As our organization continues to transform, so does our staff community. 2021 brings a wave of changing faces to the Church Council of Greater Seattle: Joey Ager (Lead Organizer), Ann Erickson (Office Manager), and Beth Amsbary (Philanthropy Manager) have all moved on from their respective roles at the Church Council. April Little (2020-2021 Faith Land Organizer & Episcopal Service Corps Intern) will also be wrapping up her time at CCGS at the end of June 2021. We are deeply grateful for their dedication in building faithfully together toward liberation during their time at the Church Council, and look forward to connecting and collaborating in new ways as they journey onward.
As we seek transformation toward becoming an antiracist, community-led organization, we continue faith-rooted organizing, including through the lenses of Immigrant Accompaniment, the Faith Land Initiative, and affordable housing access. We continue on grounded in faith, working for justice. We bid farewell to these remarkable partners and carry on with hope and faith in the just future we continue building together.
If you’d like to wish these departing staff members well, please feel free to leave a comment on the Facebook here or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we will pass your messages along.
Joey Ager, CCGS Lead Organizer 2016-2021
“Our shared work these last 5 years has taught me a huge amount about what it looks, feels and sounds like to work for shalom in our communities. Together we have moved resources and passed policies that make a concrete difference in the lives of our neighbors. But perhaps more importantly, we have pursued a vision of a renewed community by striving to embody and practice renewed community. As leaders of faith, we are not solely policy advocates. We are humans in relationships of love and mutuality with our neighbors. Those relationships are the ground of transformational work for justice.” Read Joey’s full letter to the community here.
A note from Michael: Joey really jump-started our community organizing reframing and mission as the Church Council approached its second century of life. His leadership modeled a highly-relational, community-centered, spirit-filled pathway to collective power and sustainable change. His belief in and practices consistent with the capacity of people of faith to lead, rooted in their values, adaptive to reality, listening and learning, have led to transformative policy outcomes in South King County and beyond. His understanding of our shared humanity and an anti-racist way of life has helped point people of faith toward a vision of profound peace where “an alternative world is possible.” Thank you, Joey. Blessings on you and your family. We look forward to future intersections of our work with yours as you join the SW Synod (ELCA) leadership staff based in Tacoma.
Ann Erickson, CCGS Office Manager 2007-2021
“Know that I take you all with me. I have grown immensely amongst the loving and justice-seeking communities that are part of the Church Council. From gatherings of people of faith to address homelessness; to New Sanctuary Movement meetings in the café next to St. Mary’s; to Week of Prayer for Christian Unity celebrations and Annual Assemblies; to marches, vigils, and advocacy in Seattle, King County, and Olympia; to racial justice workshops and the Weaving Our Strengths Conferences, I encountered justice-making and community at a whole new level through the Church Council. The experiences and the relationships formed have made me who I am today. For that I am most thankful.” Read Ann’s full letter to the community here.
A note from Michael: Ann accomplished much in maintaining our Church Council office through two moves, our transition from direct services to congregational relationship-building, and the carrying out of our Annual Assemblies and Weaving Our Strengths Conferences. While working much of the time behind the scenes, she was often the first point of contact for faith leaders with the Church Council and the conduit for knowing about faith events throughout the region. Her commitment to the Church Council was a reflection of her embrace – for more than 13 years – of our motto, “Grounded in Faith, Working for Justice.” Thank you, Ann, for your service! We wish abundant blessings upon you as you go forth to serve the community in new ways.
Beth Amsbary, Philanthropy Manager 2011-2021
“It has been the gift of a lifetime to be part of the Church Council’s work, to partner with dedicated and feisty faith leaders in the evolution of this 100 year old institution into the next kind of organization needed for the dream that God has for our region. It has been a personal pleasure to get to know so many remarkable people and communities who live out the entwined calls for faith and justice.” Read Beth’s full letter to the community here.
A note from Michael: Beth’s philanthropy leadership undergirded the ability of the Church Council to sustain growth to accomplish our mission. As the first dedicated staff in many years in the area of development, she built and executed an annual plan that honored and expanded the many faithful relationships that have given so much life to the Church Council over the decades. A detail-oriented, team player, Beth brought a spiritual quality to her development work that graced our offices and the wider community for nearly a decade. Beth was instrumental in the conception of our Weaving Our Strengths Conferences. She is a true ecumenist at heart and will be missed. Blessings, Beth, as you take your skills and gifts to your new organization, OneWorld Now!