Released Ministers and Clerks
We Quakers believe we all have equal access to God. We are all pastors. We share the responsibility of leadership. Early Quakers discovered the need to “release” specific people in their meeting from the need to make money in the world, and to take care of the needs of the meeting. In our context, we have two released ministers. In addition to the released ministers we have an administrative assistant, and clerks which oversee vital aspects of our community. These folks are listed below for your reference! If you have questions about other roles in our community do not hesitate to ask!
Mark Pratt-Russum (he/him) - Released Minister
Mark joined our community in the summer of 2010. He grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and graduated from Eastern University in Philadelphia in 2008. Mark’s ministry at WHF focuses on the following areas: children & youth, pastoral care, bringing monthly messages, creating welcoming spaces for newcomers, overseeing our abuse prevention policy, social media & podcasting, and looking for ways to continue inviting our meeting into new and exciting futures.
Some of his favorite books are: The Brothers K by David James Duncan, Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown, New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton.
Martha Wood (she/her) - Interim Minister
Martha joined our community in December of 2018 and will be serving as our interim minister for an entire year. Martha’s ministry at WHF focuses on the following areas: bringing monthly messages, facilitating meetings for worship, pastoral care, clerking our shepherds committee, and helping us navigate our transition in pastoral leadership!
The books she repeatedly reaches for include:Annie Dillard For the Time Being, Richard Rohr Everything Belongs, Barbara Brown Taylor Learning to Walk in the Dark.
Doreen Crail (she/her) - Clerk of the Meeting
Doreen Crail has been a long time member of West Hills Friends, and is currently serving as the clerk of our meeting. In this role, Doreen oversees our meetings for worship with attention to business. If you have something that you’d like to be brought before our business meeting she is the person to contact!
Holly Dhynes (she/her) - Administrative/Communication Coordinator
Holly has been a part of our community for a long time, but became our administrative/communication coordinator in 2018. Holly's ministry at WHF focuses on the following areas: creating and distributing key communications, such as the Sunday Bulletin and the Weekly Update, sending out prayer requests to the prayer chain, managing the meeting and building schedules, as well as general clerical duties, and bookkeeping. You can contact her if you should have any questions or requests in those areas!
Some of her favorite books: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and Out of Place by Edward Said.
April Vanderwal (she/her) - Clerk of Elders
April has been attending West Hills for as long as she can remember! She is currently the clerk of elders. In this role, April oversees our elders and all the work they do to pay attention to the health of our meeting. If you have something that may need to be considered by the elders she is the person to contact!