Administrative Assistant, Family Ministries Assistant
Leads and coordinates office and general administration, supports lead pastor
Supports kids and family ministries
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Since my Dad first read Madeline to me as a child, I have always loved France. I was grateful to travel to Paris in college and would love to explore the rest of the country some day: Normandy, Lyon, and Provence, eating as many chocolate croissants as I can find!
What makes you laugh the most?
Writing down ridiculous things my friends say and reading them back to them later, such as “Can you guys tell me if this email sounds okay? I mean, I did already send it, but…” or “Where is ‘macaroon’?” “You mean ‘Cameroon’?” or “I made a cup salad!” “You mean ‘smoothie’?”
Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
It’s almost strange to be called simply “Lauren.” I’m more often known as “Smalls,” “LT,” “Tapioca,” or most frequently: “Tappy.”
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
I would spend a day in New York City: people-watching in Central Park, hunting for the perfect book at The Strand Bookstore, munching on rose macarons from Laduree, and ending the day at a Broadway show.
What’s on your reading list?
I recently finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, and The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers. Next on my list are Forgotten God by Francis Chan, The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
What is your favorite part about what you do?
One thing I love about my job is communicating with the Sunday morning volunteers. Their faithful service, commitment to Community West, and graciousness always inspire me! On Sunday morning in particular, I love seeing a little one's face light up as they understand a Biblical concept or listening to their thoughtful questions as they process what they’re learning. It's an incredible thing to witness a child beginning a relationship with Christ! A more random thing I enjoy is writing. I get to write a number of the notes in the worship guide and weekly announcement email, and I really enjoy doing it!
If we were chatting over coffee together (lavender latte for me, please!), you may ask “what do I need to know about you to ‘get’ you or to understand who you are?” These are a few ways I may respond:
I grew up here in Richmond. I didn’t think that was really significant to who I am until I lived in Philadelphia for three years and saw how much the culture here has influenced me. While I loved the energy, art, and culture of living in Philly, I value the traditions and friendliness of life in Richmond. (Also the summers…I’m one of the few who loves the hot Virginia summers!)
I went to a Christian elementary school, where I gained knowledge about the Bible and God’s character. However, my faith was not very meaningful to me until I started youth group at Third Church. There I interacted with other girls my age who spoke about their individual Bible study and personal relationship with Christ. Until then, I had thought of a personal “walk with Christ” as something only adults did. Through their example, I began spending time with the Lord on my own and truly learned what it meant to love Him and trust Him with my life.
During my freshman year at Christopher Newport University, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and I have a close relationship; we called each other almost every day of my four years at CNU (and still do…), so her diagnosis became a significant part of my story. Something I learned through walking through that journey with her (she’s now 6 years cancer-free!) is that everyone has “something”; we all carry some form of suffering or pain within us. As I experienced my own struggles, I also began to walk alongside my friends experiencing their own suffering. This led me to want to learn about Biblical counseling, so after graduating from CNU, I went to Westminster Theological Seminary for my Master’s in Counseling. I’m still praying and discerning how I may use that degree more formally in the future, and in the meantime I am grateful to be a bit more equipped in my daily relationships.
I started working at Community West a year ago upon moving back to Richmond. I am so grateful for the people and the culture of Community West and am grateful to be supporting God’s ministry and mission here.