WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Raised in "a fantastic church community" near Columbus, Ohio, he felt a call to ministry while an undergraduate at Miami University and received graduate degrees from the Methodist Theological School and Chicago Theological Seminary. After serving two churches in Greater Cleveland, he and his wife, Betsy, moved into the parsonage here the same year his two stepsons graduated from college. In the Hills Church, he found exactly what he had been searching for. "This church is down-to-earth. These are people who ask good questions and don't settle for pat answers," he says. "They are centered in worship, in caring for children and youth, and engagement with neighbors, both near and far." He cites as an example an outreach part- nership in Karnataka, India, where longtime associate minister Rev. Dr. Pash Obeng leads their mission to improve conditions of Siddis (African Indians) and other marginalized peoples. Founded in 1867, the Hills Church is an "Open and Affirming" con- gregation of the United Church of Christ. "Congregationalists trace our roots back to the Pilgrims and the founders of Boston," says Rev. Wooster. "Ours is a tradition that founded schools and colleges. It gives us guidance without ossifying us." Years ago, that history guided the Hills congregation to declare that people who are gay or lesbian are fully accepted in church life. Today, he says, it teaches them to build relation- ships with neighbors of different faiths and shape the church for a world that is increasingly connected to other countries and other places. As a minister, he is continually surprised by the depth of passion, deep sorrow, struggles, or love often hidden below the surface that people can express in a moment or community of trust. "It is a privi- lege of my work but also of being in a faith community where we can share with each other in an honest way," says Rev. Wooster. 84 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 6 "Ours is a tradition that founded schools and colleges. It gives us guidance without ossifying us." – T h e R e v e r e n d D r. M a t t h e w W o o s t e r Our Religous Leaders

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