We have been blessed as a region by the ministry of Rev. Scott Woolridge for over 31 years. Scott has announced his retirement effective Sept. 30, 2020. He will work part time through the end of the year. It has been his intention in retirement to serve as an Interim minister for a congregation. We know that his gifts for ministry will continue to bless the church.
As his retirement approaches, our Executive and Personnel Committees, with the support of the Regional Church Council, will discern our path. Ministry has changed dramatically in 31 years, let alone the last six months. We want to make sure that we are reflecting God’s call for our life together as we move forward.
In the meantime, as your Regional Minister, I have asked Scott to do two things as he closes out this ministry. First, shift leadership to volunteers who have been invested and involved in the work of the region. Second, to say a good “goodbye.” He is in the process of doing both.
We have a team involved with planning celebrations for Scott. Rev. Rebecca Kirby and Rev. Grant Wade are leading the effort, which will include a presentation at our virtual Regional Assembly, Oct. 17, and a Zoom party on Dec. 6 (more information coming soon.)
Good boundaries are essential to healthy ministry. As Scott fully retires from his regional staff position at the end of the year, let us practice healthy boundaries by giving Scott the space and free time he needs in this new phase of his life.
While we discern our future and begin to vision the work of the next Associate Regional Minister, please know that I will be the contact person for clergy and congregations throughout Central and Southern Illinois. Rev. Angee Byrd and Rev. Eli Rolon Jeong will be doing the ministry of Communication and Children, Youth and Young Adults, respectively, while being contacts for our I 80 north congregations.
Rev. Dr. Teresa Dulyea-Parker