For nine months the Celebrations team, along with staff members and so many others in the community, has been plotting and planning the ways we can celebrate Amanda’s ten-year anniversary with WES. The team has relived so many facets of those ten years – a decade of deep joy, considerable personal and systemic growth, invigorating challenges. Through it all the journey of this tiny (and mighty) team of six has been a microcosm of Amanda’s and WES’s journey – hard working, quick to laugh, and bonded in our love of our community and the connections we have now, and will continue to build, into the future.
We are excited by the upcoming platforms on the 9th of September (9:30 and 11:30) and the cocktail party on the 16th of September (5-8 p.m.) when we all will gather to celebrate Amanda and the WES community’s 10 years together. It is so special to have this opportunity to celebrate Amanda at this point in her career. On this occasion, we get to celebrate our journey with Amanda, individually and as a community.
We are so thankful for the speakers who have agreed to speak about their journeys with WES and Amanda at the platforms on the 9th. We also will have offerings from Bailey and the chorus to look forward to as well as from Melissa and the Sunday School children and youths. And we are pleased that the final speaker at each platform will be Amanda.
As a result of Craig Thornton’s efforts to bring together a master wood worker, Sean Schieber, with Amanda and her family, we also will be unveiling a new podium that Amanda helped to design.
For a number of weeks, Susan Runner has been collecting written mementos from the young and the slightly older members. Many of the children have celebrated Amanda’s ten years with colorful drawings and a wavy signature! Those that cannot write their name quite yet also participate with lovely drawings. (And, separately, our most-amazing Robyn Kravitz has been collecting missives electronically that she has gathered together into a book.)
When we welcomed Amanda in 2008, cupcakes were all the rage — remember the long lines at Georgetown Cupcake? We offered lots of cupcakes after that first platform and we will do the same after platform on the 9th. Cayo and Christine will make them and there will be dairy and gluten-free options available. The food offerings for the cocktail party on the 16th, will be Mediterranean finger food and there will be plenty of options for dairy-free and vegetarian folks.
Shelby French and her writing crew have created a dramatic skit of Amanda’s journey from child pastor-in-training to our current fearless leader that will be performed at the cocktail party on the 16th. (And, as many of you know, Scott Aschbrenner has been working on a video that also will be unveiled at the cocktail party.)
Literally, hundreds of e-mails were authored by members of our committee (Rachel and Cayo are tied for writing the greatest number) as we tried to work out everything from the silly to the serious. Nine months later, it is all coming together. Please join us at 9:30 or 11:30 on Sunday the 9th of September and/or from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday the 16th of September to celebrate. And, if you need childcare on the 16th, please be sure to contact Melissa Sinclair at email@example.com.
We look forward to celebrating Amanda, WES, and our shared journey with all of you. It has been our pleasure,
Rachel Alexander, Shelby French, Cayo Gamber, Christine Parcelli, Susan Runner, and Craig Thornton