Kathy and Peter Wildman Reference for United Church of Rowayton
Our most impactful experience at the United Church of Rowayton started in August of 1997. Our son Jonathan Peter Wildman was stillborn, and the Pastor came and met us at the hospital and baptized him that day. As we dealt with our grief and planned a memorial service, we looked for a way to honor our son’s memory and hopes for what kind of a man he would have been in his future. To honor his memory and with the church’s support, we established the Jonathan Peter Wildman Scholarship for graduating high school seniors going to college or trade school. Students were required to submit a personal letter which included their church/community service, their future plans and a reference letter. The applicants needed to show demonstrated participation within the life of the church as well as community service at large.
In May, the pastor would send us the applications and references for each scholarship candidate that we would review. A scholarship review committee would also give input and a decision would be made collaboratively on how much each candidate would receive. Every June, our family would participate in the service honoring the graduating seniors as they readied for graduation and whatever their future might be. Even after we moved away in 2001, our family and children returned every year to hear the story, present the scholarships, congratulate the seniors and be with our family of faith. As the years went by, there were countless times a past recipient would come and tell us how meaningful the scholarship was to their lives.
After 25 years and upon the retirement of Pastor John Livingston, it was decided that the scholarship would be renamed the John S Livingston Scholarship. Our hearts are warmed that our hopes and dreams for our son and his future will continue within this wonderful faith family full of love and caring. The church found a ministry to assist young people and emphasize the importance of community service.
Kathy and Peter Wildman
30 Ellis St, Chatham MA 02633