ED: A Tribute to My Friend

By Laura Ecklin, Youth Ministry and Administrative Manager

“What is the most important thing I need to know about you?” The question Ed Sutter asks every new student who walks up the ramp entering the youth wing. You can imagine that question gets a variety of answers from middle and high school kids. They talk about the sports they play, their favorite school subject, pets, video games, a special talent. Ed will listen intently to whatever your answer is. He will wait, eyes wide, while you think about your answer if you need some time.

In the last 17 years, Ed Sutter has served this congregation in immeasurable ways. Beginning as a fresh college graduate, his main constants were his guitar, a dodgeball, and his dedication to Christ. Ed’s responsibilities and job titles grew with him throughout his time at Westminster. In fact, when he started working here I was in seventh grade – just beginning my time in youth ministry. And now as he leaves us, he has been my direct supervisor for the last several years.

We have been asked as a staff to consider the “holes” his absence will create as a practical measure to ensure the operations of the church are not disrupted. I have a sticky note on my desk to jot things down as I think of them. Unfortunately, there is not a sticky note big enough to capture all of the times Ed made a significant impact on me and every person he interacted with in his time at Westminster. He has shared his ideas during the week, spent time with teenagers and adults in prayer, through hard moments and celebrations. He speaks the word of God on Sundays through the pulpit and through song.

So what is next for Westminster with this big hole? So many people have asked me this in passing, so I felt it important to share my thoughts here. In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us the birds will be fed and the lilies will grow. We should not worry about these things, for our heavenly Father knows they are needed. In the same way, I put my faith in the Holy Spirit to guide our congregation through all transitions. God will guide us and our leadership. His plan and timing are perfect.

Best wishes, dear friend. To say you will be missed does not begin to capture the impression you’ve made under that big white steeple.