Jan VanKooten

About Me: 

I am a life-long music educator (beginning as far back as sixth grade) presently retired. Having earned a BA in Music Education from Dordt College and a Master of Music from Arizona State University, I have taught music privately and in elementary and secondary schools in Virginia, Texas, Colorado and Alaska, until arriving in MI in 2004. I enjoyed serving Shawnee Park CRChurch as choir director, accompanist and worship service designer as well as doing statistics and scoring for Calvin's women's athletic teams.

My husband Gerry is a retired geology professor from Calvin College who works as a consultant for Petrochemical Resources of Alaska where he is involved in several projects for Alaskan native corporations.  He is loves the challenge of varied work, much of which he performs remotely, thus able to boat, fish and hunt when on a break.

Our daughters Crystal and Kara  are pursuing careers in English education and physical therapy, respectively.  We live on the Moose River in Sterling, Alaska where our Kenai Peninsula cabin makes a wonderful retirement home.

Interests: 

I love playing bridge, reading/viewing good science fiction, and being engaged in Bible study.  Words by themselves are a source of wonder and word games thrill me -- Scrabble is an obsession.

  • Ruth Ann, it's a comfort to read your article. I did the two-church thing as choir director/worship designer for ten years and resonate with all the challenges and delights you listed. Since one...

  • We are enjoying "Hear Our Praises", LUYH #302 and "Lift High the Name of Jesus" (Ed Cash, Fionan DeBarra, Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty) and "Here Is Love" Welch Revival Hymn (Robert Lowry, Wm....

  • There are some of us that honestly believe we do not have the "gift" of hospitality, because we are shy or introverted. Passages like I Peter 4:9 - 10 (Offer hospitality to one another without...

  • I do think small groups are at the heart of successful church life -- I'm wondering about how already existing groups can and do function as small groups even though they weren't established with...

    posted on: It's Your Page
  • A couple of years ago, the Youth Group leaders at our church asked willing adults in the congregation to volunteer if they were able to team up with a member of the youth group.  Pairs were...

    posted on: Best way to mentor?