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Church Officers

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Jim Wrightson, Clerk of Session

Jim and his family moved to Clifton in March 1999, and they became members on the church soon thereafter.  Raised in a Presbyterian family, Jim searched for a church as an adult.  When he first visited Clifton Presbyterian Church, he immediately knew that CPC would be his church home.  Jim feels blessed to have been able to serve as an elder previously.  He continues to be a member of the personnel, the planning and the administration & finance committees

Steve Landry, Elder for Administration & Finance

Since becoming a member of Clifton Presbyterian church in 1996, Steve Landry has been a Trustee,  Elder for Buildings & Grounds, Deacon, and Treasurer/Elder for Administration & Finance.​

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Mitch Martin, Elder for Building & Grounds

Mitch and his wife have been members in a Presbyterian church since their youth, and their children were both baptized at Clifton Presbyterian.   In addition to his involvement in the CPC choir since 1998, Mitch served previously as Assistant Treasurer and as Clerk of Session.  Mitch and his family feel blessed to be part of the CPC family. ​

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Nikki Lehman, Elder for Family Ministry

English teacher at Chantilly High School, passionate about our youth, working to foster their reading and writing skills and encourage them to think for themselves. Member of CPC since 2012, currently leading the Cornerstone for Kids program, and have served as both an elder and a deacon in the past. Excited to embark in this new journey in my faith!

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Jennifer Basham, Elder for Communications, Fellowship & Outreach

As a lifelong resident of Fairfax County, Jen was always looking for a church home.  She discovered the Clifton Presbyterian Preschool while doing a presentation for the children about police officers.  Seeing the spirit of the kids and love of the teachers, Jen enrolled her daughter, Jordan.  Since then, Jordan was both baptized and confirmed through CPC. She was also married, and her own daughter was baptized by Pastor Diane.  Needless to say, Jen found the church home she had been searching for.  She was a deacon, is a member of the wedding committee, serves as part of the technical team and helps transport food for WFCM.  Recently retired from a thirty year career in law enforcement, Jen currently works at Westfield High School.  She is looking forward to sharing her love of golf as an assistant coach on the golf team.    

Kimberly Davis, Elder for Mission

From West Texas to New York City to Northern Virginia, Kimberly has carried her Presbyterian Church membership with her. A member since 1989, her daughter Katherine was baptized here 29 years ago. Kimberly has served as a Deacon, on Buildings and Grounds Committee, and on Communications Committee, and leads CPCs growing Earth Care and Sustainability Program. As the PCUSA faith community has continued to grow and evolve over time, she is grateful to be part of Clifton Presbyterian – a truly mission-oriented church.

Bette Petersen, Elder for Personnel

Bette has been a member of CPC since 1983.  Served as Elder 2 times, Deacon 2 times.  Been in the Choir since 1983 and can’t wait to go back and sing again.   She also loves to cook and have a “cake ministry” for the Church.   Loves being a member of the CPC family.  So grateful and blessed that she met her husband all those years ago and joined our Church on the hill! ​

Terry Winkowski, Elder for Planning

Terry and her family moved o the Town of Clifton in 2007. She has enjoyed being a part of the many town and church events during the past 14 years. Terry was on the Board of Deacons from 2017-2020, serving as the co-moderator for two of those years.

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Ashley Bybee, Elder for Preschool

Ashley Bybee has been a member of CPC for 10 years,since moving to Clifton from Alexandria. Ashley and her husband, Jon, have two sons, JD (12) and Tucker (10) who attend Union Mill Elementary School – soon Robinson for JD! She is glad to have her mother close by (Melinda Neese, nominated as one of CPC’s new Deacons!). Ashley works for the Institute for Defense Analyses where she is a Defense Analyst, working with foreign militaries to improve their management processes. When not working or at a baseball game, Ashley loves to garden, travel, and dote on the dogs, Copper and Blue.

Bill Watts, Elder for Stewardship

Bill started attending CPC in November 1994 and became a member the following spring in 1995.  CPC is my church family and you all are dear to me.  Though we have moved three times in 31 years, CPC has remained a constant in my life.​

At CPC Bill participated in many different ministries:  Christian Education, Long Range planning (not on Session), Associate Pastor Search Committee, Stewardship, Worship, Music Director Search Committee, Planning, Interim Pastor Search Committee, Mission, Clerk, Nominating Committee, Emergency Contingency Ad Hoc Committee, and Executive Action Committee​.

