Where Are They Now?
Jen (#17, below) writes from Georgia:
Hey there, Vinny. It's me! I just got your message today. We're doing wonderful here in GA. As you've already heard, I have 2 little girls and a third girl due in February. Cora is 3 and Rachel is 18 months. They are very beautiful girls. They look nothing alike and I often find myself telling people that "Yes, they are from the same father." Anyway, I have a wonderful husband. His name is Aaron. He takes very good care of the girls and me. He works as a subcontractor for a man in our church. He paints bumpers and fixes scratches and interior work in cars. We both graduated from Toccoa Falls College with degrees in Broadcasting. We hope to someday have the equipment to be able to do video production, mainly for missionaries, but also for other Christian organizations like camps. Aaron is also the worship leader at our church down here in Toccoa. He has been doing that for almost 3 years now and he loves it. He is definitely anointed for it. I'm a stay-at-home mom. We co-lead a college age group for our church on Wednesday evenings and we really love that. I tell the other leaders that they're in charge of the teachings because my calling is hospitality. I'm here to open my home to anyone and to feed them really good home-cooked food, especially anything with chocolate. I love having people over. I also do many things with the ladies at our church. The majority of the ladies stay at home and homeschool, or have flexible enough schedules to get together often for times of fellowship and ministry.
Aaron and I just built our home. We moved in this September and absolutely love it. We designed our own floor plan and so far have been very pleased. We have a big open kitchen/living room. This was designed because we love company and because usually when there's company I'm in the kitchen making something.
My sister Jessie and her husband Craig live here in Toccoa also. We do a lot together. It's so nice to have her here since we're not near any other family.
I'm not sure if I'll see you in January or not. We're trying to work out the details because Aaron will be gone to India for the last 2 weeks of January and I can't drive the 18 hours myself. So, as soon as we know the definite dates Aaron will be gone, my dad and I will figure out what I'm doing.
I miss you all very much. It will be great to see you if I can get up there. . . . . Jennifer
Jennifer played many roles in Team productions, including "Ref" in "The Team," the confused amiga "Erin" in "Julie," and New Ager "Rainbow" in "A Thousand Pieces." Always vivacious and popular, Jen chalked up 158 shows during her five year stint, and soon after went to a Christian college in Georgia. It was a great joy to reune with Jen recently, at which time her number 17 was retired by Team Ministries.
(Left and center) Jen, 8 months down - 1 to go, up to visit in January, holding her number 17 retirement plaque; (right) Jen as the teen rebel in 1990.
Judy (#29, below left) writes from Connecticut:
I doubt anyone would recognize me now. I'm 45, have short hair ... still have a pretty singing voice, and I minister with the choir and occasionally solo at the Methodist church we're attending now. I'm still married to Mike ... We have a wonderful 7-year-old daughter. We'd planned on having more children, but apparently, God had other plans. But as I often say to Alexandra when she feels sad about being an only child, "If I could only have one, I'm glad it was you." She's extremely bright, funny, creative, loving, energetic (it's not easy to keep up with her at 45 ...), and insightful. When she was 5, she read a Sunday New York Times article about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and said, "Those people had better figure out how to share that land or there's going to be a war!" Despite being so smart, she still thinks there's a monster in her closet from time to time.
My memories of being with the Team are mostly of what a disaster I was as an actress. One time, I went out on stage to do a sketch, took my position, said my opening line, and nothing happened. I've always had trouble with left-right confusion, and I'd gone to the wrong side of the stage. I didn't get the non-verbal clues people were throwing my way, and had to go backstage to figure out what was wrong. AUGH!
Another time, Sherry and I had a scene together, and we both blanked on our lines ... completely, utterly blanked. Neither one of us could remember even the gist of the sketch, so we couldn't even ad lib something. The audience was getting restless, and finally, one of us remembered that Rachel was supposed to enter at some point, and I said, loudly, "I WONDER WHERE RACHEL IS?" Rachel came out and saved the day by cleverly filling in the details of the lines we'd forgotten.
