Eric Wefald is one of the most gifted Pastors that I have ever known. . . . .
Eric is also a gifted preacher . . . . He has a way of wedding Bible stories and experiences from his own life that almost indelibly emboss both on one’s mind. Some were so deeply personal that under different circumstances they might seem embarrassing, but that they so perfectly illustrate the Word of God. They are parables for our time, spoken with such clarity and emotion that you cannot help but have the meaning suffuse your mind. I believe I told Eric at the Deacon’s meeting that some of his Bible stories were better than those of the Big Guy Himself, and I don’t feel the need or desire to back away from that statement now.
. . . . He is energetic, articulate, musical, knowledgeable, compassionate, and cares a great deal about God’s people. If you’re looking for a Pastor, look no further, you found him.
Paul Dobner, Board of Deacons
Eric makes a concerted effort to get to know each member of the congregation, treating everyone from the youngest infant to the oldest member with the utmost respect. In my encounters with Eric, whether it was during a busy coffee hour or a youth group retreat or a committee meeting-I always felt as if I had his undivided attention and that he carefully listened to what I had to say. . . . As for Eric's sermons, he has a knack for weaving his life experiences into them and sharing his meaningful faith through his own observations. Even after a few years, Eric's sermons still resonate and inspire me.
Donna Kafel, Board of Deacons
He told the story of Christmas travel with his infant daughter. While the story as he told it was hilarious and entertaining, he managed to convey the terror that any parent can relate to . . . when caring for an infant under difficult circumstances. This was one of many sermons in which Eric talked openly about how his experience with parenting, his love for his daughters, and the importance of family life had shaped his spirituality. . . .
Eric's ministry, and his comfortable communication around parenting, were among several important factors that influenced my decision to join the Shrewsbury FCC. . . . It was a privilege to have Eric baptize my daughter when we decided to join the church
Mary Ellen, Board of Deacons
Eric Wefald embodies all the qualities a leader should have. He leads by doing, as the MANY people that have worked alongside him will attest. He is not intimidated by a shovel or hot kitchen and understands that support brings a positive spirit and can - do attitude to all events whether joyous or sorrow filled. He has an energy that lifts all who are near him. Like a smile, Eric's spirituality is contagious.
I have seen a transformation in our church because of Eric's ministry. He has approached the church's missions with a perspective that is inclusive and welcoming. Eric actively listens and reflects. He is able to open eyes with his understandings and encourages the cautious to be receptive to ideas that may not have been thought of in the past. . . . I cannot recall a time when one person has impacted so many in such a short period of service. I feel lifted as a member and honored to be part of Eric's life of spiritual calling.
Linn Clark, Board of Deacons
Eric Wefald was the Associate Minister at the First Congregational Church in Shrewsbury for several years and did a wonderful job. . . . He also did an excellent job giving sermons that were meaningful and based on his personal experiences. As a Deacon I got to know Eric pretty well and appreciated all of the work that he did. . .
Don Alger, Board of Deacons
He spoke with enthusiasm, humor, and reverence when necessary, always pulling in appropriate anecdotes to relate to the Word. His impact on our youth was, in a word, overwhelming. Overwhelmingly positive, overwhelmingly creative, overwhelmingly fun, overwhelmingly impressionable.
On a more personal note, Rev. Wefald was preaching the first day my wife and I attended our church. His presence and sermon were the largest factor we considered when deciding where we belonged. . . . Please give strong consideration to Rev. Wefald. His diverse background, spirit, knowledge, and so much more will be a valuable asset to your congregation.
Stephen C. Dozois, Board of Deacons
Eric inspires people to go out and be Jesus' hands and feet. I've seen him move high school youth to do things you think that they would never voluntarily do, like minister to the homeless, and do hard physical labor for those in need. When no other congregation stepped forward at an emergency meeting of town officials, he signed our congregation up to feed homeless families suddenly housed in our town. . . . Within hours the congregation came through with individually prepared and packaged meals for 123 people in the emergency shelter hotel.
Dale Martin, Board of Deacons
Eric is kind and compassionate, he is giving of his time and person. Eric had the ability to relate to the youth group in our church. This was much needed at this point in our church community. I was teaching Sunday School the day he announced he was leaving and the class cried for their loss of the pastor who would lead them through Confirmation the following year.
My daughter, 20, . . . was so inspired by Eric's leadership she volunteered for a second year. . . . As her Mom, I thank Eric for his inspirational work, assisting her along the way to her dedication to our church when many young adults are moving away. I will always thank Eric for this . . . Eric gives of himself . . . inspires faith in the church community, and is a kind human being. I can say I would recommend him to you and your faith community without reservation.
Deborah Del Dotto, Chair, Board of Deacons
I of course have a whole list of wonderful things I remember about you and your contributions to our church, congregation, worship, the youth, and our ministries. Most importantly though, I remember how you were always truly present. You listened when others spoke, and listened when they didn't know how to put into words their feelings or concerns. You made people know that they were cared for, important, and special.
Cathy Regnier, Board of Deacons
In my many years in this church, the UCC slogan 'God is still speaking' was empty and meaningless to me. It didn't seem real or possible. But then Eric came to our church and as I watched him work and interact with us, I began to understand, through him, that God is still speaking."
“I have an MSW and extensive experience both working and volunteering with teenagers and adults so I feel professionally qualified to evaluate your work here at our church. . . . I have paid careful attention to your work and have appreciated your dedication, talents, energy and passion to help the members of our congregation thrive, and in particular, our youth.
Jean Rekemeyer, Board of Deacons,
Committee Member for Job Review of Minister of Congregational Life
Committee Member for Job Review of Minister of Congregational Life
Rev. Eric Wefald characteristically delivered engaging sermons which always included a pragmatic challenge to one's faith development. He further demonstrated his faith, teaching ability, and dedication to service in his work with youth, in visits to homeless shelters/programs in Massachusetts, as well as to projects supporting housing in a variety of communities. The impact on the youth of our Church was impressive. I would support his candidacy for a pastoral position.
Dave Russell, Board of Deacons
Eric’s calm strength of character, strong faith and clear understanding of Jesus’ message was a blessing! . . . His warmth quickly built bonds of cooperation and friendship. He encouraged us to be more thoughtful about our own faith with annual confirmands’ statements of faith and a congregation wide analysis of 40 bible passages for Lent.
Our Mission trips expanded from just the youth confirmands to groups of 40 or more including many of our adult members. . . . He shone a light on our strengths and encouraged us to be better disciples of Christ. Our lives are better for having his leadership.
Ann Cairns, Board of Deacons
Eric has continuously & consistently been able to balance the intergenerational needs of the congregation. A gifted listener, he addresses the needs of our youth groups and Confirmation classes, as well as visitation to our "Friends at Home" and those church members who may be hospitalized or in rehab situations. His leadership & mentoring skills are a true gift for all ages!
Stephanie M. S. Ambra, Board of Deacons