A Letter of Appreciation to Our Volunteer Leaders

A Letter of Appreciation to Our Volunteer Leaders

We do not say it enough: thank you volunteer leaders for your work to nurture our spiritual well-being as you also manage the functions of WellSprings.

WellSprings Volunteer Leaders

The Leadership Development (LD) Ministry would like to express our deep appreciation to WellSprings volunteer leaders for their support during the year 2022.

Every Sunday last year we saw and valued the remarkable work of our WellSprings staff – Carol Breslin our YouthSpirit Director, Jessica Heichel our Membership & Communications Coordinator, and Paula Bower our Office Coordinator. Their flexibility and resilience in the face of pandemic challenges was impressive.

But LD would like to especially recognize the meaningful impact of our volunteer leaders. Their generosity of time and spirit is the foundation upon which our community is based. We want to make sure our leaders know we see them and appreciate them for all they contribute and share with our congregation!

Andrew Scullion stepped up to take on leadership of our Tech Team during the huge transition to live-streaming services, and has put in many hours of effort behind the scenes while simultaneously recruiting and orienting new Team members.

Chris Chepel has continued to show up, nearly every Sunday since we returned to in-person worship in February, to ensure that our Setup and Support needs are met and to prepare a space for us to worship in Bell Hall.

Loy Miller has kept our Worship Leaders ready to hold our sacred space each week, on a regular schedule, as things continued to change over this past year – and helped fill in gaps while folks had to make many last-minute swaps or cancellations due to the various waves of illness.

Linda Peduto and Terry Rothermel worked together to revitalize our Small Groups Team and brought in-person small groups back to WellSprings this Fall! They’ve recruited facilitators, developed ideas for Springboards, scheduled and communicated with the congregation, and brainstormed future possibilities for connection.

Sandy Tucker rose to the occasion with the HeartWorks Team as soon as the needs of the pandemic began to emerge – leading both a thriving team of volunteers and involving the congregation in countless efforts to share resources, care, and support with our neighbors across the entire Chester County/SE PA region.

John Melniczek kept the congregation informed about opportunities to get out the vote during November’s election season, joined other WellSprings members in a UUA training to engage congregations in local community organizing, and represented our JusticeWorks Team at Interfaith Action Community and POWER events to continue building our connections and relationships with justice partners.

Mary Shiffner took on leadership of the Hospitality Team right smack dab in the middle of the transitions of the pandemic and has worked with our greeters, beginning to rebuild a regular Sunday schedule as folks slowly return to in-person services.

Shannon Rieder, Tiffany Shoffner, Micah Magruder, and Nan Jordan developed ideas, planned, and hosted a wide variety of in-person and online events for our YouthBridge Ministry, designed to keep our teens, and our families connected with joyful, supportive community across all age groups, all throughout the disruption of the past few years.

Deb Soderland and Majid Alsayegh of the Spiritual Development Ministry helped create our message series themes for the year – seeking out, assessing, and curating resources for deeper engagement with our Sunday topics, and sharing them with you at the start of each new series.

Chris Chepel (past president), Chris Groppe (current president), Tonie Scullion, Julie Choi, Bill Cabin, and Tiffany Shoffner served on our Board of Trustees with faithfulness. The Board supported Rev. Lee and our Staff Team as we managed retirements, new hires, employment transitions, and the financial challenges brought by the end of pandemic relief – taking it upon themselves to re-launch a fundraising effort, and to bring in strategic support to assist in the creation of a new stewardship program for WellSprings.

Last but not least, some of our leaders continue to loosely hold a space for what may return, or for what’s to come, as we emerge out of these changes in WellSprings and our wider world. As Kevin Donahue, Adam Shoffner, and Rodney Whittenberg stepped back last year from years of impactful work to grow our Generosity & Gratitude Ministry, they made space for a newly developing Stewardship group, which is holding its first meetings with consultant Mark Ewert in January. Some leaders have Teams that have fallen dormant during the past few years, but remain in contact with us on LD, waiting to see if new volunteers and new life might emerge within their group – like Phyllis Mahers on the Belonging Team, Josie Waldman on the Addictions & Recovery Team, and Beth Monhollen, who is just beginning in her work to rebuild our Caring Team.

The WellSprings Leadership Covenant encourages our leaders to strive to stay connected to each other, to our spiritual source, and to the charge of the soul that we cultivate together. In 2022, the Leadership Development Ministry played a role in encouraging connection amongst our Senior Leaders. LD hosted three Senior Leader Retreats, provided support to individual leaders, provided Leader Orientation sessions for two new leaders, and exit interviews for departing leaders. And in September, we began hosting monthly Leader Lunches as a way for leaders to connect socially and have conversations about relevant topics. Also, LD welcomed new member, Ted Howe, in May.

We do not say it enough: thank you volunteer leaders for your work to nurture our spiritual well-being as you also manage the functions of WellSprings.

Yes, leadership may be hard at times, especially during the pandemic – but it’s as fulfilling as it is challenging! To see and know the impact we’ve had on our community and on the world is so rewarding.

We look forward to continuing our shared ministry with you in 2023.

Mary Alsayegh on behalf of Leadership Dev elopement Ministry and Rev. Lee