Here’s a few things you may not know about Chris Welch, otherwise known as “Rabbi”, from our NCS Winston Salem chapter.
Q: How did you first hear about NCS?
I was acquainted with the original founders through a golfing association. I was invited to one of the first gatherings of our group in 2006, held on Chris Perry’s back porch and have maintained my association since those early days.
Q: How did you get the nickname Rabbi?
I suppose it was given after I told a story about reading a treatise on Church Policy written by an Englishman named Richard Hooker. He lived during the Middle Ages. The paper was written in Old English. It was 20 pages long and I spent six hours attempting to decode and make sense of those old words!
Q: How has serving as Rabbi impacted you?
This work is a burden that I accept with reluctance. Each week, I share two stories which operate in two ways. On one hand, my stories offer insight into my personal walk with Jesus. On the other, they offer an image of my conception of God and Creation. In other words, I share my personal view of theology. On a good day, I surrender myself to the men in the audience. I may anger them. I may encourage them. I may offer peace or perhaps, conflict. And in return, in the temporal world, I am left with the image that they project into our community about myself and my family.
Q: How do you prepare for your talks each week?
I am inspired by an experience, remembered or present. That inspiration remains with me for a time until I pay it proper attention. Following that point in time, I engage in research in order to found my talk, and from that point I compose the story that contains the inspirational moment and the research. I almost never look for a topic. It simply appears during the week.
Q: Share with us a "God moment" from your life....it can be big or small, anything.
I was a reluctant father. I was apprehensive about having a child. I was not, as they say, “the boastful rooster in the hen house.” My wife did not appreciate this attitude. My mother-in-law constantly reassured me that people had been having children since the beginning of time, and in that regard, everything would be fine. Nevertheless, I was anxious and afraid.
Then when the day arrived, and the doctor handed me my son immediately after his birth, I was struck by a truly miraculous transformation. As I held my son, I was taken by a sense of connected love. In that instant, I wondered how I had ever lived without this child. The interpretation of those words is this: I realized that I was a participant in the ever-flowing and ever-expanding process of God’s creation, and I watched as all the world that I knew miraculously increased and expanded to make room for this new soul.
Q: If you had an endless amount of extra time, how would you spend it?
I would study history and language. I find those subjects ever more fascinating as time moves forward, and I find that the knowledge that is acquired through this study makes me a better man before my fellows.