You make the Church

West Parish is truly remarkable-- for many reasons.  But one of the main reasons is that it's run by all of YOU. Churches are not run by an owner, or a CEO, or a president, or even a pastor.  A church is governed, led, maintained, and constantly recreated by the entire congregation. A nd part of the magic is that people move in and out of positions all the time.  Bob is on Worship for a few years and then he moves on to sing in the choir.  Kelly is on Finance for a few years and then she switches to Fellowship. Caleb was on the Board, and now he's taking a break by making the coffee. No person or group has "control."  We share leadership, we share power, we share decisions, we share in community.


And for me, the process of our leaders and ministries constantly changing and re-forming highlights how the church is dynamic, and our varied gifts are a crucial part of our vitality.


For example, when I began at West Parish, John was the Chair of Governing Board. He has a deep understanding of the UCC.  He knows how West Parish runs and has lots of insight into its history and workings.  He was an amazing resource for me as I settled in.  When it was time for John to go off the Board I thought: What will I do without John?!


But then Pam became Board Chair, and she brought a totally different set of gifts, helping us all move through the covid years with a gentle clarity, thoughtfulness, openness and strength.  When it was time for Pam to go off the Board I thought: What will I do without Pam?!


But then Kate became Board Chair, and she brings a totally different set of gifts, helping us see the call to justice and innovation, helping us reflect on process and purpose.  And yes, I am already thinking about when it will be time for Kate to go off the Board and I know that I will wonder: What will I do without Kate?!


But I trust in the Spirit, and in all of you, and I know that the next person in every role will bring different gifts, gifts from which I will learn new things, be challenged in new ways, and which will allow me to appreciate new aspects of our ministry.


You each give in unique ways, and your very presence reveals new things to other members, and to the organization as whole.


This magic has happened over and over and over again, as new people come onto Worship or Fellowship or Nominating, as new people become Care Circle Leaders or join CE or sing in the choir.


We need each other, and we need ALL of our gifts and voices.  So if you are leaving a ministry this month, or stepping into a new role, thank you!!  Your unique presence and voice and perspective are what makes us the church!