Ten years of organized goodness

This summer marks ten years Gwen Reiser has been lead administrator for CMC.  She worked as a part time assistant the previous six years and held numerous volunteer leadership positions before that.  During the last decade her title has changed from Office Administrator to Church Administrator, reflecting her increased role supporting Leadership Team and our commissions, as well as her supervisory role of several CMC staff. 

As one who has been here a mere nine years, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Gwen the whole time.

One of the things I greatly appreciate about Gwen is her attentiveness to detail and her interest and vision for the big picture.  The details of congregational life are many, from getting all the necessary information out to commission members about their tasks, to timely responses to emails from within and outside CMC, to maintaining office equipment and supplies, to spelling names correctly and proofreading the bulletin for the fifth time.  But Gwen doesn’t get bogged down in the details.  She is regularly asking important questions and providing good ideas about how the parts fit into the whole.

More than professional proficiency, Gwen is a caring presence and excellent listener.  She is often the first point of contact for those who enter the building and those who contact the church through phone or email.  She cares about people and has first responder type skills for addressing needs and situations as they arise.  If you’ve stopped into the church and had Gwen kick back from her computer and give you her full attention for however long you’ve needed it, you know what I mean.      

Well outside the job description of a church administrator but within Gwen’s range of gifts she’s given CMC was the key role she played during Edith’s time in sanctuary – about a third of the last decade!  Along with befriending Edith, Gwen was in the hub of communication and coordination for the many people and activities flowing in and out of the building.  When other congregations ask me what it takes to be a sanctuary congregation I always ask them about their church administrator and tell them about ours. 

Personally, I think of Gwen as one of my primary collaborators – a partner in ministry.  Although I’m pretty sure I’ll never get her to preach. 

Leadership Team, on behalf of the congregation, is giving Gwen a small token of our appreciation for her decade of leadership through a gift card to Oakland Nursery.  Gwen will also receive a three week paid Sabbatical next calendar year which will provide time for not-work-related restoration and some work-related learning.         

I’m honored to work alongside Gwen and look forward to more years of collaboration.