Dear New Philadelphia Moravian,
As I enter into my last week with you, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on all of the joys and the challenges of the past three and a half years that I have served in ministry with you. During the next week, in worship and in the weekly newsletter, I am going to be sharing some of what I have seen, both as joys and as challenges, during my time with you. For this week, I want to focus on one of the greatest joys for me personally and the greatest asset to the ministry of this congregation as you seek to live and love and serve like Jesus. And that is the church staff.
Prior to coming to New Philadelphia, I had only served in smaller congregations that had very limited paid staff. But New Philadelphia has been completely different. This congregation is very active and it takes many talented, gifted, and dedicated people to make it all run as smoothly as it does and to challenge the congregation to be better than you think that you can be.
Our musicians are the best in the Moravian Church. Steve, Michael, Sandra, David, and Terri are all extraordinarily talented and are willing and able to use their gifts in a wide variety of musical styles and preferences and bring them all together in a way that allows everyone who joins us for worship to be able to lift their own hearts and spirits and voices in praise to God.
Our administrative staff is excellent. Rachel always provides a warm welcome and a bright smile to everyone who comes into the church office. She is extraordinarily talented with making our bulletins, social media, and all of our printed material engaging and informative. Rachel makes sure that the church has what it needs to do what God needs you to do. Rachel is not merely “among the best” she is the best. Donna understands that the finances of the church are a ministry, not simply a matter of paying the bills, but of serving the Lord. She does her job with dedication, compassion, wisdom, and integrity. Tim knows the church facility inside and out. When something breaks, it doesn’t stay broken for long, because Tim can fix it. As with all of our staff, Tim sees his work as a calling not as simply a job.
Our pastoral and program staff are amazing. Erin has provided consistent and loving leadership to our youth through a lot of transition during the last few years. She has been someone that our kids know they can count on. Evie is the best Christian Education Director that I have ever worked with. She has unending creativity and is able to use that to give our youngest members a solid foundation in faith. Evie serves the church with tireless dedication. And Clyde. Every church needs a “Clyde” she has boundless energy and enthusiasm. She is the best cheerleader for everything that the congregation does. Clyde has the ability to take any unusual idea that I would have and help make it a reality. (And I guess that I should mention Teddy here too so that she won’t get angry with me.)
In my three and a half years at New Philly, I have never once had a day when I didn’t want to go to the office. The people that I have been blessed to work with have brought me great joy as we have sought to help you all to live, love, and serve like Jesus. I hope that the entire congregation realizes how blessed you are to have all of them. I know that I will miss them.