I’m a very happily married – 29 years – woman with six children. My family is everything to me, and our lives circle around doing activities with and for the kids: vacations, graduation celebrations, work meetings and greetings, and of late even a work retirement. In my other time, I’m a public school librarian here in Richmond: GW Carver Elementary School. My job gives me the daily opportunity to meet, greet, and work with some of the best children in Richmond – I truly value each and every day I get with them and do my best to be worthy of this honor. As a librarian, I hope to have and keep an almost encyclopedic knowledge of children’s books – this aligns with my belief that my job is to match each child with the one book that’s just perfect for her/him.
We joined this church partly because I was born and raised in the Presbyterian Church – attending each Sunday always feels like I’m in a safe and comfortable place where I belong and am loved. The other part is that I love how diverse this congregation is, how valued each and every member feels, and the sermons preached that always raise questions and cause interesting discussions in our house. I’m honored to have been asked to be an Elder; I served before as an Elder and it’s a big, interesting, and challenging job.
Being raised in the Presbyterian church in the 1960s and ‘70s means I’m experienced in listening to sermons that constantly challenge us to live out our beliefs on the six days when we’re not in church – this is a way of telling you that I love my job and feel I’m doing God’s work when I help a child find that “one” book, encourage another child to just keep trying their best regardless of whatever else is happening, or be an oasis of calm for a child who is not finding that calm at home or in their personal life. I really believe that my gift from God is the ability to enjoy working with children, to show them each and every day how much they are loved, and to remind myself that each one of them is created in his image – a wonderful image!
Colleen and Steve have already written what I love most about this church and the direction of the whole church: there is only love. I’ve experienced serious family rejection (by my own choice), and am certain God sees only the love we have for one another not the sex, color, age, etc. differences that we people seem to get so hung up on.
I pray lots: daily now when I’m our walking the dog, when I’m swimming or out on a walk for exercise, and over time I’ve come to believe that we need to give our problems to God . . . he will take care of things; in his own time and place, and we have to believe in this truth. It’s hard to do, but believing that has sure helped me out.
One of my most favorite scriptures is Ecclesiastes 3, verses 1-15 (I’ve used my “Seek Find The Bible for All People” version):
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,
for killing and healing, destroying and building,
for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,
for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting.
There is a time for finding and loosing, keeping and giving,
for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.
There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.
What do we gain by all our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed.
God has done all this, so that we will worship him.
Everything that happens has happened before, and all that will be has already been – God does everything over and over again.
Judy Noble is a member of our incoming class of elders, serving this fall through the spring of 2019. The class is helping maintain a recent summer tradition of introducing itself by way of our blog space.