- Judy (P.) L. #29 [lower left]
Judy, in The Team from 1986-87, (#29, left) lives with her family in Connecticut. Nancy (#31, above center and right), who served in The Team from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1982 to 1983, playing the rebellious teen, now lives with her family in Georgia.
It has been about 21 years. I know this because my daughter, Dani, turns 21 in April. So, to us it's a long time; to her it's a lifetime. Shortly after she was born, I went to work at the now defunct computer company, Digital. It was there I met my husband, Stu. We have been married 19 years. It was Digital that moved us down here, but it was really all God's plan.
My husband is Jewish and was a non-believer when we met. He became a believer in July of 1990. In November of 1990 we moved to Georgia. In January 1991 we discovered a Messianic Jewish congregation nearby. God spoke to our hearts and it became our home. We've been a part of many ministries within our congregation, including Scripture study teachers. Stu has been part of the music ministry for years. I've also been a mentor at a crisis pregnancy center for several years. (I figured with my history, I'd fit right in!)
That brought us to our next and full-time ministry. We've adopted a son and daughter. Our son is nine now. We received him when he was 8 days old, just in time for his bris. We weren't supposed to receive him until he was about 12 days old, but his bio-parents signed papers so we could have him early. Seven years later, we received a call from the adoption agency that he'd had a little sibling coming along. They asked if we would please take her as well. We couldn't refuse. (We tried.) We argued with God for quite a while, but you can't deny what He's put in writing. You must take care of orphans. They are the delight of our "old" age.
So, to catch you up on the rest of the brood, Mike is a mechanic and is very heavily into paint ball. He did a tour in the Navy and was there for some of the heat in the Middle East. Will is a part of the leadership of the Young Messianic Jewish Association, an offshoot of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America. He has a degree in drama from a local university, although he did go to DePaul for a year as well. He did a missions term in Israel earlier this year.
Dani will be graduating with a degree in microbiology from Leicester University in England in July. She is also the Youth Leader for the UK Alliance which affords her travel all over the UK to keep up with the various youth groups of the congregations there. She is going to Israel with the UK Alliance in October.
Nathaniel is in third grade, and though he has a very real problem with ADHD, he is doing quite well. He is very protective of his little sister and doesn't hesitate to tell us we're feeding her the wrong food or disciplining her the wrong way. It's really cute.
Brianna turns two in a few days. That pretty much explains it all. (he he he) She looks so much like her brother, and they are inseparable. She's very lovable and loving, but her brother is the most important person to her ... at least until she turns, oh, about 14. Such is my life.
God always knows what He's doing, and if we're blessed we get to enjoy the part of the puzzle He shows us. That is, if we remember to look. I almost forgot, for a few years before we got Nate, I was still acting. Plays, movies, industrial films. I've also had a little practice with directing, believe it or not. The last time was a production of West Side Story. However, it was called Middle-East Side Story and was actually the story of Purim, Esther's story.
Mark, a member of The Team between 1978 and 1983, currently resides with his wife Wendy and their family in Leesburg, VA. Mark was best known for his comedy, including his portrayal of an obnoxious self-righteous Christian.
Photos of Mark: a current photo, left; a 1980 photo in a crew jersey, center; and a 1981 photo, right.
Yeah, the curly hair is long gone, and a few pounds have been added too. The last time I saw the gang was at the first reunion, and I don't even remembered what year that was. [It was 1986. - ed.] I'll have to read more of the history on the website.
Some of you may recall I was on the slow track for getting my engineering degree at SMU. If it weren't for The Team, I would never have found SMU. Amen for God's directing our paths. After a seven year trek, I completed my degree in 1986. I moved a few months later, and landed here in Virginia. Last October, Wendy and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.
Wendy and I have two children. Emma is about to turn 14, and Samuel is almost 12. They keep us busy. Life hasn't always been the easiest, but God has been by our side every step of the way. Sam was born missing the middle part of his brain. He has what is known as agenesis of the corpus callosum. To use a metaphor, the corpus callosum is the brain's super-information highway, and the bridge is out. Sam has been a miracle from the beginning. He is in 6th grade today and has progressed way beyond all doctors' expectations. It is a very rare disorder affecting less than one in 25,000 births. We are very active with the National Organization of Disorders of the Corpus Callosum. I will be emceeing the annual meeting in 2004. More information is available at www.CorpusCallosum.org.
