Finding Friends in Faith

February 22, 2018

One of Galilee’s best and longest-running small groups is the Friends in Faith class that meets on Sunday during the Grow Hour at 10:15. You’ll find the Friends right in the center of the church in the Adult Flex room, carefully studying God’s word and what it means for us today.

Friends in Faith is led by Galilee member Bill Johnson, ably assisted by his wife Nancy. They are both residents of Lansdowne Woods.

“Nancy and I moved from Silver Spring, MD in 2014 after I retired from the National Weather Service and an earlier career with the company that is now Verizon,” Bill explains. “I am an electrical engineer and Nancy has been a homemaker and an occupational therapist. We have two sons who live in Northern Virginia, and we moved here to be near their families.”

“I am a native Virginian, having grown up in the state’s westernmost county (Lee, near the Cumberland Gap). Nancy grew up in Swarthmore, PA and we met at the historic Mt. Vernon UMC in downtown Baltimore.”

Nancy and Bill Johnson (left) with some of their Friends in Faith. Behind the class is a plaque honoring Galilee member Brad Reck who lead the class from 2011 to 2017.

“We searched for a church which resembled our home church in Silver Spring (Liberty Grove UMC); Galilee proved to be the best match. We are delighted that Galilee supports The Chapel here at Lansdowne, which we attend when we cannot get to the ‘main campus.'”  

” I was surprised to find that only a few UMCs offer an adult Sunday School program. It’s when we discovered the Friends in Faith class that we first felt at home at Galilee,” says Bill.

Asked what he liked about Friends of Faith, Bill mentions the nature of the studies and the leadership of longtime member Brad Reck, who we lost last year.  

“Brad Reck taught the class when we arrived, leading discussion around videos by a first rate Bible scholar. Then followed a wonderful discussion period led by Brad. When Brad passed away last year, the class wanted to honor him by installing a plaque in the classroom dedicated to his memory.”

With Brad gone, the Friends of Faith were leaderless. That’s when Bill stepped up to serve, using spiritual gifts that he knew he could depend on.

“I have always had an interest in education and have taught adult Sunday School for over thirty years now. I have striven to develop a format that keeps people interested in the subject matter by using current technology and reliable sources to stimulate discussions.”

“The Christian faith and church participation has always been a part of our lives and we are saddened to see decline in membership within U.S. Protestant churches. There are many reasons for the rapid changes taking place within society and politics, but Nancy and I believe that Christian values can provide the guidepost for successful marriages, raising children, and seeking good government.”

Apart from their busy days at Galilee, Bill and Nancy enjoy the active life at Lansdowne Woods. They keep up their wellness at the clubhouse gym and pool, and also avail themselves of volunteer-coordinated entertainments, educational opportunities, and community government. Nancy enjoys playing bridge with campus groups and volunteers in her condo’s mail and package room. Bill is on the Lansdowne Woods Facility Committee, which plans building improvements and responds to resident complaints. His hobby is academic research and he is frequently at the Loudoun County’s excellent library system.

Friends in Faith meets every Sunday at 10:15 in Adult Flex. You don’t need to register, just pop in and say hi. They are currently studying Luke.