Leading with the Heart

Tim with his granddaughter

Tim with his granddaughter

I’m pretty sure Guilford Park member Tim Peck is a secret yogi. Why, you might ask? Because he does what my yoga instructor tells us time and again: lead with your heart.

This phrase has stuck with me outside of yoga for a few weeks now, yearning to be in a blog post, and after interviewing Tim earlier this week the phrase found a home.

He’s gone on local and international mission trips, is a mentor for Guilford Park Guys (a program that partners with youth in transitional housing), is president of the GPPC Corporation, is a big-shot lawyer, has served on session numerous times, chair of a PNC, taught middle school and adult Sunday school—and those are just the things I know about!

But Tim is so much more than what he does. What we do and the ways we serve are important, but the heart that drives those actions is even more important.

“When I was asked to serve on the session again, I agreed with the condition that I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I’m a lawyer all day at work. I wanted to serve with my heart instead of my head,” said Tim.

And even though he is Clerk of Session, Tim still takes time to come to the Congregational Care meetings. At our last meeting, we discussed Extended Communion (aka bringing Communion to our members unable to come to church). When the issue of filling open spots arose, Tim immediately volunteered himself to serve numerous months in a row. It was obvious that he was not volunteering out of a sense of duty, but out of great love.

Of course I had to find out more.

Growing up in the Catholic church instilled in Tim the importance of the sacraments, especially Holy Communion. He spoke of going to mass daily with his father, and of the connection that this sacrament brings. The quiet but steady faith of his parents informed his own faith, and it has shaped the heart that he leads with.

While in college at Davidson, Tim had the opportunity to serve on staff at a nearby church. His title may have indicated he worked primarily with youth, but in reality Tim found himself at a bedside in equal measure to the time he spent in a youth room.

This time greatly shaped him, and though the call to law school was stronger than seminary, Tim uses his compassion in his work. While in college a visiting rabbi encouraged him to take his full self into the legal profession, to use his heart in his work. And in his 33 years practicing law, these have been some of the most profound words that have guided Tim.

Those of you who have worked with Tim in any capacity know the sense of calm and peace he brings just by walking into the room. Guilford Park is blessed to have Tim Peck among its members and leaders. May he be an example to all of us in how to lead with our hearts.

Jo Owens


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