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West Raleigh Welcomes Larissa Kwong Abazia

Dear Members & Friends of West Raleigh,

For the last several years, West Raleigh has recognized, acknowledged and sought to embrace change – a changing staff model and team; a posture of flexibility necessitated by the pandemic; the explicit and implicit call on the church to change. During some of the toughest, most tender, terrible and tragic times, West Raleigh committed to staying connected, serving our community, and to maintaining weekly worship that was both vibrant and safe. Not much has been easy about these last years for anyone, and yet, we are still here. This fall marks a shift from living through these changes into a season of building on what we have learned, growing into some of the space we have created and expanding the way we think about beloved community. All of this is why we are truly excited to welcome Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia for a weekend of reflection, leadership development and courageous-space building!

Larissa is the founder of Courageous Spaces (Courageous Spaces) where she helps organizations “design courageous spaces to learn, grow, and transform the world.” She is also a former Vice Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and currently serves as the Designated Strategic Director for NEXT Church. West Raleigh first met Larissa when she was matched with the Dismantling Racism Task Force for an anti-racism webinar. Since then she has done additional leadership development with the session and diaconate as well as walked with us as my leadership coach. Larissa has a gift and a deep well of experience helping congregations navigate and embrace change in ways that open us to the transformation made possible by the Holy Spirit. Whether you are taking part in Saturday’s leadership retreat, a member of the youth group taking Larissa to lunch or participating in worship, I hope you will engage this weekend with an open heart and curious mind!

See you in church,


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