Dave Courtright: Quietly Building a Vibrant Community
Dave Courtright is truly a silent runner, quietly but steadfastly doing what needs to be done. At Peace Church, he can be found hanging new gutters on the outside of the church, or crawling in ducts removing old and outdated metal from a former heating unit—and then taking that metal in for recycling. He is an active member of the church Property committee and the Coordinating Council. His wisdom is always greatly appreciated, and we know to listen when he speaks.
In his day job, Dave also quietly but consistently cares and provides for those in need. He works in public assistance, where he determines eligibility for SNAP, cash assistance, and healthcare. “The work we do helps a significant portion of our community meet their most basic needs”, Dave says. “Applying laws and policies to people’s lives can sometimes be coldly impersonal, but seeing the number of people that can buy food or pay rent thanks to this work is a testament to the power of government to change peoples lives for the better. I have been able to see first-hand what a difference it makes to someone to hear that they will have money to buy groceries each month. As a trainer, I seldom work directly with the public, but I hope that my work helps our team to better serve their community with compassion and dignity.”
One thing Dave really wishes he could change in the world is the misconception about poverty and welfare. “Our society has the economic ability to provide food, shelter, and health care to all, but we have chosen not to. We often forget the human side—we are providing these things to our friends and neighbors, not to statistics.”
As Dave reflected on what keeps him going, he said that “It sometimes seems as if this world will never be just, but I try to remember that every one of our actions impacts someone. I will never be a community or political leader, but I feel privileged to be part of a faith community at Peace Church that includes many of our most compassionate local leaders, and directly impacts so many lives. I hope that by doing small things behind the scenes both at work and at Peace I’m helping to build a vibrant community that can shape the next generation of leaders.”
When asked where he finds encouragement and inspiration, Dave replied, “I am very inspired by Paul Wellstone, and admired his ability to blend the practical with inspiration and compassion. ‘We all do better when we all do better’ is one of the greatest political statements ever made.”
Thank you Dave for all you do for the place and the people of Peace and our wider community.
~Interviewed by Pastor Kathy Nelson