When Emily Vanderslice saw the job posting for Covenant’s Assistant for Congregational Care and Mission, she was excited. “I knew that Covenant was a vibrant, active community. I decided to take a chance and apply.”

A few weeks later, she was hired and started in late October. Emily is assisting Covenant Associate Pastor Jill Williams on all things congregational care and missions. Emily comes to Covenant equipped with lots of church experience, having worked for multiple churches, most recently for the past eight years at St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church as the Membership Secretary and Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor.

“I have learned that I thrive working in a church setting, and I appreciate the unique nature of a church environment,” Emily said. “I understand the need for confidentiality and trustworthiness. I see my role not only as an administrative assistant but also as a ministry.” 

Jill Williams said that Emily brings good church administration experience as a staff member at churches in both Austin and Waco, but it was Emily’s faith and personality that made her a fit for the job.  “One of the most important qualities that caught my attention while interviewing Emily was her empathy,” Jill said. “As the point person for members and visitors in finding ways for them to receive support, care and encouragement needed for facing life’s challenges, Emily’s easy temperament and commitment to confidentiality will be vital. She’s a good listener who enjoys people and welcomes building relationships.”

Emily’s list of responsibilities at St. Martin’s was long, but she sees new challenges and different expectations at Covenant. “My role at Covenant will involve more interaction and direct involvement with members — as I get to work with the deacons, and all the other activities and groups that fall under my umbrella,” Emily predicted. “In short, I will be much busier than before, which is what I was hoping for with this new position.”

A few weeks into her job (with one week of training), Emily is eager to dig deeper into the role. “I am excited to get to know new people and be a part of their lives. The staff here is truly amazing, and I already feel supported and cared for,” she said.  

Jill said Emily has hit the ground running. “In our first few weeks together, I’ve been delighted to see Emily be adaptable, dedicated, helpful and thoughtful with her communication. She possesses a willingness to work as a team member and collaborate for the good of the community.”

Emily added, “I get to serve this community as a staff member, and I also get to be a part of it.”

“Emily feels a sense of call and eagerness to be a part of what Covenant is doing. I believe she will be a wonderful asset to our staff, congregation, and the many who serve in the areas of Congregational Care and Mission,” Jill said.

When she’s not at work, you can find Emily walking at the park, doing yoga, reading, cooking and watching the birds at my birdfeeder. She has two kids: Jack is a senior at Ole Miss and Allison is a senior at McCallum High School. She is married to Todd McCollum.

“COVID has made me appreciate the little things like sitting in my backyard enjoying the birds, butterflies and squirrels,” she said.