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As many of you know, we have been imagining a ministry team that includes staff professionals who would help to strengthen our ministries while you recharge and rediscover your passion and I turn my attention to evangelism, casting our vision into the community, building partnerships and new emerging ministry circles. I am delighted that this past week in our Congregational Business Meeting, we committed to that model for a while. I thank you for the courage you expressed in that decision. And thank you for the confidence your decision expresses in the ministry model we have chosen for Sanctuary UCC—a new church and an old church and everything in between.

I could not be more delighted in the ministry team that has gathered around our vision and mission—the people and their passions, the strengths and the experiences they bring to bear on our future are impressive and strong. As I allowed myself to settle into this turning point moment this week and as I took the time to see what has transpired that has allowed us to arrive here, fully staffed and ready to rock-and-roll, I see the Holy Spirit’s hand in the calling together of this particular team. I have to admit that I am a little bit mad that it took Her this long to find us our Administrator, but now that Grady is here, I am glad we waited for him! There is an amazing balance in the diversity of gifts, graces, personalities and perspectives—which as you might imagine affords us more creativity and capacity than we would have were each of us to be operating alone, and it presents the natural challenge of many voices seeking discernment. What a great challenge to have!Team-building-at-the-ideas-table

I know that all of you are anxious to meet and get to know our staff—you probably have a million things and ideas you want to share—as the next couple of months unfold we will find the times for you to connect with them. Last week you were introduced to Grady Deaton who will lead the practical aspects of administration, technology, communication and hospitality. Grady is going to prioritize getting caught up on things that have fallen behind, like the calendar, web site and scheduling. So watch for more about when you can connect with the different members of our staff.

This week I am honored to officially introduce (many of you have already met him or know him through previous connections) Rev. Fred Hayes, who will take on leadership of Adult Faith Formation, be a pastoral presence in some of our Open Sanctuary hours and support me in developing a called to care ministry. He has already begun with some of these efforts and has been a wonderful addition to our staff visioning and imagining process—bringing another set of experiences eyes and ears to our discovery and discernment process. Fred expects to be with us on Wednesdays and Thursdays and when other times allow. Please join me in welcoming Rev. Fred.

With great gratitude—Rev. Wendy

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Thank You For Your Courage And Confidence