Moving as a Church Family

September 6, 2018

For about two years, Galilee’s office administrator Mickie Stalcup has been worried about stairs. Not the stairs at church or at her own place, but at the apartment of Shirley and Jo Ann Seitz. So when a first-floor apartment with ramp access became available in their complex and the Seitzes agreed it was time to move, Mickie knew who to call.

“I reached out to our church family,” says Mickie.

The Seitz sisters, Shirley and Jo Ann, get used to their new apartment.

Mickie called Mike Tucker and Seth Campbell first. These two gentlemen do regular volunteer work at Galilee and in the wider community. They quickly sent word out to friends and set a date of Saturday, August 25 for the move.

Pretty soon a veritable army was assembled to pack things up and move across the complex. Those on hand to lend their aid included David Bentley, Steve and Connor Bryant, Kant Chiang, Marcia Crummer, Tom and Linda Cooper (with their grandson, Trevor Blume), Nancy and Glover Epperson, Tim Frank, Carol Hill, Ann Kuo, Sean and Aiden Lyons, Chris Makowski, Marcia Martin, Don Otey, Mark and Beth Polansky, and Larry and Debbie White.

The sisters were not idle during the move. They travelled to Galilee, where they performed their regular volunteer work as dedicated members of  the Altar Guild. Shirley and Jo Ann are the ladies who make sure our geraniums are well taken care of. 

Tim Frank, Steve Bryant and Kant Chiang move boxes.

Linda Cooper and Mickie Stalcup move items and keep things organized .

“Thank you so much, Galilee!” say Shirley and Jo Ann. “We could not have done this ourselves. We pray for our church family every day and hope God blesses each and every one.”

The Seitz sisters have been at Galilee since 2000, when they want on a trip to Israel organized by former pastor Wayne Snead. “It was a wonderful trip,” Jo Ann remembers. “We had a great time with Pastor Wayne and our friends Barbara and Earl Foltz and Sally Howland.”

Shirley and Jo Ann are originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They lost their mother when they were just ten and eleven, and times were tough. “I had to move out of Tennessee to get a job,” Shirley explains. “Opportunities were limited because of segregation. The only job I could get was as a teacher in a black school, and I didn’t want to be a teacher. So I decided to move.”

Shirley went to work for United Airlines in Boston. The big city was very different from Tennessee, but she liked it. So did her sister, Jo Ann, who came to visit at Christmas with a cousin. Jo Ann decided that she’d move, too, which she did after another year of school.

The sisters have been living together ever since: fifteen years in Boston and the same in New York, when United changed headquarters. They moved to Virginia when United changed headquarters again. While Jo Ann initially worked in the insurance business for John Hancock, it was as United Airlines employees that both sisters retired some years ago.

Shirley and Jo Ann Seitz

They’ve moved around locally, too, living both in Ashburn and their current complex. The most recent move shouldn’t present too much difficultly, as the new apartment has the same exact floor plan as their old one. Still, it’s not easy to have your life rearranged—even if your church family helps out!

“We’re still sorting through some boxes,” say the Seitz sisters. “And our new neighbors upstairs have a little one who likes to jump!”

“But we want the church to know how appreciative we are. We love Jason and we try to be involved, if not as active volunteering as we’d like. We pray, and we support a child in Africa, and we support Mercy Hospital. We do so love our church.”

One of their favorite moments in worship is when, at the 11 o’clock service, the choir processes out. “We sit near the back,” the sisters tell us. “And sometimes one of the choir members—Steve Bryant or Kathi Miller, maybe—will give us a hug.”