For new Church of the Hills pastor Richard Aylor, Evergreen is the perfect place.
The East Coast native felt the call to move west to the Rocky Mountains and find a congregation that actively wants to reach out to the community.
For Church of the Hills, Aylor is the perfect pastor for the congregation.
“We were hoping for a new pastor who was warm, welcoming, kind to the existing congregation and attractive to newcomers,” said Christi Todd, a Presbyterian church elder who served on the pastor selection committee. “He has already exceeded our expectations.”
Aylor joined the church on Buffalo Park Road near Highway 73 in June after church officials considered a group of about 30 candidates for the position of pastor. He replaces Susan Boucher, who left Church of the Hills last year to return to the East Coast for her husband’s job.
“What drew us in was Aylor’s extreme warmth and ability to listen,” Todd said. “We felt there was a spiritual maturity there that was impressive. He put everyone at ease. »
Aylor said one of the goals was to provide better ways to reach the community. He hopes to try Theology Pub where people could gather over drinks to discuss faith or a hiking ministry to combine faith with one of his favorite pastimes, hiking.
He also hopes to create better access to worship services, especially as technologies developed during the pandemic have provided other avenues of connection.
He also believes in reaching out to young people in the community.
“We have to support them,” he said. “The church can be an answer – a way to help young people in the community by being a support system.”
In addition to hiking, he enjoys snowshoeing and has joined Evergreen Chorale.
He hopes to bring more creativity to worship, hoping to tap into other worship services.
Todd said the congregation wants to be welcoming — meeting people where they are and providing spiritual support and guidance. Aylor, she added, has a heart not just for the congregation but for community evangelism.
Aylor explained that the congregation wants Church of the Hills to be a beacon of hope.
“We want to share God’s love and light in the midst of everything that is happening in the world,” he said.