“It’s too early…” was the refrain that I heard preached last week in a sermon by pastor of Trinity UCC, Chicago, the Rev. Otis Moss III. He was speaking about the myriad challenges of life both in and outside of the church, reminding us in this Easter season that our faith tells us that it’s always too early to throw in the towel, to become overwhelmed, to stop trusting in what God is still about to do in our midst. My heart hummed with a resonance of what I’ve come to trust as “church” when he described “the sisters rising early in the morning to bring spices to the place of death, to change the aroma and the atmosphere of loss and grief.” Of course, the message of Easter is that their intent to go and worship in that very place of grief allowed them to encounter the proclamation of new life that was beyond their imagining. To be a people of the resurrection is to live out that proclamation daily.
Our church family has been pondering what it means to grieve the imminent retirement of our church secretary of 27 years. There is nothing but celebration for Diane as she embarks on this new adventure and chapter in her life. And as church, we hold nothing but gratitude for the amazing ways that Diane touched and supported our lives individually and as a church. But change always brings a level of anxiety and grief. Into the goodbyes we also proclaim that resurrection affirmation that we are always the servants who carry those fragrant spices into the next chapter – for Diane, and for us.
Next week we will be welcoming our new office manager and celebrating what God is continuing to do in our midst. The search process felt like an amazing affirmation of the hope that we’re called to live out. We received nearly 90 applications, almost all of them were wonderful, and many exceptional. The personnel committee was impressed by the 14 initial interviews, and four follow-ups that left us feeling like we were experiencing the abundant blessings of God. The discernment process was difficult because of the quality of the candidates. We are pleased to introduce Robin Mock as our new office manager. Robin has spent the past nineteen years employed at institutions of higher learning, most recently as the administrative assistant for the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Marian University in Fond du Lac. For eighteen years she served Lakeland University in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as the assistant to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and as advancement administrative coordinator and marketing coordinator. She comes with a wealth of experience combined with great enthusiasm to come and be a part of the ministry team at Peace Church. Her first day of work will be May 28th. She’ll have a few initial days to overlap with Diane and to begin to find her way around. By June 3rd she’ll be the person that we’ll most likely hear on the phone or encounter in the office. But you shouldn’t be surprised to still encounter Diane here and there. Diane will continue to help orient Robin as needed, as a “special consultant” who has deeply loved her ministry for 27 years.
Like those women early in the morning, we know that we will all be journeying through emotions of grief and celebration in the midst of change. For we know that we are a resurrection people with whom God walks and inspires with new blessings.
We thank Diane from the depths of our souls! She will always be a part of our church family.
We welcome Robin! It is wonderful to invite her into a family that is eager to cherish her gifts.
May God bless each of us on the journey!!