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Board Members

The Interfaith Coalition Board of Directors represents many different congregations and faiths in our community. They bring a wealth of experience and commitment to the mission of Interfaith.

 
 

Rev. Marjorie Lorant – Hope Lutheran Church Pastor

Marjorie LorantRev. Marjorie Lorant, pastor of Hope Lutheran in Lynden, was an Interfaith board member for several years in the mid-’90s. Her emphasis at Hope is to encourage members to be involved in the community by helping individuals in need. 

“Being homeless is a devastating condition to be in,” she said. “Not only is the physical condition difficult but it robs people of their dignity and respect. My heart is in helping my sisters and brothers whoever and wherever they may be.”

 

Barbara Mathers-Schmidt – First Congregational Church

Barbara-Mathers-Schmidt_1Barbara was the department chair and faculty member for Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Washington University for many years. She is chair of the Family Promise Leadership Team. 

She is deeply concerned about those without the good fortune to have a home, adequate nutrition and clothing, and believes that the collective work of dedicated community volunteers is often the most effective way to offer critical and sustainable programs to serve people in need. I value that Interfaith is a coalition of people of faith who are acting together to reach out to those who need support.

Joyce Pedlow – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Joyce-PedlowJoyce is retired from a career in human resources administration, most recently at the Bellingham Herald. She says, “I believe the Coalition has had a rich history of faith organizations working together to support some of our most vulnerable neighbors with the basic needs of access to health care and emergency housing.”

 

Holly Telfer – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Holly-TelferHolly had a long career in nursing and health care and was the Interfaith Coalition board chair. “I feel that providing housing for the homeless affects everything else a person may be able to accomplish. We are making a difference in the world,” she says.

Jeff Ziels – Church of the Assumption

jeff-ziels-board-member-interfaith-coalition

Jeff Ziels is a lifelong parishioner of Assumption Catholic Church and has been involved in various volunteer positions at both the church and school, including chairing the Parish Council. He believes strongly in our mission and believes that having folks of different faiths work towards a common good helps the entire community prosper.

After years as a self-employed woodworker/contractor, Jeff now is the Director of Facilities at WECU.  He is married with two children. Other than time away for college, studying abroad, and a couple of years in the Peace Corps, he has lived his whole life in Bellingham.

Nathan Dwyer – Bellingham Covenant Church

Nathan is a partner in the law firm of Robinson & Kole where he focuses his practice on workers’ compensation and personal injury law.

Nathan is very interested in how to confront the growing issue of homelessness in our community. Several of Nathan’s clients have dealt with the issue and he has seen first-hand how challenging the lack of a stable home can be for individuals dealing with injury or disability.

 

Seth Thomas – St. James Presbyterian Church

Seth Thomas is the Pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church. In his first years in service at St. James, Seth has developed a deep love for the work of Interfaith Coalition and the way that our collaborative network of congregations can serve as a structure for addressing some of the most unjust and systemic struggles facing people in our community.

Seth has served in ministry in the Bellingham community for over a decade, previously serving as Music Director at Birchwood Presbyterian and College Minister at the INN University Ministries at First Presbyterian Church. 

 

Melissa Alves – Church of the Assumption

Melissa is a retired finance executive with a prior career in venture capital and public accounting. A Canadian CPA by background, she spent the first decade of her career in the audit practice of Ernst & Young in Toronto and San Francisco. She then spent the remainder of her career in the venture capital industry as a CFO, at firms focused on investing in early stage technology startups. 

Melissa serves on the Pastoral Council for Assumption Catholic Church and is active in various ministries. She believes strongly in Interfaith’s mission and values, and in its service model of a small and dedicated staff, combining with significant volunteer resources and our network of committed congregations to deliver outsized results to our brothers and sisters in need.

Sue Dabney – Garden Street United Methodist

Sue retired last year as a Family Medicine physician. She began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the South Pacific and then was a Health Educator at the University of Missouri before moving to Bellingham. Sue is an active volunteer at her congregation, Garden St. United Methodist Church. She has volunteered with interfaith Coalition’s Family Promise program and earlier as a women’s severe weather shelter volunteer.

Sue mentions that “It is an opportunity to serve an organization that has done so much for our community over 35 years. It is an honor to be asked to be on the board.”

Geraldine Reitz – Congregation Beth Israel

Geraldine is a Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Medical Center and a former guidance counselor and teacher. She is an active volunteer at her congregation, Beth Israel, and currently is Community Board President of Hillel, Western’s Jewish student’s club. 

“I am interested in broadening my sight and the depth of my understanding of the issues and the world in which some of the patients I visit at the hospital and the Hospice live. I look forward to connecting with and working with others who are doing the important work of the Interfaith Coalition.”

Family Promise Core Team Leadership

Barbara Mathers-Schmidt Chair, Leadership Team; Member, Interfaith Board
Joyce Pedlow Leadership Team; Member, Interfaith Board
Cari Griffith Leadership Team
Sidney Evans Leadership Team
Susan Jancic Leadership Team
Paula Tarleton Leadership Team
Konrad Kocsis Leadership Team
Roland Trenouth Leadership Team
Marta Hand Leadership Team