Getting to Know Our Staff: Cynthia Stelle
Cynthia Stelle has served as Trinity’s Church Adminstrator, 30 hours each week, since February 2014. Cynthia is married to Eric and they have two children, Henry and Kathryn.
Emily McCann from Trinity’s Personnel Team sat down with Cynthia to learn more about her story, and her work here at Trinity.
Cynthia and I met up at Bluebeard Coffee and had a great chat. It’s very easy to converse with Cynthia – she’s engaging, articulate and compassionate, ideal for her role as Trinity’s Administrator and coordinating our Front Door Ministry.
Cynthia grew up in the Deep South, in Alabama. She was the first in her family to go to college. After graduating, she studied Chinese in Singapore through a Rotary Fellowship for two years, which she loved. She returned to Birmingham, in large part because she knew God was calling her to be there, but struggled with the why. After nearly a decade, she went to Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. (same place as Matt!) for graduate school. She planned to teach Old Testament.
Regent is where Cynthia met her husband, Eric, and where they had their first child, Henry. Later, God sent them to Alabama, where Kathryn was born and where their kids spent their early years. “Alabama [the South] is a great place to be a child. Southerners love children and everybody’s your grandparent.” Eric felt called to pastoral ministry and went to what Cynthia refers to as “finishing school” at an Episcopal seminary. They returned to Birmingham for three years, where Eric was on the pastoral staff at a thriving Episcopal church in Birmingham and then Eric was offered a rector (head pastor) position at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor, where they have been for 4 years.
Cynthia talked too about her passions. She loves people, how we do things differently and still how similar we all are, and she wants to travel (to the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, New Zealand). Another passion is the journey and pilgrimage of spiritual formation (she reads theology for fun!) and the role of religious education through different places and times in life. She’s a reader (right now a Dorothy Sayers murder mystery and Walter Brueggemann's book on the Sabbath are on her bedside table). We also had a great chat about motherhood.
Her natural skill set includes bringing order to chaos, which she loves doing (i.e. organizing the kitchens at Trinity) and connecting people. A long-term goal she is pursuing is to work toward being a spiritual director.
At Trinity, Cynthia oversees communication (updates the website, writes copy, coordinates our weekly eNews, Sunday’s bulletin), facility management (by coordinating maintenance of the church and Trinity House), and administrative duties (from answering the phone and the front door, handing out bus tickets to managing bookkeeping and personnel files), Cynthia's goal is to do administrative ‘stuff’ for Matt “so he can focus more on pastoral work”. As a pastor’s wife, she enjoys being an employee at a different church while still doing the greater work of God, and she shared that she enjoys crossing the bridge and experiencing the diversity of Tacoma.
Here’s how Cynthia asked we pray for her: Pray that she continues to work on self-care, setting aside sacred time to care for her body and soul so that she might continue in her own spiritual formation.
A huge thank you to Cynthia for the integral role she plays and the amazing work she does at Trinity.