By Libby Rosequist
The North East Council of Churches is a collection of local churches who work together to fundraise and donate to local events, nonprofits and the North East School District.
Eric Leonard, pastor of Park United Methodist Church and committee chair for 2020, enlisted the help of Anne Bardol, another member of the NECC, to surprise Sue Travis the secretary and longstanding member, with a plaque as she retires.
Travis has given over 20 years of dedicated service to the NECC and her church, Park United Methodist.
“She is tenderhearted and tough-minded, a combo that has provided excellent results to any project she has ever tackled,” Leonard said. “She has been extremely resilient, determined and committed to her faith and her role in the committee, and we could not have asked for anything more.”
After a long road of health problems and recovery, Travis decided 2020 would be her last year on the NECC committee and is passing the baton to another member.
“I felt I was called to be a part of something bigger, and the NECC fulfilled that for me,” Travis said. “This council was an amazing way for the churches to work together and create communication between us, all the while we could team up and give back on a greater scale compared to what we could do individually. For that I am grateful.”
Travis has played many roles during her time with NECC but there are two in particular that stand out for her.
“Although I have been involved in most projects that come our way, the two that feel the most like my babies is overseeing the food pantry and their needs and our Adopt a Student program,” Travis said. “I feel these two are fundamental in sustaining our community and watching them grow every year has been quite the experience.”
Close friend and member of NECC, Bardol reflected on her time working with Travis and how much of a pillar to the churches she has become.
“I have watched Sue flourish during her time with NECC and she found her calling, which has been a true inspiration to all of us,” Bardol said. “She is like our own little history book, filled with almost all the answers to our questions for any project and she has been extremely helpful when the churches have interim pastors. She leads the way on upholding our traditions all the while letting them explore new ideas. Truly, she has been a gift to us all.”
Travis was presented with a plaque of appreciation by Leonard on Aug. 19, after her retirement announcement.
“We wanted to make sure she knew how much she means to us and this plaque is just a small token of our thanks,” Leonard said. “We are thankful for her many years of faithful service to the Council of Churches, especially her administrative support, her leadership role in clothing and feeding the families of our community and the light of her witness to a world in darkness.”
As another token of thanks, $500 has been donated in her name to the Adopt a Student program.