Jamie’s Story

March 14, 2019

Jamie Morley has made Northern Virginia her home for years. For twenty-three of those years, she’s called Galilee her church home. When she first arrived, at the invitation of a neighbor, the sanctuary was under construction and the congregation sat on folding chairs, not pews.

Galilee has changed a lot!

Now, after 40 years of service in her job at a law firm, Jamie is retired and is moving, with her husband and fellow retiree Steve, to Lake of the Woods, Virginia. We’ll miss her, because she’s like family.

And for our Senior Pastor Jason Duley, his sister Jamie Duley Morley is family.

Jamie Morley on her last day at work.

“I arrived at Galilee in 1996, when Wayne Snead was pastor,” says Jamie. “The church office was a trailer in the parking lot! Though the construction was a disorientating, I recognized faces among those seated in the folding chairs. There were people I knew from community theater, for instance, including Ron Dyer (Galilee’s organist and choir director), Becky and Tom Wetzel, and Sally and Tim in the choir. So I felt at home.”

When her brother, Jason, was appointed pastor at Galilee it surprised Jamie as much as anyone. 

“I was visiting Jason at Macedonia UMC one Sunday in March 2014, when he asked me to step outside after the service. He told me he was going to Gailiee! I was excited! I think I jumped up and down twice (not sure). The next Sunday, Pastor Wayne sat in his usual spot before the service and turned to me as if to tell me a secret. I nodded and said, “I know!” We both smiled.”

What’s it like to have her little brother in the pulpit? 

“It’s great,” Jamie says. “I am impressed with the amount of research and fact checking Jason does for each sermon.”

A pastor in the family is not new to Jamie, of course. “My father was a Methodist minister, so I attended church every Sunday as a pastor’s kid. Being a pastor’s sister isn’t as hard. People expect a pastor’s kid to be perfect. Ha! My mom once heard another woman say to her daughter, “You can date when the Duley girl can date.” Fortunately, my mom indicated that this was no infallible standard and that every child is different.”

Jamie and Steve are headed to Lake of the Woods, where they will be near her mom and other family.

Indeed, Jamie is quick to affirm that being a preacher’s kid or a pastor’s sister isn’t a golden ticket to better faith. “I work at it, just like everybody,” she says. “I even attended a Methodist college. Don’t ask about my grades in “Old Testament!””

Jamie says she’s gotten the most out of her time at Galilee through our music and small groups. “My first group was a study led by Joan Rudisill (then lay-leader). Joan set a great example when she mentioned that she read from the Bible every morning. I asked about that and thereafter purchased the Discipline book every year. It’s a wonderful devotional. Small groups like Joan’s have been the best way to meet members and give thought to different ideas.”

Outside of church, Jamie stays busy with work and hobbies. “I’ve been active in community theater with the Blue Ridge Alliance of the Performing Arts and Reston Players for about 20 years. Sometimes acting, sometimes making costumes or props. I took photography classes and was asked by friends to photograph their wedding. Since I had assisted my father with weddings for years, I was comfortable with the timing and “theater” of weddings. I have now photographed about 80 weddings as a professional (film not digital!).”

“I am also the Duley family photographer and recently prodded my siblings to write for the “Book of Duley,”  a 3-ring binder of each person’s account of topics such as “Learning to Drive with Dad” and “Cooking with Mom”—curiously, each sibling had a different version of Mom’s recipe for Creamed Chip Beef on Toast, which we had every Sunday morning. ”

We’ll miss Jamie very much and hope she collects more precious memories with her family. If you see her on Sunday, remember to bid her farewell.