Chris Belen

I am blessed to be the husband of Erika and father to three amazing kids. I also am a lawyer who investigates and litigates complex disputes. I currently work on civil rights cases that require project management, teamwork, sensitivity to the consequences of decisions (and words used in making the decisions), and – of course – skill at gathering the right information for the right goal. I am analytical, strategic, and skeptical. I strive to listen well and ask tough questions, and those are the qualities that I believe will be most important on the Vestry.

As a small group leader, through the men’s ministry, and in other volunteer roles, I have had a front-row seat to see some of the diverse opinions, priorities, and expectations that our congregation brings to Restoration, especially on issues that touch on sociopolitical or policy issues. That diversity can be one of the best aspects of Restoration’s community. I often do not know how to bridge those differences, but I try to listen more than I speak and to lean into the Holy Spirit’s lead to navigate tough waters and focus on our shared beliefs. I want to continue that work as a part of the Vestry – acknowledging and valuing our differences, but constantly moving forward together in line with Christ’s calling.

In doing that, I want to – and will – bring a perspective that values and works to love and welcome all children of God. My work in civil rights has opened my eyes, my ears, and my heart to the painfully different experiences of folks who are in a different place or of a different background. I believe the Gospel’s hope and the vision of one, unified Body of Christ is a powerful message to be shared, and it is a calling that must be fervently pursued both individually and as a church community. I pray that perspective will be heard as we move into our next chapters as a church, especially as we pursue and love future followers of Jesus.

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