Volunteer of the Week: Zhaleh

Our Volunteer of the Week is Zhaleh! Zhaleh serves on the Photography team, volunteers in our Kids ministry, is a recent addition to our Worship Team, and is hosting a Community Group that is launching October 13th (Sign up for a 6 week group today)!


Tell us a little bit about you, your family, and how long you have been attending illuminate?

I am a wife to Caleb and mommy to our 2 year old son, Carter. I am half Persian (which is where my name comes from) and half Alabamian (Roll Tide!) but am a Floridian born and raised! God has me busy with lots of fun things. I am a music teacher, photographer, I love to write, and my husband and I love to sing and play music together. We're a very musical family and love worship! We have been attending illuminate since March of this year.

Where do you serve?

I serve on the photography team, I just joined the kids ministry and the worship team as well! Caleb and I are also SO excited to be hosting a community group starting this month too.

Why do you serve? 

What I've learned is that just going to church is not enough for me and it's not what God has called me to. Before we attended illuminate, we had just moved (from Seminole County) and left a church I had grown up in and served in my whole life. When we were sure this was where God wanted us, we were anxious to plug in, and eager to serve again. I am filled when I serve and use my gifts/talents for God's kingdom. Serving is a way for me to connect with others in a way that I could not by just attending. The church does not happen with one pair of hands, but many.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in serving?

I would say go for it! And don't limit yourself to just one thing. God has given you skills and talents unique to you for a purpose, so why not use them to serve in the body of Christ?

Why illuminate church? 

This church has truly been a blessing and answer to prayer for me and my family. Moving from a small church that we were comfortable in and had been in my whole life, to being "churchless" for a little while was really difficult. So we kept looking for a church and decided to visit illuminate. The first Sunday we went, we noticed right away how welcoming everyone was. The very first person we met was Pastor Tim and he immediately introduced us to some other people our age. We loved the worship, the message, and the children's ministry so we came back again the next week, and what stood out to us was that we were remembered by name. We felt like we had been part of this church for years and we had only been there for two weeks. That is why we love this church. It has become our new church home and it is our family.


Melissa East