August Letter from the President, Vanessa Shaughnessy

Summer is nearing the end and we’re on the verge of our new church year.  So much hard work has been done to pave the way for Rev. Christopher’s final move to Seattle. Huge thanks to the valiant co-chairs and the team of the Transition Working Group, who signed up for what was expected to be a few months and have faithfully guided the transition for over a year, navigating through a great number of challenges and bringing us to the final phase—the Wulff family’s relocation to Seattle. In the last couple of weeks housing has been secured and plans are well under way for them to be here early in September. It’s been a long road, and it will be amazing to have our very own settled minister right here.

We will, however, have to wait a little bit longer to have our very own settled minister right here with a full-time schedule. After the birth of baby Benjamin in July, Rev. Christopher has 12 weeks of family leave, which he’ll be taking over time, including periods of half-time work and intermittent weeks of full leave. I’m grateful that he’s able to space this out, so we don’t have to wait longer for our shared ministry to take root, and I’m also grateful for how much thought he’s putting into how to balance and prioritize over the next few months. The board will be working closely with him to cover the needs of the congregation while caring for the health of his growing family. To share a clear understanding of his availability, we will provide a schedule of the time between now and the end of his family leave in mid-January. We are refining our near- and longer-term priorities with Rev. Christopher, and expect that the priorities of the fall will center around worship, connection, and foundation building. I see this as a time to create the groundwork for the more ambitious times that lay ahead.

In different times, we’d be doing a lot of celebrating—of our ingathering, of a new baby, of a new ministry. There are times when I can’t help feeling sadness, and maybe even a little anger, that we aren’t able to have the kind of celebrations that befit these occasions. It’s hard to know how to mark all these wonderful things without being able to be together in-person. But I take comfort in the fact that they are still wonderful things and we are still together.

In Community,


Print your tickets