PRC Chairman Ellingworth Honored for Outstanding Community Service

Posted on Mar 7, 2015

by Frank Matheis, PRC board member

The Pawling Resource Center was originally founded by the collective Pawling church clerics to serve as a local charity to help community members in need. Today, the PRC is not a religious organization per se, but the religious community proudly participates in the organization. It is a community organization where interfaith religious community members serve alongside those of various beliefs, including those with atheist views. The strong support of our churches and the Pawling community has sustained the PRC and forms its core base.

Rev. Jon Ellingworth, the Chairman of the Pawling Resource Center and the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Pawling, has been an important community member and an outstanding servant to the PRC. We are proud and excited to announce that he has been deservedly honored at Pawling Public Radio’s “Voices of Pawling” Award Brunch on Sunday, March 1. The Voices of Pawling Award is granted “in recognition of outstanding volunteerism and dedication, striving above and beyond the call of service to this community.”

Rev. Ellingworth embodies community service, and he has been a tireless advocate for the PRC, his flock at the Lutheran Church and the community at large.

Originally from Pekin, Illinois, Pastor Jon Ellingworth, commonly referred to simply as “Jon,” lives in Pawling with his three daughters and his wife Lisa. They have been community members for more than 12 years, when Jon first came to Pawling to serve as pastor at Lutheran church of Christ the King. Virtually immediately, he started working at the Pawling Resource Center, and for the past four years he has served as chairman.

Pawling Public Radio reported, “In spite of the snowy weather, 200 of Pawling’s stalwart community members came to the Pawling Firehouse March 1st to support Pawling Public Radio’s 4th annual Voices of Pawling Awards. This year’s honorees, Cindy Campbell, Verna Carey, Terry Deegan, Rev. Jon Ellingworth, Lonna Kelly, Peter Muroski, Roger Smith, and PPR’s special honoree, Gene Garnes, chosen for their outstanding service to the Pawling Community and beyond, were feted with a brunch and award ceremony in which their service was commemorated and celebrated.”

Longtime PRC board member and community leader Charlie Daniels introduced Rev. Jon Ellingworth and best encapsulated the person and his commitment to service:

“There are many nice things to be said by those that know Jon Ellingworth, but there is one that came to mind when asked to introduce him. Yes, he is absolutely one of the kindest and most self-effacing people I have ever met. Yes, his spirituality is genuine and plain spoken. Yes, he is an outwardly and unabashedly compassionate man who, like many of us, tries to balance his vocational calling with his love of family and a desire to give back to the community he calls home. But if asked to describe who Jon is in one sentence I would say : “Jon is a servant leader…” History is filled with famous examples of servant leaders Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi; Lincoln, and of course Jesus Christ. But there are countless others like Jon, who subscribe to the notion that if YOU SERVE THOSE YOU WISH TO LEAD THOSE THAT YOU LEAD WILL FOLLOW.

 We in this community are very fortunate to have a man leading one the few; if not the only; Pawling based human service agency dedicated to serving the most vulnerable of our friends and neighbors. My friend Jon Ellingworth.”

Ever modest and humble, the Pawling Resource Center Chairman accepted the honor with quiet dignity. “I stand before you today, still somewhat surprised and incredulous. Why is that? Because, serving your community, helping neighbors, working to instill positive values in our youth, helping the elderly, honoring our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms in this great country, … that’s just what Christians do, and a Christian pastor ought to be visible doing just those things. These are things that Christians should do simply because they are Christians, without even thinking about it, the way an apple tree bears apples, or a grapevine bears grapes.”

The clients, supporters, donors, volunteers, and board members of the Pawling Resource Center surely know that this is a well-deserved honor that could not have gone to a nicer, more respected and kinder person.

We tip our hat to Rev. Jon Ellingworth and thank him for all he has done.