church plant was definitely not on my radar screen.  But we felt an inexorable pull to be part of what God was doing in Arlington, and we have been blessed beyond what we could have asked for or imagined by Restoration.  l love the fact that Restoration is a place where people know and are known by each other, where we serve and are served, celebrate and are celebrated.  Plus I’ve had the opportunity to do everything from negotiating my first church lease to leading a small group to showing off my goofy dance moves in front of 100 people at our first-ever retreat.  It has been quite a year.  I love this church.   Things that get me really excited:  Being part of a strong community of open, real, we-don’t-think-we’ve-got-it-all-figured-out-already followers of Christ who believe that the gospel changes everything and who are working together to determine how we can serve the Lord faithfully in 21st century Arlington.  Seeing our families, friends, and neighborhoods transformed by the gospel.   Working to meet the needs of vulnerable people in Arlington and around the world to the glory of God. Contact Info: lmbreed@hhlaw.com c: 571.213.4840 Tom Downie Tom was born and raised in Syracuse, NY.  After graduating with a degree in engineering he started a small business in New England.  It was through the pressures of the business that he decided to make Jesus Lord of his life and sold his business interests and went back to Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions for a year of study and spiritual growth.  For the next two years he acted as the Stewardship Director for Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF), the mission that was originally started by Andrew Murray as Cape General Mission.  In 1981, he moved to Washington, DC, and met and married his wife, Patty.  He formed a Washington commercial real estate business with his brother, which they operated for 11 years.  Over the years, Tom has served as an elder and deacon in a church and taught primary age children in Sunday school.  He began attending The Falls Church in 2007.  In 2008, he became a member of the Servant Team that helped David start Restoration Anglican Church.  Being able to serve others gives Tom great joy.  Tom and Patty live in Arlington and have four children: Heather, Scott, Jeff, and Christine. Running, biking, skiing, and playing golf are leisure activities that Tom enjoys.  Currently, he is a consultant to the federal government in information security. Contact Info: tdownie33@aol.com
  7. 7. Cameron Doolittle Carolyn and I finally realized what you have realized, “We are home.”  Restoration’s authentic community and vibrant godliness grip us and draw us closer to Jesus.     I grew up – and found Jesus – in an Oregon church plant.  Early on, God ignited a passion for the lost, leading me to Wheaton College and Stanford, where He brought twenty men in my fraternity into His family. I landed in DC as a Hill staffer and met Carolyn in 2000.  I ostensibly went to UC-Berkeley for my JD/MBA, but really I was following Carolyn!  We now have four children: Grace, Christiana, Hewson, and Sandhana. Professionally, God made my mind for business.  I’ve launched two new businesses at my company and am now turning around a struggling business unit. Since 2007, I have served on the board of Every Generation Ministries, which focuses on training Sunday School teachers around the world.     My hope for Restoration starts in our own home.  Carolyn and I are building a home in Falls Church that we hope will become your family room – a place where you feel comfortable stopping by for dinner, where your face is familiar, and where your prayers are on our prayer list. I believe three opportunities will define Restoration’s next season: •    Maintaining Intimacy as We Grow. •    Supporting Our Pastor and Staff. •    Turning Our Community Outward. I am excited to navigate these opportunities with you! Contact Info: camerondoolittle@gmail.com c: 202.701.4512