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Wendy Blight, new PNC moderator, seeks to build relationships

Wendy Blight, the new PNC Board of Directors moderator, succeeding Peter Ilgenfritz, grew up in the United Church of Christ, at University Congregational UCC in Seattle. She has been involved in the conference and on the board of directors for many years.

Wendy Blight, as moderator, takes energy and ideas from Annual Meeting to board and PNC.

As she begins as moderator she sees the need for the PNC to continue next year to deepen relationships. She sees that happening on several levels.

“First, we need to deepen relationships among clergy and lay leaders—moderators, treasurers and others,” she said.  “Second we need to deepen relationships within congregations and between congregations to strengthen networking to do justice and do community building.

“Third, we need to build on community outreach in terms of how to do ‘power with’ rather than ‘power over’ or ‘power for,’” she continued.

Wendy said the board is facilitating efforts to expand on Annual Meeting.

“We need to work with people on the margins and people in community networks to build a world that is just for everyone,” she said.

Wendy brings strengths in strategic planning that will help bring people on the board, committees and in conference into alignment with a vision. There’s a place for everyone and a place for the church, she said.

“I hope all will see how they are part of the picture of bringing a more just world,” Wendy said.  “I hope they will match their skills and their concerns with those of their communities.”

“Working for justice for all increases  vitality,” she said.

“When churches reach out into the community beyond their walls and get to know their neighbors and issues people are facing, they can align with what others are doing,” she said.  That leverages our energy and increases vitality in congregations.”

As those at Annual Meeting experienced in one-to-one conversations, when they enter into deeper communication and relate to their neighbors—an elementary school across the street or nonprofits working in the community—they experience energy and synergy.

“They experience God at work,” Wendy said.

“I grew up in the church until I was a young adult,” she said.

Wendy then entered business.  Her first job after graduating in 1976 in business administration from the University of Washington was at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle.  Then she transferred to Cincinnati. She worked four years in each city.

She moved to Kingston, Wash., in food services for Bangor military contracts.  With the same contractor she went to San Diego for four years.

“My work was not conducive to attending church on Sunday mornings,” Wendy said.

She came back to Seattle and worked 10 years with Horizon House, starting as food services manager and promoted to administrator for resident services.

She and Tara Barber got together during that time while Tara was in seminary training at Seattle University. Her first call was as associate pastor at a church in Sebastapol, where she served three and a half years, followed by First Congregational in Bellevue for three and a half years.

During that time, Wendy was business administrator at Plymouth UCC in Seattle for 11 years. 

Recently, she has filled interim positions at University Congregational UCC, including youth coordinator, facilities manager and administrator. 

With the conference, Wendy chaired the Personnel Committee, and served on the Stewardship Committee, as treasurer and as vice moderator.

One summer she was assistant manager at Pilgrim Firs.

With a flexible work schedule, Wendy will devote much of her time to the conference.

“The conference has tapped into my interests and energy,” Wendy said.

For information, call 425-213-9313 or email


Pacific Northwest United Church News © Summer 2018


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