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Paul Wood spacer Paul Wood
Board Member

Paul Woodard, our newest board member, was added this past year. We are especially pleased to have him join us. He and his wife Kathy have three children and eight grandchildren. For many years they have been close friends.

He grew up in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina where he seems to have left his accent and moonshine behind. He left home as a young man to serve in the Navy and made three tours to the Antarctic with Operation Deep Freeze. He may have some advice on how to avoid getting trapped by sea ice.

For sixteen years, Paul served on InterVarsity staff in Missouri. During that time he met and bonded with Denis and Steve Garber at a student camp in the early 70's. For eight years he was Associate Pastor at Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. Along the way he earned a Masters of Divinity from Covenant Seminary. This past year he retired after working for sixteen years as chaplain at a retirement community, and since then continues to serve as an elder at New City Fellowship in St. Louis.

Paul and Kathy have been married for 45 years, and recently, he sent me a most lovely and provocative quote about marriage by G.K. Chesterton on “suffering fools gladly”:
An obvious instance is that of ordinary and happy marriage. A man and a woman cannot live together without having against each other a kind of everlasting joke. Each has discovered that the other is a fool, but a great fool. This largeness, this grossness and gorgeousness of folly is the thing which we all find about those with whom we are in intimate contact; and it is the one enduring basis of affection, and even of respect.

Hospitality has been at the heart of their lives together. Even Paul’s work at Friendship Village demonstrated a kind of hospitality - helping older people to live and die well – walking with them right up to the last door of life, helping them say good-bye to their families and then turning to comfort those left behind.
As a board, as individuals, we need his wisdom, his kindness and insights as we head into years that will involve transition. And I, for one, (Margie) will need courage to do it. So, it is together, with this small band of friends that form a sort of community, that we feel, yes, sometimes challenged, but always safe and loved. Paul will add much to our group.



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- Garrison Keillor



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Ransom Fellowship
Ransom Fellowship
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