Session - Ruling Elders
In our tradition, elders are elected representatives of the congregation and with the pastors, attend to the administration, discipline, and spiritual life of the congregation. Elders are ordained to this work and remain elders for life. Ruling elders may serve no more than two, three-year terms on Session before taking a sabbatical.
Class of 2022: Maria Adkins, Vince DeQuattro, Lisa Dini, Jennifer Finger, Kurt Peterson, Lyla Tipton
Class of 2023: Chris Colwell, David Elliott, Laura Fitzpatrick, Karen Halsey, Christina Hanson
Class of 2024: Susan Bertelsen, Amanda Busch, Randy Huyser, Harbo Jensen, Jill Obata
Clerk of Session: Susan Berkhout
When their children were little, Karen and her husband, Brooke, went church shopping. They wanted their children to have a strong Christian foundation but one that fit with their progressive values. They chose Westminster for its attention to tradition, community of kind, intelligent people, and ability to leave them feeling better about life and the world after each service. They have been happily attending church since 2004. Karen works with our Communications team.
Chris has been a member of Westminster since 2016 when he moved to the Bay Area from Denver, Colorado. He and his wife Jane have 3 children. Chris is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCSF.
Vince started his collaborative artistic career as an editorial illustrator for the USC Daily Trojan and later, classic CG adventure games like Might and Magic. After finishing film school in the mid-nineties, he worked on an array of effects films. Wanting more experience on set, Ex-Warner Brothers colleague and FuseFX CEO, David Altenau, hired Vince for a few seasons of location supervision with the North Bay production of “Thirteen Reasons Why.” Since that show wrapped, he has been working in-house post-production from Amblin Studios Partners. Vince works with WPC’s Communications team and Nominating Committee.
Kurt and his family have been members of WPC for over 13 years. He is in his second stint as an Elder, previously heading the Buildings and Grounds Commission. He’s now serving on the Outreach Commission. Kurt and his wife Cathy have 2 grown daughters. He feels that we all have a call to participate in the leadership and operation of our church.
Lisa and her family have been members of the Westminster community since 2014. She chairs the Christian Education commission. Lisa works as a Public Relations executive, but raising her twin daughters is where she puts the most of her time, attention and passion. She enjoys calligraphy, reading, and exploring Marin.
Clerk of Session
Susan has been a member of Westminster since 1987, served on Session and raised her children at WPC. As a retired HS English teacher and counselor, she enjoys serving as Clerk of Session.
David Elliott (and his family) joined WPC in 1999, several years after moving to the Bay area from the East Coast.
His family has been involved in many facets of WPC life over those two decades, giving a little and getting much in return.
David recently retired from a long career in the investment business. Among other pursuits he now leads the WPC Building & Grounds team while Erin offers a regular yoga class out of WPC. He and his dog Wally can periodically be found pruning shrubs in Frost garden or trying to diagnose a leak in the irrigation system.
Susan is a retired retail executive and a mother of four grown children and four grandchildren. She and her husband David joined Westminster in 2008. Susan walked part of The Camino del Santiago in 2016 with a group from Westminster. As a result, Susan volunteered to be an Elder is inspired to help deepen the Westminster connections.
Christina and her family joined Westminster in 2017 after moving to Marin from Houston. They were immediately drawn to the sermons and messages taught each week, the vibrant youth program, and the church's dedication to serving the community. In addition to chairing the Stewardship Committee, she volunteers with the National League of Young Men, her sons' schools, and arts organizations in support of classical music.
Deacons at Westminster are specially trained to visit the sick and shut-ins, to address community problems, and to care for both the congregation and the community. Deacons are also ordained to their work and may serve up to two, three-year terms of office.
Class of 2022: Gary Carlston, Nancy Carlston, Carolyn Grey, Ginny Quick, Christina Werner
Class of 2023: Jane Drobot, Nancy Leung, Kirk Ludwig, Julie Soja, Amanda Stephens
Class of 2024: Bev Alexander, Jerry Eaton, Coral Kisseberth, Sandra Massen, Maryland Swensen
Jane has been a member of Westminster for 26 years. Her kids grew up in the church and she is thankful for the positive effect this church has had on them both. She is a retired registered nurse, having spent 30 years as a home care nurse in San Francisco. Currently she volunteers at two local community agencies and serves on Westminster’s Spiritual Life Commission.
