SOS: Connor, Maddie and Kara
Stories of Service: Connor Dufault, Maddie Peterson and Kara Taft
Written by Kristin Husom
As the leader of Westwood’s contemporary worship service, I have been blessed beyond measure by a team of amazing volunteers, some who have been faithfully serving since the service’s conception in 1997. One thing I love about this group of 27 is the intergenerational nature, in no small part due to the vision of the original team members. Currently the team’s youngest member is our talented 14-year old violin player, Lauren Voigt, and we span a generation (or two!) with members who are in their fifties. Awesome!
In this week’s Stories of Service I want to give a shout out to our three dedicated high school participants, namely Connor Dufault, Maddie Peterson and Kara Taft (show in photo at left: Connor, Kara and Maddie). These students are crazy busy and still find time to give a few hours a month to Westwood’s worship ministries. Connor is one of our extremely talented bass players and I’m thankful to him for working with the “old folks” on the team. He is a senior at the Main Street School of Performing Arts in Hopkins with a focus in music. He also works at the Presbyterian Homes & Services, and plans to attend Gustavus next fall. When asked why he serves at Westwood, he says, “I simply love to play.”
Maddie Peterson joined the worship team when she was only 15, and if you have ever heard her open her mouth and sing you know the gift that God has given her. In truth, the gift of her voice is second to the gift of her heart. Maddie is a sweet and thoughtful junior at St. Louis Park High School who is involved in choir and also participates with the Minnesota Opera Company and Aldersgate Community Theater. With all this, she still manages to sing on the worship team twice a month! According to Maddie, “It is fun and everybody is really nice; they are like my family.”
Kara Taft joined team in the last year and she has been a gift from the moment she started. Blessed with an amazing voice, a strong work ethic and a great ear, Kara has already made a huge impact on the team. A junior at Wayzata High School, Kara is also involved with choir and is part of the school’s theater department. She also works with Blue Water Theater Company and is going to opera camp this summer. When I asked her why she participates at Westwood, she said, “The experience is great, and it’s just so nice to have a place to go and sing.”
The only downside to having such amazing, talented and fun high school students on the worship team is that they eventually leave the nest and we miss them greatly. My hope is that their time with the worship team is meaningful and that they learn how their unique gifts can make an impact God’s mysterious world. And they do! Praise God!