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Peggy Cranston, Elder for Worship

Peggy was raised in Arlington, Virginia. She first became familiar with Clifton Presbyterian Church in 1973 when she married into the Cranston Family. Their two children were baptized at CPC when they were stationed in NOVA in the 1980’s. (And their granddaughter was baptized here in 2013.) When her husband, Stu, retired from the Air Force in 2000 they settled in Clifton and again attended CPC. Peggy volunteered on the wedding and flower committees and has been a member of the worship committee for several years. Peggy became a member of Clifton Presbyterian in 2019. She is also a member of the Clifton Community Woman’s Club and Welcome to Washington Club, International and enjoys bridge, golf, flower arranging, interior design, and especially her grandchildren.

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Barbara Brown, Deacon

I spent 30 years teaching hearing impaired children, first as a Speech Therapist, then as a classroom Special Education Preschool Teacher. Although I officially retired seven years ago from FCPS, I continue to substitute long term in Special Ed. I spend my free time indoors quilting, with a side of knitting and baking.  Outdoors I enjoy nature, and spend many hours hiking, and on the water. A former Catholic, I began taking Bible study classes with Burke PC and Clifton PC about 10 years ago and began attending some of CPC services and activities.  As one would expect from my teaching background, I especially enjoy service, mission, and supporting our youngest members.  I decided to formally join CPC as I love the feeling of “family” and want to give back to CPC for all the love and support it has shown me.

Jean Bourneuf, Deacon, Chair

Jean has been a CPC participant since 2015, and is a familiar face at the weekly Women’s Bible Study group.  She is currently serving as a Deacon and as a member of the Mission Committee.​

She enjoys gardening, music, photography and relaxing with family and friends.  She looks forward to opportunities for fellowship, growth and service as a member of CPC.​

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Evan Gass, Deacon

Evan was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where much of his immediate family still resides. He attended a parochial school through much of his youth, which gave him an early exposure to the beliefs, history, and traditions of the Christian faith, and a love for the Latin language. He graduated from James Madison University in 2014 and shortly thereafter relocated to Northern Virginia along with his wife, Emily Spiwak. The pair settled in Fairfax Station in 2019, discovered the nearby Clifton Presbyterian Church, and welcomed their daughter, Noelle, into the world in July 2021. Evan spends his free time with Noelle, outside with the family dogs and chickens, reading, and brewing the occasional batch of beer.  

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Melinda Neese, Deacons

It was just before Covid hit when we  moved to Clifton from Fauquier County and it went downhill from there — not the most auspicious start, but I love the small town feel in what has to be the best kept secret in northern VA.  I grew up a Presbyterian in a military family but spent many years as an Episcopalian.  CPC seems like a comfortable fit in my present life, and I look forward to many satisfying years to come.  Interests include gardening, horseback riding, traveling, knitting, and watching grandchildren grow.

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Sara Caparelli, Deacon

I started attending Clifton Presbyterian at four years old as my mother Lynn Stanton-Hoyle was the pastor at Clifton from 1995 until 2018. I now live in the Clifton area with my husband, Lucas, and two children Lyla and Nico. I could not be happier that my family and I are now able to be a part of the community I felt was so instrumental in helping to raise me.

I am a licensed clinical social worker and I’m always inspired by Jesus’s example of serving those who are most forgotten and outcasted. I love being outside with my family and friends, singing, getting to know new people, and traveling.

