Northminster’s 2018 Vision Keepers: Kelly Brest van Kempen, Douglas Meekhof and Greg Boyer

Categories: Mission

 

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The 2018 Vision Keepers dinner will be in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Orrington Hotel on February 18th at 5:30 p.m. This year’s honorees from Northminster are Kelly Brest van Kempen and Doug Meekhoff and Greg Boyer.

Each year Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE) hosts an annual fundraising dinner to celebrate leaders who exemplify their organization’s ministry and missions. The IAE Board honors individuals from member organizations who exemplify the IAE vision to address the systemic issues of poverty, unemployment, homelessness and hunger; to bring people together to build relationships and encourage understanding across faith boundaries; and to promote a healthy and equitable society.

All proceeds from the event support IAE’s direct services to homeless and hungry people in Evanston. Supported programs include the Hospitality Center of the Homeless, local soup kitchens, Producemobile, winter overnight shelter, and winter warming centers.

Each year Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE) hosts an annual fundraising dinner to celebrate leaders who exemplify their organization’s ministry and missions. The IAE Board honors individuals from member organizations who exemplify the IAE vision to address the systemic issues of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and hunger; to bring people together to build relationships and encourage understanding across faith boundaries; and to promote a healthy and equitable society. All proceeds from the event support IAE’s direct services to homeless and hungry people in Evanston. This year, Kelly Brest van Kempen and Greg Boyer and Doug Meekhof ahave been chosen as Northminster’s Vision Keepers. They will be honored at the Vision Keepers Dinner on February 18th.

Kelly Brest van Kempen is a mainstay of Northminster’s mission outreach. She has led our Mission Committee with verve and dedication, bringing forward new ideas for service and translating our plans into reality. She volunteers for the Interfaith Action bag-lunch-making and oversees our Christmas Giving Tree project for Evanston families. Kelly has helped lead Northminster’s participation in the Family Promise project for homeless families since its beginning and is currently the president of the board of Family Promise. Kelly also started programs to collect and distribute reading glasses and socks to those without them and volunteers at Family Focus.

A former Peace Corps volunteer, Kelly speaks several languages—and uses this skill to serve as a mentor for a Syrian refugee family and to organize Northminster’s Procession of Languages on Pentecost each year. Kelly is also an adjunct law professor at John Marshall Law School and has served several terms as an elder of Northminster.

For almost 20 years, the dedication and creative energies of Greg Boyer and Douglas Meekhof have enriched our church, deepening our worship experience and our sense of connection with one another. Their art projects–including beautiful paraments for our communion table and a glorious 5-foot wreath that hangs high over the chancel during Advent which was handmade by Douglas from the folded pages of seven hymnals–brighten our physical worship space. As key members of the Fellowship Committee, Greg and Douglas organized and hosted countless delicious gatherings, helping us to know each other a bit better and to grow closer. Their cooking and baking prowess is famous. Recognizing the importance of a place to prepare food for mission projects and fellowship, Greg and Douglas spearheaded the effort to re-make the church kitchen.

They have served terms as elders and deacons of Northminster. Douglas’s insight and connections also lifted our church officer nominating committee. Greg is the Clerk of Northminster’s Session (our governing body) and has long served as commissioner to the Assembly of the Presbytery of Chicago. He currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Presbytery. Greg helped lead our Worship, Music and the Arts Committee, exploring the addition of a new worship service. We are also blessed by Greg’s talented piano-playing during caroling and church events. Away from Northminster, the duo spends much time in their downstate garden, where Douglas has perfected his phone photography (widely shared on Facebook). Douglas also is a passionate needlepointer, and his work has won numerous awards at his downstate county fair.

 

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