The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the officer class of 2019, who are set to be elected this Sunday. In preparation for the congregational meeting on Sunday, March 17, the officers were asked to repond to two questions:
When did you first begin attending West Raleigh and how has being a part of the life of the church been a blessing to you?
To be a blessing:
What has led you to accept a call to serve at this time? Is there a particular way you are feeling called to be a blessing?
Read their responses below:
Sarah McCracken Cobb
Blessed: I first started attending WRPC in 1997 and joined in 2000. I can't name just one blessing that WRPC has been to me, but I will just say family - both my nuclear family as WRPC is where I met and married Ken and have watched Caroline and Rebecca grow in their faith, and our church family who has supported us through so many joys, sorrows, and ordinary times.
To Be a Blessing: I am feeling called to serve as an Elder at this time because I want to continue to learn from my church family about how WRPC can best respond to the growing injustices in our world, including institutional racism. My experience as part of the Miriam's House Mission Group (another WRPC blessing) taught me the value of participating in a group intentionally focusing on the inward/outward journey which I think is necessary for social justice work. I think being part of the Session will help me with this intentionality. Thank you for this opportunity to serve.
Blessed: I started attending West Raleigh when I moved to Raleigh in 1986. I’ve frequently said that I first came to West Raleigh because the pastor, Sandy McGeachy, was my cousin and the associate pastor, Harriett Isbell, had been my boss in Montreat and a friend in Chapel Hill. But I came back and stayed because of the genuine warmth and caring of the congregation. That has been constant over the last three decades, as has been the way that music at West Raleigh has enriched my life and the congregation’s worship. And, of course, there was the one Sunday soon after I joined West Raleigh that another new member, Susan Lamb, introduced me to her sister, Sarah.
To Be a Blessing: The timing somehow seems right. I just had a sense that if I was asked, the answer was supposed to be “yes.” I don’t know that I know yet exactly why the answer was supposed to be yes at this particular time, but I’m looking forward to seeing where the Spirit is leading West Raleigh in the coming years.
Blessed: I was baptized here as an infant. With the exception of ages 18-30, when I didn’t live in Raleigh, I have been a part of the WRPC community all of my life. It is a blessing to be grounded in a community of faith and a place that feels like home.
To be a blessing: Service is part of being part of the community of faith. It is a place where you encounter God.
Blessed: Susan and I first began attending WRPC in 1991. West Raleigh has been a blessing to us in many ways. First it was a loving and Godly community in which to raise our daughters Georgia and Maggie. As our lives have changed, the church has continued to challenge us to live as Christ would have us live, to wrestle with New and Old Testament passages, and to serve others in our local and greater communities.
To Be a Blessing: It has been a joy to have served with so many brothers, sisters, and saints from our church community. It is now a blessing and privilege to serve as an elder in honor of the many West Raleigh saints who have gone before us.
Blessed: I first started attending West Raleigh Presbyterian Church around age 7. Growing up in this loving church family has heavily influenced who I am as a person and as a Christian. I am blessed to have what I would call a second home, in the way that I feel loved and cared for. West Raleigh is a blessing in so many ways, it is truly my peaceful sanctuary where I can let down my protective barriers and connect with God and God’s children.
To Be a Blessing: I’m very deeply moved that the nominating committee considered me, that itself is a blessing. I’m very excited for this next chapter in my life. I am currently in the process of Confirmation, one of the biggest steps in my spiritual journey and I’ve come to recognize multiple things about myself. I want to make a difference and I want to be a leader while being a follower. I want to learn and listen and grow, both in my faith and as a person. As much as a surprise this call to serve was, I truly believe it’s what God had planned for me and I am thankful for this blessing.
Renee Elder Goldsmith
Blessed: When my family moved to Raleigh in 2003, this congregation immediately became our church home. Tommy and I and our two boys found friends and I discovered a church full of worshipers who truly accept people as they are. (Thank goodness.) West Raleigh has given me inspiration to worship in creative and new ways and never fails to remind me to keep listening for the word of God.
To Be a Blessing: I have been involved as a middle-school youth leader, a Children’s Worship/Godly Play storyteller, occasional PW member and a novice bell ringer. As an empty nester, I am looking forward to broadening my relationships within the congregation, as well as deepening my spiritual life, through service as a deacon.
Blessed: We started attending West Raleigh about three years ago. We have been blessed with the caring community, the sense of thought provoking dialog to help us find our place in this world and in the next and for the outreach to others.
To Be a Blessing: I have accepted the opportunity to serve out of a sense of 'giving back' to this community in some small way for all that I have received.
Blessed: Craig and I and our children first visited WRPC in the Spring of 1990 and we joined the church within the year. West Raleigh was an immediate blessing to me because Sallie and William felt so welcomed and valued by all as God's children. I have been blessed by West Raleigh through its strong support of varied forms of Bible study, its commitment to meaningful and joyous worship, and its unending work toward social justice. West Raleigh has allowed me to grow in my faith as I taught elementary Sunday School and as I provided leadership for Presbyterian Women.
To Be a Blessing: One can only be led to say yes to holding a church office through the working of the Holy Spirit. I felt open to say yes, and look forward to serving this church I love so dearly. As to how I can be a blessing, that is harder to answer. Within the description of the Diaconate is that these officers are "the first line of hospitality" for the church. I look forward to knowing people better, greeting people with enthusiasm, and serving them in varied ways. When I read Joyce Rapp's poem in our Monday's Lenten devotion, I felt one line expressed my feelings well--being a blessing will be the "silky joy of surprising experience."
Blessed: I attended WRPC starting in 1969. Barbara and I were a family of 4 then, with son Dan and daughter, Sarah. We were looking for a church with an active Sunday school and good program for children. We found the Haasis class was a good match for us. I served on the children center board and as a Deacon.
To Be a Blessing: Recently I have served on the Buildings and Grounds and church garden committees. I thought that it was a good time to renew my activity as a Deacon.
Blessed: I began attending WRPC in about 1983 and have been continually blessed. I met WRPC’s Sandy McGeachy at my first wedding, and visited the church because of his invitation. The church stood by me through my divorce and divorce recovery in 1987-1988. Barbara and I met at WRPC, and were married here. Pastor Joe Ward baptized our daughter Ashley, which was a wonderful and healing moment. WRPC offered comfort and support during the deaths and funerals of both of our parents which was a particular blessing. WRPC has also consistently offered comfort in affliction and affliction in times of excessive comfort. Even when there was conflict in our church, the church modeled a realistic mode of conflict and resolution. At WRPC I can count on hearing the Word in the complex context of our current lives, with attention to the importance of theology, church history and the importance of reason. I have never been asked to check my brain at the door. All this is a great blessing.
To Be a Blessing: I have been a Deacon twice before in the 1980s and early 1990s. I have not been asked to be a church officer since 2012. I am feeling that it is my time to take a turn again, and to listen and serve more this time around.