Growing an Engaged Campus to be a place where the community wants to be. Yesterday, July 1, 2019 marked the beginning of my second year under appointment with FUMC Westfield. What made me more excited than anything on this day was starting my day with a 9:15 am meeting with the Worship, Music and Arts Strategic Team leaders, a by chance conversation with people responsible for implementing the 12 new Justice Gardens, and ending my day with a 7:30 pm meeting with the Staff-Pastor Relations Committee. For me, the content of all three conversations demonstrated how far our common ministry together at FUMC Westfield has grown over the past year. This time last year we were beginning the process of getting to know each other; though this process continues I’m grateful that
you accepted me and created a space for my authentic self to shine. After yesterday, I continue to have the hope that we will faithfully respond to God’s vision for the Church, to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world, as long as we continue to listen to each other, keep internal and external communication as a high priority, and remain committed to our individual and communal spiritual journey. Of course, we
must make practical decisions, and during my first year, I love the way FUMC Westfield engages the decisionmaking process. May God continue to guide us in this process as we move into year 2 of our ministry together.
Looking Back This past year, we celebrated the ministry of our long-time administrative assistant, Susan Granski. For 26 years she helped grow an engaged church by working alongside clergy and laity. Yet, the time came
in her life to say farewell and move to South Bend, IN where her daughter, son-in-law, and now her first grandson live. Susan would like to announce the birth of her grandson, James Edmund Francis Hauenstein (named after 3 of his great grandfathers). Everyone is healthy and well and Susan is “in love” with her grandson. Please keep everyone in your prayers.
Our FUMC—Wesley Hall family also said goodbye to long-time family member, Lisa Crosta. Lisa served as Wesley Hall’s Administrative Assistant for nearly 30 years. On June 21, 2019, she reluctantly retired, but joyfully entered full-time grandmother mode. She will be helping care for her first granddaughter, Charlotte. I am thankful to have been able to serve alongside Lisa for this year.
Looking Ahead On June 17, 2019, FUMC Westfield welcomed into our church/staff family, Jane Bowman. We are excited that Jane accepted an offer to join our FUMC Westfield family. Jane is an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ; currently serving as president of the church council. Jane is a resident of Westfield and is excited to journey with FUMC Westfield as we live our Christian faith.
Lastly, we welcome Jessica Dudek to Wesley Hall. The growth of Wesley Hall has dictated the need for an Assistant Director to serve our WH families during the afternoon-evening hours. Jessica has worked with children for over 13 years, has earned degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology of Children and Adolescents, and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. I know I speak on behalf of WH director, Melissa Romeli and the entire WH family, when I say Jessica is truly a gift to Wesley Hall.
This past year, you might remember me writing that I envision our FUMC Wesley Hall Community to be a place where the community wants to be. Well, whether in looking back or in looking ahead, each of these persons represents an important reason why I believe FUMC-WH is and will continue to be this place. Regardless of religious affiliation, faith beliefs, or family type, the individuals who answer our phones, greet people, help find answers to questions and serve as quasi operation managers not only do so much for the daily stability of our organization but they truly serve as reasons why our community loves being a part of our FUMC-WH family. Thank you for being integral partners in a ministry that seeks to engage and love our community. Whether it’s our laity or our staff, we are dedicated to listening, communicating, and committing to our spiritual journey, and as a result, FUMC Westfield remains guided by the power of God’s love through Jesus.
I end this note with an invitation to join us in this inclusive love. If we haven’t met either by e-mail of in person, I invite you to email me email@example.com.
If you haven’t attended worship in a while, please come back. There is a place for you here.
Rev. William M. Williams, III