Board Member

michelle albertson

(written by Michelle Albertson)

I grew up in La Mesa Presbyterian church near San Diego, which I attended from the age of 3 when a preschool friend invited me.  I loved the fun of church (crafts, flannel board stories, snacks!) and kept attending long after my friend moved away.  While my parents eventually joined the church when I was in High School, those early years at church on my own were a gift, as I enjoyed close relationships with the many grandmothers of the church who all took me under their wing.  As I grew up, they discipled me to teach Sunday School classes and let me serve as a “Junior Elder” on their board.  

Once I headed to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I sought out fellowship and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship found me. I learned from IVCF that God seeks more than just obedience and service, He wants a relationship with me.   Further, I learned that His rules aren’t just to prove my devotion, but to make life work better. 

Post college, I followed the advice of Richard Lamb’s “Following Jesus in the Real World” and sought other IVCF graduates to continue in community. Moving to downtown San Jose with my college roommate, we were soon joined by a handful of other friends and most importantly, Eric Albertson (who I quickly started dating and later married). We met others who were doing the same thing in our neighborhood and joined forces.  25+ years later, we still intentionally live in community within walking distance of each other in the Northside neighborhood.  Community continues to be the theme of my life, and I credit God’s wisdom in giving me community to ensure I would have the balance and perspective needed to not succumb to the temptations of Silicon Valley’s wealth gospel.

My first twenty years in San Jose, Eric and I were members at East Valley Church, a Baptist Church in the Evergreen area.  We had our daughter, Grace, in those years, and she found her own set of loving grandmothers to teach her about God at church.  At EVC, I served as Treasurer for fifteen years, was one of their first female Deacons, and sat on the building committee for a new education building.  It was a hard decision to leave this church family, but God called us away and, almost 8 years ago, we decided to dive into The River.  We were drawn here by the quality teaching and the openness to individual experiences with God that The River values.  I have enjoyed serving here as a Greeter, being a mentor in discipleship programs, and teaching financial skills to adults.

I love that The River is relevant.  Relevant to real people working in Silicon Valley, relevant to both the hurting and the rejoicing, relevant to the lost sheep and to the flock who’ve roamed these pastures for years.  I want to see The River continue to evolve and find ways to apply God to the relevant matters of our culture.  God is alive, active, attentive, and not afraid to engage in the world. 

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