"I feel like this church has fertile ground for thriving community engagement, where people of all ages can be enriched by theologically-dense and Spirit-led worship."
Fifth Avenue is blessed with a new and enthusiastic member of its Senior Leadership Team. We are delighted to welcome Ashley Gonzalez, M.Div as our new Director of Engagement.
Ashley joined the staff on June 1. She is a 2022 Princeton Theological Seminary graduate who grew up in South Florida. Ashley attended a primarily Hispanic Catholic church where she first internalized the importance of faith and fellowship in her life.
She shares, “In middle school I attended a church that touched me as it deepened my relationship with Jesus. I continued in these sorts of spaces all throughout college. During this time, my spiritual journey depended a lot on quiet time, morning prayer, reading and questioning scripture, and soaking up as much preaching as I possibly could.”
After studying at University of Florida, Ashley began to sense a Call to ministry. This Call ultimately led her to Seminary, where she had the opportunity to help lead a unique and close-knit community at Kingston United Methodist Church.
When asked to reflect on experience at Kingston, Ashley shares, “I gained confidence as a leader, learned how to be resilient during tough times, and have felt the greatest love for a church community I ever have. All of these moments have led me to a place of confidence in my faith and in my desire to serve the church.”
Ashley steps into her role as Director of Engagement with great enthusiasm. She explains: “Since I started at Princeton Theological Seminary, I have heard stories about Fifth Avenue’s resilience during 9/11. I have spoken to staff members both past and present and listened to the ways they’ve loved and cared for the congregation. I feel like this church has fertile ground for thriving community engagement, where people of all ages can be enriched by theologically-dense and Spirit-led worship.”
Ashley has a deep love of learning and a passion for social justice. She will be part of Fifth Avenue’s Engagement Team that is led by. Rev. Sarah A. Speed. Pastor Sarah says, “We could not be more thrilled to welcome Ashley to our team. From our very first conversation, we could tell that her heart was in the right place, and that she was the right fit for us. Ashley is wise, joyful, creative, warm and full of energy. I cannot wait to see all the new and exciting ways she brings energy to our team.”
Ashley steps into our Fifth Avenue community as a liturgist this Sunday, June 5 and will be welcomed at Coffee Hour on Sunday, June 12. We can’t wait for you to experience her cheerful energy. In her own words: “I am already your friend, so just come up and say hi!”