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November is National Gratitude Month. We continue — gratefully! — with our articles about generosity and thankfulness.

Perhaps you have been greeted as you entered and departed church by Nancy Smith, who offered you a warm smile and a friendly question or two. Or maybe you have visited the Welcome table, enjoyed Nancy’s baked goods, and found yourself engaged in conversation, aware that you were engaging with a person who truly listened.

Nancy, a COS member for a few years, heads up the COS Welcome Ministry. She is an Education for Ministry (EFM) graduate and has recently started a small group, “Cultivating Inner Life Through Prayer.”

Teaching is Nancy’s vocation. With a doctorate in Education from USC focusing on K–12 Leadership and a Master of Arts in Piano, Nancy is currently an Interventionist/Success Coach in the Azusa school district. Nancy describes the thread running throughout her career as engaging and serving students who were falling through the cracks.

Nancy grew up near Detroit, in Waterford Township. She has two daughters—a lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina, and an animal trainer for films, including dogs, cats, horses, and an occasional giraffe or bear! Career and family have taken Nancy to reside in Kentucky, Colorado, and finally here in the San Gabriel Valley. She has taught Elementary Music, Exploratory Music, and Strings and in the last 10 years or so has been working with middle schoolers in the Interventionist field, in addition to consulting with the Department of Probation.

When asked what her passion is, Nancy described her desire to participate in renewal and invigoration of the church and the schools she serves. Building a strong spiritual community where the laity is empowered is key to Nancy’s vision of the church.

In discussing this vision, Nancy said, “As we make church growth a priority, as we grow spiritually (individually and together), as we seek Divine guidance every step of the way, as we learn as much as we can about how to live into our mission, as we put ourselves in the shoes of our visitors, as we each understand our own callings to lay ministry, we will not grow weary; rather we will find joy. We will be blessed beyond measure.”

COS is more than grateful for Nancy’s presence in our midst and to number her among the “Everyday Saints” whose work we highlight seasonally in The Messenger.


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