From a young age, music has been Alli’s favorite language. She grew up in Iowa, spent 10 years singing and songwriting in Nashville, TN, and settled in Portland in 2012 with her husband and 2 kids. Alli loves spending time with her red-headed family and enjoys only having to use sunscreen 3 months out of the year in rainy Portland. As a family they love camping, hiking, skiing and adventuring together. When not playing music, you’ll probably find her admiring the ferns in forest park or reading a Mary Oliver poem. Alli loves the poetry of the Gospel story of redemption and one of her favorite sections of scripture is 2 Corinthians 4 and 5.
Anna Russell finds meaning in Jeremiah 1:5, John 16:33, 1 Corinthians 10:13. She loves being reminded that God will never leave our side and is thinking of us constantly. Anna was born in Beaverton, Oregon. She loves spending time with her husband, J.D., and their five children - Grace, Madelyn, Ty, Lola, and Cooper. When not being a busy wife and mom, Anna loves to play soccer and coaches at Sunset High School. She also loves to sing, laugh, and draw.
Bethany Richter is passionate about caring for vulnerable children and serving God with her family. Bethany and her husband, Paul, are raising six children who have joined the Richter family through birth, adoption, and foster care. She feels extremely blessed by the opportunity to serve the children and families of Cedar Mill alongside her husband. In the midst of a busy household and mounds of laundry that never gets folded, it is important to Bethany to carve out time for dates with Paul and time to connect with dear friends. Her favorite passage of Scripture is Romans 8, as it reminds her of who we are, how we can cry out to God as our Daddy, how God promises to use all things in our lives for our good and His glory, and how NOTHING can separate us from His perfect love!
Dan Larsen loves to build stuff, run, hike, wake surf, go out for coffee with his wife LeeAnn, and hang out with his adult children. When feeling discouraged, lonely, unworthy, or stuck, Romans 5:8 and 8:28 remind him how much he is loved by God and that God is always at work for good. Dan grew up in Olympia, Washington. He has some interesting memories of his school lunches and says that stewed tomatoes and tapioca pudding still make him gag.
Growing up as an Air Force kid has taken David Gordon (that’s right, like “Flash”) Teixeira all over the USA. Dave and Amy met in high school, married and have three wonderful kids - Skylar, Dax, and Peyton. Camping and cliff jumping are often how he spends downtime. As a motto for life, 1 Peter 4:8 inspires the culture he tries to create in his family. “In the face of deep love, a lot of our junk (which we all have) gets pushed away and the Spirit of God is released!”
Gabriela (Gaby) Viesca is originally from Torreón, México, where her parents and two sisters live. She loves traveling the world, hiking, and connecting with people from all backgrounds and cultures. She speaks better Spanglish than anyone you’ll ever meet! She holds onto John 13:35 as a wonderful summary of how to live her life and engage others.
Ask her husband, Brian, or their kids, Hayley and Kyle, and they will tell you Heather Zimny has a purse that rivals Mary Poppins! If you need it, this New Mexico transplant probably has it. Heather loves spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, or watching a good soccer match. Heather has found Philippians 4:6-8 to be helpful to keep her thinking straight and her focus in the right place.
John Hamilton hails from Ripon, California, the “Almond Capital of the World.” More than anything, he wants to represent Jesus wherever he is and in whatever he is doing, and says 1 Corinthians 15:58 helps keep him on track. John loves his work with the seniors in our church body and is thankful to be able to call them his friends. He loves to take walks with his wife, Becky, and spend time with his adult children and their families, including the newest addition to the family, his granddaughter, Ella. His wife, Becky, thinks it’s cute that he “endures” watching Hallmark movies to spend time with her, but John finds he gets drawn into them almost as much as she does.
Growing up in Cedar Mill with his two sisters, Cecily and Hayley, Josh Bernick discovered he has quite a unique talent. His fascination with computers lead to the discovery that he can type 30 words per minute with one hand! With his other hand, he can be found flying quadcopters. Matthew 6:25-34 helps him not to worry about day-to-day things because it is all in God’s hands.
Oregon native, Josh Fagerberg, loves how 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 speaks to how Christ uses our weaknesses to strengthen us and shape us into to His perfect character. When asked to name some of the things he loves, he replied, “music, exploring the outdoors, my city, my family, my coffee.” Perhaps growing up in a large family - with his two amazing parents (Dwain and Kristin), four beautiful sisters (Anna, Sarah, Joella, and Michaela), and two awesome, rambunctious brothers (Isaiah and Jeremiah) - led him to discover he prefers to drink Jello through a straw. He says, “seriously, try it, it’s great.”
Katy Assad grew up here in Portland with her mom, Karen, and two brothers, Matt and Tim. She can often be found playing the piano, singing, riding a horse, or kickboxing! She remembers reading Psalm 18:19 at just the perfect time and felt God encouraging her through the reminder that He cherishes her more than she can fathom.
As the youngest in her family of seven and the only girl, Keri Huegli can often be found breaking into song, usually triggered by something someone said. While not serenading her husband, James, she could be cooking, hiking, or even adventure racing. Two meaningful Scriptures which go hand in hand for her are Psalms 18:16-19 and Colossians 2:6. She says they “have not only impacted my life but have been a constant reminder of God’s goodness and all He has done for me, and will continue to do. The Psalms verse has a personal attachment when the LORD literally saved me from deep waters, but it is also a representation of all the deep waters He has not only saved me from, but saw me through, as my Rock. Colossians is a reminder of how I want to live my life.”