My career in the high tech world hasn't been the smoothest either. Most of the companies I've worked for are out of business. I've had the worst track record in picking the right company until this job. I'd been unemployed for three months when a visitor to our church mentioned to my pastor that he was looking for technical sales people. I was on the phone with him fifteen minutes later. It was a small company and they couldn't afford to pay the consulting rates at my previous job. But the job was just four miles from home versus the 35 mile commute I was used to. The man didn't think I'd take the job, or else I wouldn't stay if something else came up. I actually had an offer that paid twice as much which I turned it down because I believed it was where God wanted me to go. This May will be my third anniversary with the company, and I enjoy the job more than any I've ever had. God has truly blessed me with this job. The old saying that money isn't everything certainly rings true. Many of my friends thought I was nuts taking this job, but it's been a real witness on trusting God for direction.
After moving to Virginia, I was invited to a Methodist church. Then we moved to Leesburg, and moved to another Methodist church in the next town over. In 1999, a new seed Methodist church called Evergreen Church was started here in Leesburg. It's been an exciting and blessed adventure. Most of our body is new to worship. The majority are either de-church (those who grew up churched) and unchurched (those who did not grow up with family in a church). 80% are new to worship! We have land, 18 acres, but no building to worship in, so we meet in an elementary school. Kind of like a Team show every Sunday, bringing in the sound system and all the supplies for Sunday School. Then we pack it all up in our trailer and head out. We held a Christmas Eve service on the steps of our downtown historic courthouse. We expected about 15 Evergreeners and perhaps 20 visitors. God drew 200 to our worship service. We only had candles for 100! Then we walked a block and caroled the county jail facility. I'm also known as the skit guy at Evergreen, from continued comedy roles to dramatic monologues of Barabbas and Judas.
In addition to our church activities, Wendy and I are also very active in the local Walk to Emmaus community down here. The walk is a 72 hour spiritual renewal program. We each participated 10 years ago, and today we continue to be part of "teams" which prepare the walk for new pilgrims. God continues to bless us through this international ministry. I am also active with Young Life, in their middle school division called WYLD Life. We've had as many as 45 middle schoolers sitting in our living room floor. Believe me, they named the ministry correctly. We have cleaned a lot of jell-o, toothpaste, whipped cream, and other fun stuff off our floors, walls and ceilings. It's been a great ministry reaching out to kids which are not part of a church family.
The other big news for me is recent. I'm now a part-time student at Capitol Bible Seminary, working toward an M.Div. If I interpret God's calling correctly, my goal is to become an ordained Deacon in the Methodist Church. This is a real walk of faith. I have no idea how I can complete this with Wendy a stay-at-home mom. Somehow my mortgage company will still want a check each month! But if it's God's calling, He knows exactly how it will all work out. Every day is a faith walk.
For me, it all started from an invitation to the 1978 New Year's party at Janet's house! I'm sure that my first impression on everyone that night was everlasting, reminiscent of the line by the Team character of the '70's "Mrs. Peabody": "Well, that Chrissie Marie is drunk ..." Thankfully, everyone present at the party saw me as a lost 17 year old kid, and The Team / Extension welcomed me with open arms. That night changed my life, as they told me about Christ, who has given me eternal life! God has worked wonders over the past 26 years with me, and He's not finished yet. Sometimes I think there might be a few skits in there somewhere!
- Mark, aka "Gilligan," #91
Mark (right, #91), with friend Matt (left, #68, in a 1977 photo), at the 2004 Team Reunion.
Lucian (#68, below) writes:
First, as you know, we have had the baby. His legal name is Nathan Storm H. I am sorry it took so long to get this to you. We have been remodeling the house and I have not set the computer back up. I would like to say thank you for everyone who was praying for us. Nathan is doing great and eating well. Right now that is about as exciting as he gets. The rest of the time is sleeping (pooping) and looking good. Gabby as the older sister is great. The other day - they all blend together now - as Gabby was holding him, he started to cry. I went to take him from what I thought would be a tense little girl. Before I could turn around, she had started to sing, "Jesus Loves You," and wouldn't you know it, Nathan closed his eyes and went to sleep. This was quickly interrupted as Gabby excitedly said loudly, "Dad!!! I did it!!"
