Oops, I did it again. Almost, anyway. I have nearly worked myself out of another job. I will be concluding my time at Third Church by the end of this month. Some details remain unclear as I am writing this which will be filled in before I depart, but the pieces of a plan are falling into place as I key in these words.
It’s silly to declare that this has been my most unique interim assignment ever! All of us are able to make some version of that statement about this past year. I imagined when I came to Third Church that I might spend my entire time here in Covid mode, even as I had hoped it wouldn’t be so. It will be. While I have come to the church building on many days over the last year, most of you haven’t. I have met a fraction of you—in the parking lots or on your patios; but the majority of you will know me only as a box on a screen. As sad as that makes me, I accept that I can do little about it. I do feel like I’ve gotten to know some of you quite well. That makes me happy.
The items that bring me the greatest satisfaction have to do with the transition process I supervise. The Mission Study work was accomplished in a unique manner by the talented and committed team enlisted for that purpose. Members were Dianna Daunton, Kevin Dolohanty, Andrew Elder, Hope Herting, and Linc Spaulding. I want to thank them again for their diligent efforts. In normal times, you would have seen much more of them. They adapted and got the job done, just the same.
Another incredibly hardworking group needs a shout-out: the congregational Nominating Committee. Members are: Elders Scott Anthony (chair) and Kathryn Thomas, Deacon Pam Foye, Trustee Dick Shellman, and at-large members Rich Colaluca, Betty Iwan, Wendy Shellman, Siri Baker, Dianna Daunton, and Beth Laidlaw. Their work is usually limited in scope; but not this year. They began meeting in early October to be ready to nominate a PNC as soon as Presbytery permission was granted. And they succeeded! They then stuck with it, meeting almost weekly (and occasionally more often) to identify the next class of leaders for you all. You elected an almost-complete slate of nominees on April 18! Don’t be surprised if that dedicated group attempts to finish their work. No prodding necessary from me.
Finally, your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), Glenna Curren, Clive Daunton, Ry Foye (Vice-Moderator), Murie Gillett (Communications and Technology Officer), Melanie Jones, Jeremy Peters (Chaplain), Kate Orem, Peg Rachfal (Moderator), Michael Singh, Lea Theuer, and Maddie Veitch, is meeting regularly to accomplish their vital work. I am allowed to supervise the selection and orientation part of the process, and then move into the background. I look forward to receiving their updates as the month of May unfolds. They, like the other two groups, have fully engaged their work and I trust that they will serve you well.
I could go on and on with kudos for your staff and regular volunteers. Let me simply say that Third Church does not lack talented, creative, adaptable leadership! This unique year has taught me a lot of valuable life lessons that I will stash in my bag of experiences for use in future assignments. I am hopeful that never will there be one like this past year, however. I remain grateful for the privilege of serving you through it.
I will have a few more opportunities to communicate with you in May. As the great philosopher, Yogi Berra, liked to say, It ain’t over ‘til it’s over! See you a few more times.