Beth Corish, Deacon

Born in West Texas, moved to NYC after college, then to Northern Virginia in 1989, I have taken my Presbyterian Church membership with me on my journey. Clifton Presbyterian played a big role in our choice to move to the Clifton areaI have been a member of CPC since 2009.  My husband, Ed, and I have two adult children, Ben and Sharon. We both were Methodists and raised our kids in the Methodist church.  When we moved to Clifton in 2007 we loved the town and decided to attend Clifton Presbyterian Church.  Finding it a small and welcoming community we began our service to the church by volunteering to be greeters and ushers.  Over the years I have served in the choir, needlework ministry, and as a Deacon.  Most recently I served as the Worship Elder, where I was able to experience many challenges with COVID and finding creative ways to bring the Christ story outside and to the community with the Living Nativity event and the Flowering the Cross tradition.  Our family enjoys the fellowship and service opportunities at CPC as a family of loving human beings working together in the spirit of service. (from Brooklyn!!). It was such a joy to have our daughter, Katherine, baptized here 26 years ago, just a few months before Pastor Lynn arrived. Then it was a comfort to have CPC’s strength and support when I lost Bill in 2016.Our PCUSA faith community has continued to grow and evolve over time, and I am grateful to support its further progress through Clifton Presbyterian.

Pete Daniels, Deacon

Pete has never been a Deacon despite being raised a Presbyterian. His first fifty years he lived in Arlington, where I met Pastor Diane, moved to Clifton twenty years ago and active with various Elder positions here, including Finance, Clerk, Mission, Nominating and Pastor Nominating Committee. Very much looking forward in worshiping in the pews with Deacon duties to bring us together as a congregation.​

Andrew Gause, Deacon

Andrew was born and raised in Falls Church, VA.  Andrew attended James Madison University and graduated with a Business Degree in Marketing.  Since 2004, Andrew has been the owner and Master Instructor at two martial arts schools (Andrew Gause's Martial Arts in Springfield and Fairfax Station).  He attended Graham Road UMC as a child and Pender UMC as an adult.  Moving to Clifton in 2014 (from Fairfax) he started attending Clifton Presbyterian in 2019.  Andrew is currently serving as a Deacon.​

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Brenda Ference, Deacon

I have been a member of CPC since1987.  Throughout the years I have helped CPC serve the Clifton community during Clifton Day, Spaghetti dinners, summer Bible School and numerous activities.  As a member I have served as Deacon two times, sponsored a youth for confirmation and also was a member of the nominating committee that called Julie Hodges to serve as our Assistant and Youth Pastor. I have been on mission trips to Mexico and local areas.  


There is a place in my heart for the wonderful music that has always been a part of the CPC service. The choir, the handbell performances, the special program that John Kim produces during the Christmas season, all enhance the spirit of our church.

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Phil Squair, Trustee

My family and I have lived north of Clifton on our small horse farm since 1997, and we’ve enjoyed being part of the CPC family for many years.  I have served on the Interim Pastor Search Committee, as Elder for the Personnel and Stewardship Committees, on the Nominating Committee, and as Deacon Chair.  In addition, I was an active participant on CPC’s numerous NAILS mission trips to Cumberland, MD. 

I am at my happiest when I can be outside.  Whether I’m fishing, hiking, canoeing, tending the horses, mowing the pastures, or just sitting still, there’s always something right there to remind me of the love and glory of God.

Stephen Law, Trustee Chair

Stephen has been an active member of Clifton Presbyterian Church since 2005.  He was ordained as a deacon and served as moderator for the board of deacons (Providence). Stephen and his wife have been active participants of Clifton Presbyterian Church and have raised their sons in the church.  Both attended Clifton Presbyterian Church Preschool, attended youth Sunday School, and were confirmed in the church.  The family has been active participants in various Mission Committee fundraising activities.   Stephen is currently serving as a Trustee.​

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Adam Lipinski, Trustee

I am very honored to be nominated for a trustee position with Clifton Presbyterian Church. For those who do not know me I have been with CPC since we moved into the area, about 16 years ago. My wife, Victoria, and I selected CPC because of the congregation’s emphasis on mission, the presence the CPC family has in the Clifton community, and the congregation itself.  The CPC community has helped us raise my two daughters Nichole and Natalee. In fact, Natalee is to be confirmed as a member of the congregation. I was raised a Catholic and the jump to the Presbyterian USA church required some reevaluation of my approach to worship and organization of the church. This includes the governance of the church. I am prepared to serve as a trustee for the CPC and recognize scripture as the authority over church tradition and governance. I was originally ordained as a deacon and also served as the Elder for Personnel when Pastor Diane assumed the role of our pastor. I was trained as a lawyer and economist, both skills I believe will lend themselves well in fulfilling my mission.

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