Minister of the Word
Joel has served as the Minister of the Word at First CRC since 2006. Joel is responsible for the preaching and worship ministry of First CRC, offers pastoral care to those who are sick or struggling, and also oversees our staff. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cycling, skiing, and spending time in the mountains with his family. (He also spends more time watching Netflix than he cares to admit.) Joel and his wife have three school-aged children and also serve regularly as foster parents for refugee children. Joel received a masters degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Worship and Communications Coordinator
Kyle began serving at First CRC in 2016 after graduating from Azusa Pacific University. He enjoys working with the staff and volunteers here at First Church to plan worship services and lead our fantastic group of volunteer musicians! Throughout the year, he also works with tech volunteers, our visual arts team, and our choir.
While not at work, he enjoys writing and recording music, spending time with friends, and hiking in the mountains.
Kyle began taking guitar lessons at the age of 6 and his love of music has grown since then. Over the years, he has enjoyed the opportunity to learn other instruments as well and study music in college.
At a young age, Kyle was diagnosed with a vision disability called Retinitis Pigmentosa. This has been a life-long challenge for him, but he recently received a newly-available treatment that has provided significant improvement! Kyle is grateful to God for leading scientists and doctors to this exciting advancement.
Director of Faith Formation
Bret has served as the Director of Faith Formation at First CRC since 2017. Bret oversees all of the educational and outreach ministries at First CRC and works closely with many volunteers in children’s and youth ministries. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, hiking, being with his family, and watching movies. Bret and his wife have two teenage children and an adopted son and granddaughter in California. Bret received a masters degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and a doctorate degree in youth and family culture from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Kaia is the newest staff member
at First CRC and was hired in 2022.
Way back in the 90's, Kaia earned a BA in Communication at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and worked for a few years as a case manager and group home manager for adults with developmental disabilities. After realizing she really just wanted to hang out with kids, be goofy, and talk about Jesus, she received her MA in Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kaia spent several years in both paid and volunteer youth ministry positions for Lutheran,
Covenant, and CRC churches.
Kaia's thrilled to join the team at First, and loves that the Ministry Coordinator position gets to dabble in so many different areas of ministry (children, youth, family, administration,
candy supplier, researcher, organizer).
Enjoying the Type A personality, Kaia also works part-time as a bookkeeper from home, and seriously loves to organize. She is married to Simon and they have a teenage daughter and son. Kaia loves hiking, lap swimming, forests, sitting on any front porch,
travel, and cheese curds.
At First Christian Reformed Church, all staff and programs come under the supervision and direction of a governing board called "Council." The Council is comprised of individuals who are elected by the congregation to serve three year terms as either "elders" or "deacons." The elders serve as shepherds of God's people and lead in prayer, care and ongoing discipleship. The deacons help equip and encourage the congregation in areas such as outreach, financial stewardship, service and social justice. Elders and deacons also serve together in teams to provide direct care for members of their regional areas. If you are a member or regular attender of First CRC and would like to know who your elder or deacon is, or to which area group you belong, please contact the church office.
North Area 1
Elder William Jensen
Deacon Werner Schroder
Northeast Area 2
Elder Milt Lanser
Deacon Roger Van Den Boogaard
Southeast Area 3
Elder Lisa Lohmann
Deacon Rebecca Schaefer
South Area 4
Elder Jessica Cleveland
Deacon Davinia Lyon
Southwest Area 5
Elder Alan Natelborg
Deacon Kaia Draijer
Northwest Area 6
Elder Shirley Van Heukelem
Deacon Jill Newcombe
Chair of Council - Milt Lanser
Chair of Elders - Shirley Van Heukelem
Chair of Deacons - Werner Schroder