John’s Testimony

  • November 18, 2014

JohnHaving been away from the church for the better part of 20 years, I joined WCUC in 1988. I discovered WCUC as my employer, Middlesex Savings Bank, provided financing to support renovations to this building. What I found here was an intimate, vibrant church, teeming with vitality and activity, and it has been, and surely will continue to be, a congregation that is a living affirmation of God’s call to service. Over the years, this has given me pause to contemplate my formative days at the Wellesley Village Church, and how my late mother, Jane, taught me the power of individuals to help others through a helping hand or other simple acts of kindness. When she died unexpectedly in 1989, I was determined to embrace and carry out her values and her life in service to others inside and outside the church – as she felt she was called by God to do.

Some of my favorite memories of my Mom’s charitable works involved service to the Wellesley Friendly Aid Society, driving cancer patients to treatment, delivering meals on wheels, and running the Village Church Rummage Sale, an annual church fundraiser from which many of my “outfits” as a child (and that of my four siblings) had their origins. Her work was quite similar to what we see here: A quiet, yet abiding concern for the well-being of others, answering His call. Jane would be so pleased to know that I had re-established a faith connection with a place that shares her values and that pursues God’s call for us to serve others.

One of my own favorite service projects in retirement – one of my own “calls”, as it were – is the mentoring initiative I have established for students at Concord-Carlisle High School, introduced last school year, and serving 23 students in its inaugural semester. This program seeks to provide intergenerational connections between students and adult business and professional leaders in our community, through a life and professional skills curriculum. It is my hope that any student participant, regardless of their personal circumstances, can come away with a feeling that many things are possible in life through perseverance, determination and personal effort. Strong support for this program has come from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and the Concord Education Fund and many others in the community. That includes the almost 30 adults, both active and retired professionals, who offered their availability as mentors last year. These mentors in doing so have themselves answered a call to service. Just as this is a way for a program to help younger people find their way, so too is WCUC a place that helps us find our way in support of God’s call. I know Jane would have been pleased.