Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski
Rev. Leah Atkinson Bilinski is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Pastor Leah received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and an Elementary Teaching Certificate from Grinnell College in 1999. She was awarded a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 2007.
Her experience includes six years as co-pastor of St. Peter’s UCC in Washington, Missouri, and four months as acting pastor of Ebenezer “Stone Church” UCC in Gerald, Missouri. She has also had leadership and administrative roles in UCC youth programs and chaplaincy experience in hospital and elder settings.
Pastor Leah, her husband Jaime, and their daughter Naomi will move from Missouri to Seattle, and she will begin serving Fauntleroy Church on the first Sunday in Advent, November 29, 2015.
Below is an excerpt from Pastor Leah’s letter to the Congregation following her call as our Senior Pastor:
Amidst all the unavoidable stress that comes with uprooting one’s family, our peace is found in knowing that on the other side of it all, an amazing and loving new church eagerly awaits our arrival. With that at the forefront of our minds, Jamie and I will pause, in the busy-ness of it all, to smile and remember our time among you in September, to share memories of things impressed upon our minds and hearts, and to be thankful for all the individuals, ministry teams, groups and entire church that so warmly welcomed us.
From the search committee members sprinting to the finish line with admirable strides to the church staff being the first to greet me at the door and make time for lunch, the busy Second Time Sale volunteers who welcomed us when you were so busy and surely tired (though you didn’t show it), those who watched and played with Naomi, those who welcomed us into your homes, the church choir and musicians that led us in joyful worship, all the other worship volunteers and your worship ministry, your council and others handling the details of paperwork, your awesome Crockpot group that showed us (once again) how much you enjoy one another’s presence, those that coordinated and set up the post-worship reception, whoever made that lovely warm cinnamon cake my family dove into as we awaited news of the congregational vote, the marketing team and all the many other volunteers who quietly worked behind the scenes to make the weekend not just run smoothly, but exude the hospitality and love that make this church what it is for God and the community – to all of you, I SAY THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Your efforts continue to fuel our hearts 2,000 miles away, in this time of soon, but not yet.
Blessings, peace, wholeness,