“10 Minutes with Brett and Patricia Connally”
By Rob Fohr, Stewardship Committee member
As part of its 2015 campaign, the Stewardship Committee is engaging in conversations with church members in a variety of ways. In early September, Brett and Patricia Connally and their three children: Amelia, Charlotte, and Thomas, allowed me to ask them a few questions for the congregation to get to know them better. Brett and Patricia are very active members at Highland– Patricia serves on the Fellowship Committee, the Children’s Committee, and is Chair of the Board of the Weekday School, while Brett currently serves on the session and is Chair of the Finance Committee.
ROB: Patricia and Brett, thank you for taking some time to help Highland Presbyterian get to know you more. You both are so involved in a variety of activities at the church. How long have the two of you been at Highland, and what motivates you all to be so involved?
BRETT: I have been at Highland for five years since we moved here from Charlotte, NC. That answer will be a little different for Patricia.
PATRICIA: I’ll say “five years,” too…plus the fact that I grew up at Highland! We “shopped” around a little for churches when we first moved (back) to Louisville, but Highland just felt right.
BRETT: Highland has become our “home away from home.” For me, it is a place where I can connect with God and think deeply about my faith. It is a fantastic place for our three children.
PATRICIA: Yes, our family has really “dug in” deeply at Highland- there are so many wonderful opportunities for our children, and Brett and I volunteer in a number of ways.
BRETT: Highland is our community, and we want to do our part to make it the best it can be for all.
ROB: Our 2015 stewardship theme is inspired by communion. What connections do you all see between communion and stewardship?
BRETT: When I think of the sacrament of communion, I think of the open table—any one is welcome. It is an entirely inclusive space, where everyone is equal before God and sharing in the same act of breaking the bread and drinking the wine (or juice, as it were). To me, that is the reason to give—to have the opportunity to get closer to God in community.
PATRICIA: Wow, that was good Brett, do you want to just answer all of our questions from here on out??!! I agree, communion helps me remember that it is important to share the table and share our gifts.
ROB: You all hosted one of the “Conversations with Cynthia” —what did you hear from the participants in that conversation about the mission of our church in the years ahead?
PATRICIA: It was a fun event!
BRETT: There were a lot of people with young kids, so it was no surprise that there was a lot of conversation about children and youth. People also spoke a lot about the importance of community outreach.
PATRICIA: The number of young families has exploded at Highland over the last few years I think because we have OUTSTANDING children’s and youth programming.
ROB: I agree, what do you think makes it particularly outstanding?
PATRICIA: I believe it is the authenticity and thoughtfulness that Doodle brings to her work. When I had kids of my own, I started thinking more critically about my own faith journey, and I feel that my kids are so much further along in their respective faith journeys than I was at their age.
ROB: What are the components of the church’s mission that inspire you to give?
PATRICIA: There are so many wonderful things with which Highland is involved, and we think all are very important. Because we spend so much time engaging in a variety of activities at church, we realize and appreciate that the church doesn’t run “itself.” The wonderful ministry that happens at Highland comes from a highly competent and dedicated staff as well as countless hours from volunteers, many of whom work tirelessly and often without anyone knowing they do what they do. All of that great work (even the volunteer work) takes financial resources, and we clearly understand that connection. Therefore, we feel inspired to give.
BRETT: There is no shortage of non-profits and charities that do really amazing work in our community and beyond. However, for me, what separates those organizations from Highland is that we are part of the community of Highland—and creating that community is the mission of the church that inspires me to want to support it both with my time and as well as financially. In addition, there are so few places in our lives that are truly intergenerational spaces, and for us, that is another way that Highland stands apart.
PATRICIA: I agree! There are other places that we could spend time with our kids, but there is no other place where I know they will be around so many faithful people with values that we hope to impart to our children.
ROB: Do those faithful people that you want your kids around include their grandparents, Clyde and Betsy Foshee?
PATRICIA: It certainly is a bonus that they also are at church!
ROB: Your family really embodies the church’s intergenerational experience with three generations who are all so involved!
ROB: Speaking of your children (all three of whom have been quietly, yet energetically playing with each other while their mom and dad are interviewed)… Do you credit all the time they spend around the good people of Highland with why they are so well-behaved?
PATRICIA: Haha! That probably doesn’t hurt!
BRETT: Yeah, probably. The secret to what you are observing right now (again, three young children behaving in a manner that can be described in no better way than “preciously”) is having multiple children so they can entertain each other.
ROB: Duly noted. Thank you both so much for taking the time for this interview!