Reverend Ama Zenya to be installed as senior pastor at Woodside Village Church

by Contributed Content on June 22, 2022

On Wednesday, May 25 at a duly-called congregational meeting, the members of Woodside Village Church voted enthusiastically to call Pastor Ama as the Senior Pastor of Woodside Village Church. The church will officially install her at a ceremony on Sunday, June 26, followed by food, cake and festivities. The community is invited to the service and to join in the celebration.

Reverend Ama Zenya began at Woodside Village Church as Pastor on April 1, 2015. Initially appointed to serve as Pastor during an interim period, she came to help the congregation understand itself, clarify its direction, and prepare for a long-term ministry. In 2018, the congregation approved an additional designated term. That term ends on June 26, when she will be installed as the settled senior pastor.

Pastor Ama was ordained in 1998 after receiving her Master of Divinity as well as a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in religion and women’s studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and has received training in coaching and church revitalization from the Church Multiplication Training Center; in leadership development from the Gamaliel Foundation; and in transitions in ministry through the Interim Ministry Network.

Pastor Ama grew up in Kenya, East Africa, the daughter of a British-Kenyan father and an Irish-American mother. She currently lives in Woodside with her husband and two boys ages 13 and 15. Her background motivates her to nurture relationships of respect and love among people of all traditions and cultures, as well as with the earth itself. Pastor Ama brings a contagious, creative exuberance to her leadership, working with others to create ministries in which all participate.

When she arrived in Woodside, she met with many community members to hear how the Village Church could serve the needs of the village. Neighbors and residents told her that Woodside needed a gathering place where grandparents and those with young children at home could get to know one another, where equestrians, cyclists and walkers could find themselves in conversation; where everyone could gather in peace to experience wellness and the arts in a beautiful, welcoming environment. From those conversations, the Village Hub was born.

Created in partnership with dozens of neighbors and friends who have joined together to beautify the landscape, plan events and initiate programs, the Village Hub has truly become a hub for our village. Last year, a campaign to “Lift Up Our Village: Restore Our Community Hub” raised funds to upgrade and restore the beauty and functionality of the campus, and changes are already evident in the beauty of the Village Hub courtyard. The church became especially important through the pandemic as a place where people could “sip in safety” outdoors with social distancing.

And in her new capacity as settled pastor, she envisions continued collaboration between the church and the community that deepens the quality of life for all.

“It feels like a new beginning for Woodside Village Church that we have been working toward for the past seven years,” says Pastor Ama. “The whole atmosphere on the church campus is infused with peace, love and joy, and I believe that our neighbors and friends feel that sense when they step on campus. The church has identified compassion, creativity, community and joy as our core values, and my hope moving forward is that we continue to create a place where those values shape the experience of everyone who visits.”

Learn more about the church and the Hub.

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