Nathan said that he would like to reserve the #32 jersey and is hoping you will write a male character at the running back position. Gabby wants to be QB and #12, because… well… she's Gabby and likes to be in control of the ball. (What four year old girl doesn't?) We are looking forward to the reunion, and seeing old friends and making new ones.
Lucian (above left), wife Dawn, and with Dave as "Hans & Franz". Below left: Nathan Storm, born during the Dec 6 storm which dropped up to 36" of snow in the area; the family, including future actress Gabby.
Vicki recently shared with me this feature article, and with her blessing, it's posted below, as it appeared in the T&G in March 2003. If you haven't read her children's book, it's really funny. She plans to spin it into a local three person play. Appearing as her Nana Rosa, who else? ... husband Rick! For more about "I Know My Nana Rosa Is an Alien," click here.
Vicki appeared in 125 Team shows over seven years, starting in 1983. Vicki appeared in five or six different roles in "The Team" production, including "Ref," "Bad Girl," the #2 support vocal, and the vocal lead - often referred to as the "Janet" role. During this time, Vicki also had a lead role in her college's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." These days, when not at the family biz or being mom, she writes children's books and occasionally performs at Christian music venues. Never a stranger and always a joy, we often see Vicki and her husband Rick, whom she met in The Team.
At the recent Team reunion, Vicki's number 22 was retired in appreciation for her service with The Team, as was her husband Rick's #61.
Well hello and greetings to you! This is Eric, and I was so glad when my folks told me "someone from The Team called," which led to a letter from Lisa, which led to me finding the web site, which led to this e-mail. What a fun web site! I was deeply moved, touched, and humbled to see a part of my story posted as an example of the "creative process." [section 17] What a gift that was for me to see.
I was very excited to hear from The Team. Wow, what fun memories... In my short stint as a "hanger-arounder" and occasional performer, I was ministered to so much by The Team.. I checked out The Team web page, and man, did some of those pictures make me laugh. I was only privileged top be a part of The Team for a short time, but it really helped me grow in commitment and trust in God. Spending a summer touring (must've been 1992) helped me move toward seminary after graduating from college.
I'm serving as the associate pastor of a large Lutheran congregation in Bel Air, MD. ("Large" in terms of east coast Lutheran, which means about 425-450 average weekly worship attendance.) I got here after four years of seminary after college. Three of those years were in Saint Paul, MN (Luther Seminary), one of them as a pastoral intern in Poughkeepsie, NY. I've been married for a little over three years now; my wonderful, Godly, faithful, brilliant, wise wife Paige is about six weeks into [pastoring] her second church. We haven't entered into the world of parenthood yet, but hope that in the future, God so blesses us. (Just not yet!)
Pastoral ministry's been a whirlwind... I think my trajectory was set even in late high school (Kenny L. tells me he was discipling me to be a pastor when I was a junior in high school, but it took him a while to realize that's what he was doing, and when he did realize it, he figured he'd only freak me out if he told me), but it came into fuller clarity about halfway through college. My experiences with The Team were certainly a part of that discernment; ditto with InterVarsity and a whole long list of others. So in 1999, I graduated from seminary and started at this congregation... God has blessed us in some amazing ways, and we are really starting to see the fruit. Discipleship, Bible study, Christian community, stewardship, service, witness are all becoming part of the culture, bit by bit. Some real life lessons in God's strength being perfect in our weakness.
I'd love to hear back from you about what's going on. I hope the reunion is a wonderful experience of blessing and fellowship and connection. May 2004 be a year of God's gracious abundance for you; may Christ give you life that is ever more deeply grounded in Him, and may the Spirit lead you, sustain you, and give you joy.
Eric, the wanna-be Hanz & Franz!
Eric (#71), below, pinch-hit in the "Julie" production from 1990-92, and toured with Summerteam 92.