Nancy moved to Marin in 2006 after marrying Kirk Ludwig. She enjoys singing, traveling, hiking, bicycling, and boating/water skiing. She joined Westminster Presbyterian Church because of the programs and the friendly congregation. She became a church member in Feb 2017 and a deacon in 2020.
Kirk began attending Westminster in 2017. After getting to know the WPC community for a few years, he decided it was the right time to volunteer as a Deacon. Kirk serves on our Nominating Committee and is the Deacon liaison with the Alternative Christmas Fair. Kirk is one of the two founders of Westhill Financial Advisors in San Rafael.
Being a Deacon and looking after others in the church comes naturally to Christina, who recently retired from a 30yr career at UCSF as a surgical nurse. She and her husband have been members at WPC for 10 years and have 2 teenage daughters. Christina serves on the Stewardship Commission to help protect the future of WPC and it’s fabulous community.
Coral serves Westminster in many ways, including co-chairing the Spiritual Life Commission and coordinating the Hot Lunch program. She also volunteers at UCSF Breast cancer center and tutors at Bridge the Gap in Marin City. When not volunteering, Coral enjoy travel, running, yoga and hiking.
Sandra joined WPC 23 years ago and has served as a Deacon for 12+ years. She enjoys being a Lector and helping organize the Memorial Celebrations at church. She contributes monthly to the Voyager Carmel meals, and especially enjoys the Women Connecting gatherings. She lives with a community of Seniors at The Redwoods in Mill Valley.
Nancy joined Westminster about four years ago and has enjoyed being a part of Women Connecting, the Wednesday morning discussion group, and the Tuesday Movie Group. Her volunteer work has focused on human rights and she is currently a member of the Mill Valley Force for Racial Equity and Empowerment --MV Free. Nancy serves as the Deacon representative on our Worship Commission.
Bev a long-time WPC member (and retired clean energy geek) who lives in Novato. She has a daughter who lives in DC, and other family throughout the Bay Area. She is delighted to serve as a Deacon because the Deacons helped her when she needed it. Bev serves on WPC’s Personnel Committee.
Carolyn Grey is a mother of 3 daughters and grandmother of 6. As a retired nurse, she has always enjoyed being able help and comfort people physically. As a Deacon, she has appreciated learning how to help and comfort others spiritually also. Carolyn helps to recruit and organize our worship ushers each week.
Maryland Swensen joined WPC in 2020 and has quickly become involved in many small groups and activities. She oversees the Westminster-led worship service at the Redwoods in Mill Valley once a month. When not working her day job, she is honored to serve as a WPC Deacon.
Gary is now retired after working as a Swedish Women’s Basketball Coach, Software entrepreneur, Sheep farmer, and Winegrower. He and his wife, Nancy have four grown kids. Gary serves as the Deacon representative on the Building and Grounds Commission.
Amanda feels blessed to have found a spiritual home in Westminster and was called to serve the congregation as a deacon soon after joining the church. She volunteers in the wider community through WPC's Outreach Commision and is also on the national Board of Directors of the Joyful Heart Foundation. Amanda enjoys hiking, puzzles, and traveling with her two teenage children.
Ginny and her family have been active members of the church for over 30 years. She has served in a variety of capacities over the years, and currently chairs the Legacy Fund committee in addition to serving as Moderator of Deacons. After retiring from a career in nonprofit financial management, Ginny chose to serve as a Deacon again to engage and serve members of the congregation in more personal ways..
Westminster’s work is primarily organized through eight commissions comprised of at least one deacon and one elder and several members at large. Anyone is welcome to participate in the work of these groups. Meetings are held at the church on the first Tuesday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Please contact Pastor Rob McClellan or Pastor Bethany Nelson if interested in learning more about serving on a commission.