Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write to you this morning, I’m enjoying the cooler, fresher air that comes after a rain. The birds are singing brightly, and chirping hurriedly, and cawing loudly. It has been two weeks since Al’s death. Time is relentless in its movement. Grief does not move on so quickly. We, our family, are adjusting to this new reality each and every day. We miss him.
Your thoughts, prayers, cards, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, gestures of kindness and concern have been a source of sustenance for us. You are the reason I’m so grateful and passionate for the church. The blessing of your support has been invaluable to us—thank you.
I am taking time off to grieve, and recover from a cold. My vacation and the General Assembly were already on the calendar for this month. The Personnel Committee has also granted me bereavement leave. I plan to be back in the office by August 1. One day at a time.
In the meantime, I want you to know that Rev. Scott Woolridge and Rev. Dr. Christal Williams are keeping things going for us, as always. Connie Henderson, Eron Dupree, Terri Grove, Jonathon Rodgers and Jeff Dulyea-Parker are tending the daily activities. I’m grateful to be a part of an awesome team who are devoted to the ministry of “Together Making Disciples of Christ.
Also, you may be aware we have hosted Glenda Lopez Ordonez from Guatemala as a summer Intern for our Camps. I want to thank all of her hosts, including our Camp Coordinator, Directors, Counselors, congregations. Special thanks to Rev. Deborah Owen and family who took Glenda to the General Assembly. And to Dr. Christal for looking after Glenda upon her arrival, in Orlando, and on her way home to Guatemala—August. 4. From the reports, I believe this has been a rewarding experience for Glenda and for our Campers.
Looking ahead, please continue to pray for our efforts to be a Pro-Reconciling/Anti-Racist people: the work that we have committed ourselves to is long, arduous, dis-comforting and essential. It’s a commitment to be part of the Welcoming Table—-where all of God’s children are valued. It may mean opening ourselves to new realities, which will involve grief. It will also hold possibilities for life beyond what any of us can imagine here and now.
That, my friends, is what gives us hope.