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Filling the pulpit

Lifelong Presbyterian comes to Westfield church

November 16, 2016
Westfield Republican

Having come to Westfield to fill the position of temporary minister for the First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Catherine Rieley-Goddard says she is excited to be with the congregation.

Although she is part-time until a full-time pastor occupies the pulpit, Rev. Rieley-Goddard likes what she sees. "I am excited about working with the First Presbyterian Church in Westfield because of its long history in the community, the kind people who are members and its great potential for the future," she says.

As for its history, Westfield Presbyterian Church proudly but humbly bears the tradition of being the oldest organized church in Chautauqua County, in the state, and the eldest sister of all churches in the Presbytery of Western New York. It was officially organized in 1808.

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Rev. Catherine Rieley-Goddard is temporary minister for the First Presbyterian Church in Westfield and is excited about working with the congregation.

Having grown up in Pittsburgh with two sisters and a brother, Pastor Rieley-Goddard's path has brought her to this part of the country. Married to Jon, who also is a Presbyterian minister, they are co-pastors of Riverside Salem United Church of Christ in Grand Island. "Jon and I moved to Buffalo in 1992," she says.

"I have served various congregations as pastor and pulpit supply over the years. I have been the executive director of Concerned Ecumenical Ministry, a human service agency, since 1998," she recalls. "My responsibilities there included program development, fund-raising, building management, volunteer development and staff relations. I have worked in programs for children, seniors, refugees and in the community, the soup kitchen."

Having attended Florida State University and graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in music, she went to Louisville Presbyterian Seminary where she received an M.Div.

Relaxing times also enter the picture. "Jon and I like to spend time walking and hiking, kayaking, working on our old house in Buffalo and dreaming up ways to help people build better community with one another and across differences."

All in the community are invited to meet Pastor Rieley-Goddard any Sunday of the month.



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