This month we are spotlighting SonRise’s extremely loved, adored and cherished member, Rachel Celenza, as our August Volunteer of the Month! For anyone who knows Rachel, you can agree that her loving & welcoming personality is contagious. She exemplifies a passionate volunteer who cares about each & everyone taking their next steps with Jesus.
Rachel has been a member of SonRise Church for six years, serving in many different roles during her time here with us. We all know that oftentimes we need to try multiple volunteer positions within the church until we find our perfect, God-given spot! Currently, Rachel is serving within Uprising (6th-12th grade student ministry), the First Impression Team & the Communications Team. Over the summer, Rachel also participated in the Pastor Search Team, which she described as “amazing”.
When asked why she chooses to serve at SonRise, she states, “Above all, it’s what we are called to do. God calls us to be good stewards of the gifts He has given us, and I serve to be obedient to that call.” Rachel says that she has wonderful parents who were role models of selfless service and she has always followed their example, viewing service as another example of worship.
Rachel is passionate about helping the students of Uprising grow in their faith. She is an outstanding role model for our younger generation, never holding back from sharing her faith, worshiping boldly & participating in “Praise Breaks!” She was inspired by the youth leaders she had growing up and hopes to have a similar impact on the students here at SonRise.
On Sunday mornings, Rachel serves on the First Impressions team. The First Impressions Team exists to ensure that members and guests receive a loving, welcoming, and positive experience at SonRise Church. Volunteers on the First Impressions Team can be found greeting in the parking lot, opening the front doors for every guest, and acting as ushers in the worship auditorium. This team is passionate about the initial impression of new guests as well as helping them take their next step with Jesus. To say Rachel does a great job welcoming first time guests would simply be an understatement. Regarding her position on the First Impressions team, Rachel stated, “My prayer as a part of this team, is that when someone enters SonRise, they instantly feel welcome and know that they belong”.
Lastly, Rachel serves part-time on the Communication Team as a social media volunteer. Rachel’s favorite thing about SonRise is that it is so relational. The relationships that she has formed at SonRise are very special to her and SonRise has truly become her church home. She has found multiple fulfilling areas of ministries at SonRise, where God has blessed her to serve.
When asked about her goals for the future of SonRise, Rachel says “I am so excited about the future of SonRise. God has been working in so many wonderful ways and getting to see Him show up time and time again when we pray expectantly and specifically has been such a joy!” Her most desired goal is that SonRise “will continue to listen to God’s call, and allow Him to guide us, and that His kingdom will grow as a result”. In addition, Rachel is excited to see the students grow in faith. Her wish for SonRise is continued growth, deepened faith, and knowledge of God’s Word.
Rachel’s favorite memory at SonRise is difficult to wrap into just one. Collectively she states that her relationships built at SonRise, 2 mission trips to Haiti, the Uprising trip to Happy Church this summer, and watching the Student Ministry grow not only in numbers but in faith, are all blessings that come to mind when she considers her favorite things about SonRise.
When Rachel is not faithfully serving at SonRise, she works for GE Aviation, in sourcing and supply chain, which means she makes sure aircraft engines get built on time. When not working, Rachel enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to concerts (specifically boy bands), the theater, going to baseball games, and finally, enjoying a good cup of coffee while reading a good book! She says she also loves a good praise break! Most people don’t know that Rachel has her closet colorized in ROYGBIV order and silhouetted as well, which she attributes to her experience in retail, “You can take the girl out of retail, but some habits still remain!”
Rachel says that her life is so full because she is a child of God. She can find joy and hope through any situation, and knows her community at SonRise will encourage her if she is struggling. She loves to share this with others who may not yet know how God can do this for them if they choose to follow him, too!
We at SonRise are blessed to have Rachel as a part of our community and also as a part of our ministry. We are so happy to have this opportunity to share with our community the ways that she gives of her time and talents! Please join us in sharing how very grateful we are for Rachel and let her know how much we appreciate her here at SonRise!