MEET OUR BLOGGERS  

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KATIE CARPER

Katie wants to live in a world where the excluded feel welcomed and where the rejected are embraced by a fierce and tender Love who offers his presence, often through his people. She’s learning to be the kind of neighbor who seeks to understand those who differ from her--in person or online. She’s learning to cherish her husband of 16 years--her co-warrior, her confidant. She’s learning to create a home where her four kids know they belong. Two came to her through biology and two through adoption, one has Down syndrome. In related news, her home is L.O.U.D. Most days are marked by laughter, dancing, and heaps of forgiveness. In the midst of writing and maintaining the trifecta of marriage, home, and community, she’s grateful for strong coffee, belly laughs, good books, and loyal friends.

Mary Beth Gombita

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Mary Beth spent a decade in Washington, D.C. before relocating to Pennsylvania in early 2018. She married her husband, Stephen in 2015, and they have two sons – one is a toddler and one arrived February 2019. Originally from Georgia, though she’s lost her accent, she is a lover of sweet tea, a proud Georgia Bulldog and an avid music fan. She and Stephen are happy to have found a church home in Willowdale Chapel, and they’re looking forward to getting more connected to the community here in Kennett Square as they make this area their home. Mary Beth works in public relations, running her own communications consulting business from home – a switch from working in-house for policy organizations and a PR firm in the D.C. area.

 

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bonnie kotler

Bonnie and her husband Mitch have two daughters, three sons, three grandchildren and three grand-puppies. She was a stay-at- home mom for many years before re-entering the workforce after receiving her M.S. in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University. She is a licensed professional counselor at The Peacemaker Center and her own private practice, True North Counseling. Bonnie has been on the Willowdale women’s ministry teaching team since 2012. Bible studies have played a key role in her walk as a believer, and in turn, she loves to help other women find their peace with God and grow in their faith. She enjoys writing Bible study materials, reading fiction, spending time with family and doing anything in the sunshine. Bonnie loves to laugh and considers laughter as the best medicine.  Psalm 126:2

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Danielle Rupp

Danielle (Dani) Rupp grew up in small town in Ohio and is true Buckeye fan, though she tries not to be obnoxious about it. In 2011 she came to PA to earn her Master of Social Work degree. After graduation Dani accepted a position as a mental health therapist for children and adolescents in Coatesville. She was a nanny for several years as well. During that time she lived in Kennett Square and attended Willowdale Chapel. She is currently in South Asia learning to tolerate spicy food and cross the roads without being hit, as well as volunteering with International Justice Mission in their Aftercare Department. In her free time, Dani enjoys going on mission trips/traveling,  running, reading, and connecting with loved ones—preferably over coffee and a sweet treat.

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Susan Veenema 

Susan is the mother of two "tween" girls with her husband Jeremy, and they are looking to love on some more kiddos through foster care. She adores Chester County and loves to hang out in Kennett Square, check out new restaurants, get lost in art museums and walk her dog, an energetic German Shorthair Pointer. As an educator and advocate for special education for the past 15 years, she has also taught courses at a local university on disability studies. At Willowdale Chapel, Susan has participated and led women's Bible studies where she finds her greatest joy in connecting others to the love of Christ. 

MEET OUR GUEST BLOGGERS

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LISA DAVIS

Lisa is wife to Tony and mom to three boys and two fur babies.  She has spent countless hours traveling to various ball fields to cheer on her boys. Lisa has led different women's Bible studies and small groups through her years at Willowdale Chapel. Her passion is to help women realize their beauty and identity in Christ. She believes we are all masterpieces created with a purpose (Eph 2:10 NLT). When Lisa isn’t managing the craziness of her family’s schedule, she enjoys watching the Phillies, Eagles and Penn State football! Additionally, Lisa runs an online beauty business, loves ice cream more than the average person and her favorite season is summer!  

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Anne Isabella

Anne and her husband Mark have built their family through the miracle of international adoption and are now parents of three children. Anne considers herself an accidental special needs mom because it wasn't until the adoption of Grace was final that they were informed of her special needs. Through years of navigating the world of special needs parenting, Anne created First Fridays for Moms, a group where mothers of children with special needs can connect. Prior to becoming a mom, she worked for 15 years as a project/database manager in the healthcare industry.  Anne has served in a variety of ministry roles at Willowdale Chapel, most recently on the women’s ministry teaching team. In her free time, Anne dreams of living at the beach, likes spending time with her family, is somewhat obsessed about working out at her CrossFit gym, enjoys creating gluten-free foods and spends way too much time reading.

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Kristin Ryan

Kristin and her husband Casey have two small children and one big dog. A former teacher, coach, and personal trainer, she now loves being a stay-at-home mom. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors, reading, spending time with friends, going to the beach, and playing and watching sports.  As someone who has more recently found Christianity, she enjoys learning and growing in her faith and is excited to share her experience with others.

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ILANA SHIPE

Ilana and her husband Justin are the proud parents of two boys, one of whom is adopted. They now facilitate parenting trainings at Willowdale for parents of adopted kids, foster kids, and children who have been through significant trauma. Ilana is a high school Assistant Principal and a former English teacher. She was a long time member of the Willowdale Local Outreach team and was also a storyteller for the children’s ministry. In her down time, she enjoys running, reading, sleeping, and playing competitive games. 

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Elisabeth Schelp

Elisabeth and her husband Rich gratefully parent four children – their boys joined their family by birth, and their girls came by way of adoption. Their family is entering the college years, having sent the oldest one off last August. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Elisabeth worked part time as an adjunct professor of chemistry and as a lab coordinator in a local genetic center. At Willowdale Chapel she may be found storytelling and teaching four year olds in the Greenhouse. She enjoys working in her garden, goes hiking whenever she gets a chance, and feels happy when she makes things.