by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter May 3, 2019

Frederich Buechner has always informed the way I look at calling and vocation. He once wrote that vocation is that 'place where the world’s deep hunger and your deep gladness meet.' Over the past few months, we have worked to find that intersection for Ruth, and for Highland Hills, a place where the present needs of the church align with the present gifts of the minister.

Ministerial Position Expanded

The personnel committee of Highland Hills announces the expansion of one of our ministerial staff positions. With the approval of the Pastor and the affirmation of the board of Deacons, Rev. Ruth DuCharme has been named Associate Pastor for Faith Formation with Families.

For twenty-four years, Rev. Ruth Ducharme served as Minister to Children at Highland Hills, a half-time role that primarily served children in first through sixth grade. In that role, Ruth has helped children and their families to create life-long reservoirs of faith by curating their spiritual experiences and expanding their capacity for spiritual practice.

Several changes to our church ecosystem have led to this expansion. “Highland Hills has a new vision, a new strategic plan and evolving needs for ministerial support,” notes Jim Netherton, Chair of the Personnel Committee. Through our ongoing work embodying our goals for Vision 2020 and given the departure on our ministerial staff, it was time to re-envision this position. Jim went on to name another truth; “Ruth DuCharme’s ministry has already grown far beyond her previous job description. Our church is blessed that Ruth was willing to expand her work hours and scope of ministry to better serve our congregation’s needs.”

In this expanded role, Ruth will serve as an Associate Pastor with additional responsibilities and compensation. The Associate Pastor for Faith Formation with Families is supervised by the Pastor and will administrate all aspects of family ministry. In this expanded role, Ruth will lead and support disciples in their journey as followers of Jesus Christ, build upon existing ministries and introduce innovative and meaningful activities for the spiritual formation of children and= their families, according to our congregations expressed goals. While the primary focus of this position centers around the care of children and their families from birth to sixth grade, the expanded nature of the role allows for and honors the creative expression of Ruth’s particular gifts and passion in worship, pastoral care, and spiritual formation.

Ruth's passion for this work is self-evident: "I am excited to have the chance to invest more time and energy into providing spiritual direction, ministry, and faith development to people of all ages at HHBC. It is my hope that in my new role we can work together to minister to each family. This congregation has blessed me with opportunities to grow in my ministry and to expand my responsibilities.”