We are excited to introduce to you one of the newest members of our Faith Formation Ministries team: Trudy Ash. Trudy serves as a Regional Catalyzer in California.
1. Trudy, can you describe for us a key person (or people) who played an important role in your faith formation?
I would say that my parents were my biggest role models in the importance of faith formation, and they are still great examples of what it looks like to always be learning and growing in your faith. I have many, many memories of "great theological debates" and discussions of scripture passages and sermons around the dining room table with family, friends and visiting pastors or missionaries. My love of theology and my passion for the local church stems from sitting in on all those discussions and watching them work tirelessly for their church.
2. You have worked as a Ministry Coordinator for Pease CRC, can you tells a little bit more about that involves and how you think that experience will enrich your work for Faith Formation Ministries?
My role as Ministry Coordinator for Pease CRC has been such a blessing to me and my family. They took a chance on me 13 years ago and put me in charge of all the Outreach and Education ministries of the church. Since then I have been involved at some level with visioning, implementing, resourcing and administrating many different programs, events and ministries. I have worked with volunteers, pastors, staff members, council members, community leaders, other churches, businesses as well as the youth of our church. Through it all, my love for the local church continues to grow and I am continually amazed at the complexity and joy that the local church holds for it's members and community. It is a beautiful family of people who love Jesus and want the best for the church and the community and everyone is needed to make each individual church discover how it's calling and purpose looks in their unique context.
3. You have a background in education, how do you think that background has influenced your faith formation and your work with churches?
When I was starting college and not sure what to major in, I remember my father telling me that an education degree would serve as a great foundation for whatever I decide to do in life. At the time, I didn't want to listen to him, and I tried a few other degrees before I finally admitted to my father that he was right and that an education degree is what I was interested in. After three years of teaching, I realized that I wasn't actually in education to be a classroom teacher, but more so for the creative side of putting together a great lesson or project and then the coordination of it. Then I moved to Minnesota, got married, started our family and was approached about working for my church. Here, I learned that I enjoy learning about people, and how best to reach them with what the church has to offer. I have a passion to help people learn about life and faith.
4. What is your favorite part about running a coffee shop?
The people, the community, being creative with marketing and menu... and of course the coffee!
5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it in your role as a Regional Catalyzer?
I would want "power replication." That would allow me to replicate someone else's superpower just by touching them. Wouldn't it be great if you wanted to be good at something for a day, you could just find a person that's good at that, touch them and then go be awesome at it yourself for a while! I think that's why I love the church. It allows us to use each other's gifts so we can all be awesome all the time!! (Yes, I have children that watch superhero shows... who am I kidding... I've always liked superhero shows too. There's something about having a power greater than yourself that you can use to do good in the world. I like those stories...)