Liz Byrne often spends time with Jesus while she is running. One of her favorite verses is 2 Timothy 1:7. She says it “reminds me that I don't need to be afraid and to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.” In addition to running, she loves hanging out with her husband, Tim, her family, and spending time reading.
A native of northern California, Lori Kelly loves to drink coffee, enjoy a good meal, read, and stay busy. Keeping busy is easy to do with her husband, Jason, and their three daughters - Alexis, Avery, and Victoria. As a self-described worrier, Lori believes Philippans 4:6-7 is a beautiful reminder that she can trust God in all circumstances.
Anyone who knows Matt Bowen would tell you he loves to read, explore new places with his beautiful wife, Lauren, and play Legos with his three kids – Penny, Milo, and Elouise. But would you guess that he can’t eat apples without gagging? Needless to say, he stays away from them! True to form, Matt doesn’t have a favorite passage of Scripture. He has a favorite section. He says, Romans 5-8 has impressed on him the love of God, the reality of new life in Christ by the Spirit, and has spoken more to his identity than anything else he can think of.
Melissa Skeels’ parents were married here at Cedar Mill Bible Church over 60 years ago, so she has grown up going to this church. While having many interests, she particularly enjoys hiking and painting with watercolors. Melissa goes to the truth of Philippians 4:13 when she is facing struggles in life.
Nick Mastrude loves rock climbing, reading, coffee, and his awesome bride, Alyson. Nick grew up in Baker City, Oregon. He lived in Boise, Idaho before moving to Beaverton to work with the high school students and young adults at Cedar Mill. The Scripture that motivates him to give up his life, without reserve, is Matthew 13:44 because nothing is worth more than the treasure found in Christ.
Does anyone know a song about banana slugs sung to the tune of “America the Beautiful”? Nicky Engblom does! It probably comes from her love of singing, laughing and being with her family; husband, Peter, and four active kids – Isabella, Anders, Sara, and Elias. She has found she functions better on less sleep, which leaves time for reading, writing, and spending time at the beach. When asked about a favorite Scripture, Nicky says there are a few from Proverbs that she particularly loves: Proverbs 31:25-26 and Proverbs 3:5-6. They tie together well and provide beautiful instruction on living a life that offers hope, even in difficult times.
Born in Alaska, but raised in the Northwest, Paul loves "doing life" with his wife and their six kids - Sydney, Noah, Abraham, Caleb, Moriyah, and David. There is no text in Scripture he finds himself returning to more than Romans 8, which has drawn his heart back to his King over and over. In times of comfort and pain, he considers Jesus’ presence in His life to be his greatest joy. Besides a deep love for his family and Jesus, Paul also considers himself an expert in the field of inflatable bounce houses!
If his four grown children and thirteen grandchildren don’t keep him busy, Ron Carlson has plenty of hobbies! An avid sports fan and car guy, Ron likes to spend time with family and friends, read, write, and talk with God. His high school sweetheart, Lin, has been blessed to listen to him whistle for 40 years. Ask him and he’ll tell you he does it in four languages! That’s Ron for you. Always good for a laugh, Ron also has an incredible heart for God and others. Psalm 37:4 was the first verse he memorized. He believes we are to enjoy the Lord and He will show us what really matters in this life and will fill our hearts with the passion and energy to pursue those things.
Ruben Castro nació en el más pequeño país de América, El Salvador. Entre las cosas que más le gusta hacer se encuentran el conocer nuevos lugares y personas, disfrutar de una taza caliente de café con un buen libro o revista para leer, tomar largas caminatas con su esposa, Rachel, mientras se enfocan el uno en el otro, y jugar al monstruo de las cosquillas con sus hijos: Christina, David, Melissa, Benjamín, y Karen, así como practicar tiro al blanco. El pasaje de la Escritura que más ha tocado su vida es Filipenses 1:6. ¿Por qué? Porque cuando Rubén se da cuenta que no ha sido todo lo que Dios desea para él y no se siente bien con él mismo, este versículo le recuerda que Dios está en completo control no solo de su salvación, pero también de su santificación, y eso le da energías para seguir adelante con su Señor.
Spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors is how our California-born Shari Langford likes to pass the time. Occasionally, her husband, Steve, or daughters, Amanda and Emily, might catch her enjoying the smell of a beautifully bound book. As she says, “fan the pages and take a deep breath, ah…” Shari says Philippians 2:1-11 is a beautiful picture of Christ’s humility and is an example of how she should seek to live.
Spending time with friends and family, and enjoying good food are favorite pastimes of San Diego native, Ted Bernick. His focus on his relationships makes 1 Corinthians 13:4-10 particularly important to Ted. He believes “it is a constant reminder that if I strive to do all these things in my relationships, especially with my wife, then I know I will have a stronger marriage, better relationships with my family and friends, and also display the love of Christ to those around me.”
Pete Aman David Avery Rick Coulson Doug Crane Dwain Fagerberg Luis Palau *Tom Stephens Dave Teixeria *Andy Tsen