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Welcome to
Our Staff

Lynda Burke

Children's Ministry Director

Family:  Lynda said, "I do" to Roger 23 years ago and helped launch Keaton, Madison and Amsa Grace.

Background:  Lynda was born and raised in New York and learned how to ride her bike behind an Italian restaurant next to their dumpster.  Moved to Tucson, Arizona and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in education.  Taught 5th grade, had kids and moved to Lynden, the land flowing with milk and honey, in ’98 and has been working at Sonlight for almost a decade.

Did you know?  She can speak New York fluently.  She is one of Lynden’s most outspoken ambassadors for the rain.  She thinks it makes the day cozy and nice.  Her grandma Betty will always be her hero.  She is daring and has extensive cliff diving experience in Kauai, Hawaii.  She can swim in 51 degree waters and is not afraid of bugs.  She sneezes daintily, but yawns loudly.  She loves to garden, read, collect vintage things, bake pies, wear aprons and run slowly.  She also has the very best job at Sonlight. 

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Ranae DeJong

Worship Director

Family:  Married 25 years to Eldon.  They have three boys:  Dallas, Houston and Denver.

Background:  Born and raised on a local dairy farm.  Has been working and teaching in the music/drama area for 20+ years:

  • voice and piano teaching
  • leading worship, co-directing (with Eldon) "The Promise" (Easter production with cast/crew of 250) from 1991-1999 @ Word of Life Church in Lynden
  • directing community and church choirs
  • scripting/writing and directing the play "Everything But Money" @ Christ the King Church in Bellingham
  • Singing at countless weddings, funerals and special events  

Did you know?
Ranae has also owned Commercial Interiors for many years.  Ranae loves to bake, preserve foods, play frisbee, racquetball and ping pong (game anyone?) and has built a lot of furniture.

 

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Tim Furr

Custodian

Family: Married with one son.

Background: Tim grew up in Virginia, and worked in Washington, D.C., for several years before he and his wife moved to Vancouver, BC, to attend Regent College. They fell in love with the northwest, moved to Lynden in 2003, and are very glad that it is now home! 

Did you know? Tim's favorite activity is spending time with his wife and son, and he likes going on fun family outings and camping trips.  Tim also enjoys following international soccer, and likes to do computer research, especially if he can help others track down information they need.

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Clayton Libolt

Interim Pastor

Family:  Clay has been married to Adria for 47 years.  They both have deep roots in the Lynden community.  Adria’s mother lives at the Christian Health Care Center.  Clay has three brothers living in the area, and Adria has two sisters.  They have many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. They are glad to be surrounded by so much family.

Background:  For more than 30 years Clay was a pastor at River Terrace Church in East Lansing, Michigan.  For more than 20 of those years, he served as the Senior Pastor.  In December of 2011, Clay retired, and he and Adria moved to the Pacific Northwest.  Since that time, they have worked on various writing projects.  Clay is a graduate of Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and the University of Michigan.  He still bleeds blue.

Did You Know:  Clay loves to play tennis, run, hike, read (detective stories), and watch movies.  A member of his congregation in Michigan once said that if Clay recommends a movie it’s a sure sign that you should at all costs avoid that movie. He also loves family, good food, and conversation.  He is delighted to be at Sonlight.

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Sue Littlejohn

Children's Ministry Aid

Family: Husband, Jeff. Children: Josh, Natalie.

Background: Sue grew up in Wisconsin and has a Masters in Biology. She and Jeff moved to Washington from Michigan in 1988 and have made Lynden their home. She has worked in  the natural resources field, in a quilt shop and now at Sonlight. She has helped in the children’s ministries area for 7 years.

Did you know? Sue has about 30 unfinished quilt projects and starts more all the time.

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Mike Slofstra (aka Sloffee)

Family Life Pastor

Family: Mike and his wife Bethany (since 2000) have four boys; Joshua, Caleb Micah and Lukas.

Background: Youth work/education since '02, Sonlight youth ministry director since '07, pingpong paddle construction since '97. Education: BHKin, BEd. MAL.

Did you know?

Did you know? Despite being 6' 5", Mike is afraid of heights; he still hasn't conquered that little diving platform at the creek he camped at as a kid. His favorite website is ESPN. The best thing he's ever won is a stereo, and the worst job he's ever had was cleaning grease pits at McDonald's. If Mike is not doing youth ministry, he is hanging pursuing a Mdiv at Calvin, out with his bride and boys, training for triathlons, or building something out of wood.

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Shona Ten Pas

Director of Preschool Ministries

Family: Husband: Jeff; Children: Taylor, Hailey and Micah.

 

Background: Born and raised in the CRC church here in Lynden.  Graduate of Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA with an MRS. Degree (oh, and an A.A. degree). Worked as Preschool Director at Sonlight from 2001-2008.  Took a year off to home school Micah and now is back.


Did You Know?  Shona’s 6th grade teacher told her parents that she loved rainbows…she still has her head in the clouds most of the time!  She loves to work with color…especially finger painting, digital scrapbooking, and photography.  She was raised by a sports fisherman family and has survived falling into the river at age 3 (even won a tackle box).  She isn’t scared to touch raw fish.  She caught a 34 lb. king salmon.   She knows how to hold live crab (without losing her fingers). Previous employment consisted of hand picking red raspberries, cleaning toilets at the KOA, driving a raspberry harvester at .1 miles per hour (I can crawl faster than that), taking phone calls and making travel arrangements for a manufacturing business, being a mama to three precious munchkins, and working on the creative team er, I mean Children’s Ministry team, here at Sonlight.  Let’s just say she is well rounded.

 

 

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Rana Velasco

Church Administrator

Family: Married to husband, Tony, for 22 years. Has three daughters and a son-in-law... Tia & Nathan, Amber, and Emma.

Background: Grew up in Edmonds, WA.  Attended WWU in Bellingham and studied math and physics.  Rana worked in Sonlight's Children's Ministry, then became the full time secretary before her current position as Church Administrator.

Did you know? Rana is an only child, loves to garden, her favorites are chocolate and the color green.  High school testing said her profession should be a diesel mechanic, and she graffitied on the Berlin Wall.

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Barb Winkler

Administrative Assistant

Family:  Three daughters, one son-in-law, one grandson and one granddaughter.

Background:  Administrative Assistant at Sonlight Church since early 2010. Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.  State of Alaska government administration for over 10 years, and substitute teacher and teacher assistant for Anchorage School District.  Many years of teaching Sunday School and homeschool pre-K through 12th.  Loves to worship, jog, bike, clean, organize, read, cook, talk, lead Young Women's Life Group.  Loves people of all ages!

Did You Know? Survived the 1964 Alaska earthquake.  Was an exchange student to France at age 15.  Lived in Alaska for 46 years.  Loves being Mom and Grami.

 

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