1) Mark and Pam Taft – I’ve deliberately not mentioned staff on these lists because I wanted to highlight so many other folks, but the thing is, so many people at New Life are practically staff. Mark and Pam are one such couple. They have been faithfully serving in our marriage ministry for the past several years, and they have done so much to resource pastors, couples, and other vocational ministers throughout the city. Their previous stint was at Here’s Life NYC, which is actually how I got connected to New Life out of college ten years ago (I realize I first arrived in nyc ten years ago, but settled nine years ago. I just say ten because it’s a nice number). That’s right, the Tafts are largely responsible for me being in NYC at New Life. I feel indebted to them in so many ways – with marriage, ministry, and spiritual growth. They are now working with Christian Resources Ministries, and our church is so lucky to have them.
2) Isaac and Valerie Chung – Isaac is a filmmaker/photographer whose film Munyurangabo was featured in the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. It’s really an extraordinary, groundbreaking film. Isaac first went to Rwanda because of the work Valerie was already doing there as an art therapist. Valerie now works in Brooklyn doing some family therapy. These two are incredibly talented, compassionate people. The thing is, they’re really humble and unassuming, which I think is one common aspect of our community – we’re all just folks at the end of the day. I’m so proud to know Isaac and Val, and if you’d like to support their work, you can check the links above. They also volunteer in our 3rd service.
3) Veda Simpson – I just hung out with Veda at the Rule of Life weekend, so that’s why she comes immediately to mind. She’s such a sweet, friendly person, and I hear she makes some really good ribs. This post is one plea for an invitation to dine at her home. 🙂 But seriously, Veda has an easy smile and laugh, and gives wonderful hugs. I admire her hunger for God and the way she extends grace to others. Very, very cool.