Hello! While I appreciate having this opportunity to introduce myself to the Mount Calvary congregation, I also need to say a goodbye…to Doug Affinito as the outgoing Council President. Thankfully, Doug will still be on our Council so we’re not losing his wisdom, leadership and sharp sense of humor! Thanks, Doug, for all the time and effort you have contributed over the past three years as you led our Council with such skill and passion!

As I was preparing this message, I was also delivering my daughter to Northwestern University near Chicago to start her first year of college. Another goodbye that I had to face, and admittedly a bit harder than my goodbye to Doug (I think Doug will understand). I began to realize that we face many “goodbyes” on a fairly regular basis, but thankfully there is typically another “hello” in close proximity. With my daughter, I get to say hello to a young woman who is now beginning a great new journey of independence, growth and excitement. Similarly, as we say goodbye to Doug, I now have the opportunity to say hello to many more of you in my new role as your Council President.

I am truly excited about this transition! Having been on the Council for the past couple of years, I have not only gained respect for our leadership team and the great job they’ve done guiding our church through some significant initiatives such as the Mission Forward implementation, I’ve also seen firsthand the strength of the strategic path that has been established for the years ahead. Mount Calvary really is unique. It has a personality that stands alone! As you heard from Doug last month, we explored the “why are we,” which resulted in a set of four defining Pillars: Grace, Inclusion, Love and Service. These Pillars are unique to our church and they provide the guidance and justification…the “why”…for everything we do. The programs range from our support for local families via programs such as Families Moving Forward, to underscoring the reasons for our commitment to global partnerships in areas such as Haiti and Nigeria. You will be hearing more about these Pillars in the near future, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, please find me before or after an upcoming service and say Hello!