I’m Linda Hilliard.

I was raised in Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Framingham.  As a child, I attended that church with my siblings, parents and grandparents.  Later, as a single parent, I brought my two daughters to Grace Church.

As my daughters grew, I became involved in countless church activities:  teaching Sunday School, running a youth program, organizing the holiday fairs and yard sales.  I worked on and chaired various church committees and I attended church every Sunday.

Friends would comment  “You spend a lot of time at your church” and I would defensively respond: “Oh, it’s not that I’m religious at all, church is just one of my social centers.”

When I took over as the church moderator and it became clear that the church of my grandparents could no longer survive, my cavalier view of church changed.  My beloved church was facing a frightening journey that would see my church family and me confronting sadness, anger, disagreements and confusion.

Throughout the long journey that is described in our book, Finishing with Grace, I kept hearing congregation members saying “God is with us,” “God will guide us.”   It was a “ta da!” moment for me when I realized that after years of potluck dinners and holiday crafts, God really was at my church and that I could trust that God’s guidance would help us as we dealt with difficult decisions.   What an affirmation of faith that was!

I served as church moderator and as chair of the church’s building task team during the sale of our building, the search for a new home and finally settling into a new location.   It was a profound experience.

Interesting that when people ask me now why I go to church so much – my answer is no longer defensive, but filled with pride.  “I go to church because my religion is important to me and supports me.”  (Okay, I’ll admit it – and I also love my church family!)

I spent more than 30 years working in corporate America before starting my own business – Newsletters Plus –  in 2000.  Co-authoring Finishing with Grace with Gretchen has been rewarding. That ‘s not only because “GOOD GRIEF! I’VE WRITTEN A BOOK! ,” but because out of this collaborative effort has come a dear and lasting friendship with Gretch.

I look forward to contributing to our new blog.  As a lay person, I hope to provide a perspective on life in the pews on Sundays  (and some hints on those potluck suppers!)

Additional personal note: I now have four gorgeous grandchildren!

I have recently published my second book :  E-Mail Your Weight Away • Diet Dialogues for Women (available through Amazon). Check out my website – and my blogs at http://www.emailyourweightaway.com/

To Purchase “Finishing With Grace” click here