Because collaboration is favored at Echoes, we didn't want to put "leadership" as a menu heading. There are a few people who do help with guidance, though. Here's some info on them...
CHARIS WEATHERS, accompanier (pastor)
An “accompanier” is someone who companions with and is present to others, while going somewhere. Charis has gone through the requirements to have the title of "Pastor," but it's not used very often in Echoes.
Having grown up in a military family and traveling a TON, Charis is happy to call Bellingham home (hopefully a permanent home). From aspirations in her youth to be an archaeologist and astronomer, she ended up studying theology, an even more ethereal degree.
She received an MDiv at Regent College, worked as a hospital chaplain, was ordained and worked as a pastor in a somewhat conservative denomination, then left it all to enjoy a stint as an outdoor gear expert for a large retailer. In 2010 she stumbled upon Lutherans through a wonderful community in Seattle, Church of the Beloved. The Lutherans want to explore new ways of being Christian community, too, so it was a good fit for Charis. Wanting to have a "normal" job in the community, Charis also works part-time in a local optometry clinic, offering service to greater Bellingham as an Optician who tends to wear rather loud glasses.
As she says, "I love getting together with people, hot or cold beverages in hand, to talk about life, doubts, eternal mysteries, and how to choose just the right tent. Even better, I like to go for walks. I don’t have a lot of answers, but some of my questions are often familiar to many people."
RACHAEL WEASLEY, musician extraordinaire (worship leader)
Rachael provides depth and art to our twice-monthly worship gatherings by leading music. She studied music at Oberlin College and theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. While working with National People's Action doing economic and racial justice work, she self-published her first book of meditative songs. She enjoys working on her next songbook, as well as hiking, knitting, dancing, and playing board games with friends. After living eight years in a cooperative community with 11 housemates in Chicago, she and her partner David now live with their truly remarkable cat in Bellingham, WA.