Pastor's Notebook: Staff Transitions

 Dear church family,

“For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven” (Eccl 3:1, NRSVUE).

During seasons of change and transition, this small line from Scripture always gives me comfort. It reminds me that change is part of God’s providential plan for creation. With every change comes an opportunity to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit and pay attention to what God is doing.

Change is afoot again at Community UMC. Both of our staff musicians, Karen Hawkins (organist) and Dave Hylton (band leader), have discerned that it is time for them to move on from their positions at the church. Karen is moving to Missouri, where she will be pursuing new adventures; her last Sunday will be August 7th. Dave will be stepping back to focus on Sabbath and reclaiming former passions that give him life; his last Sunday will be August 28th. We give thanks for their service and dedication to CUMC’s music ministry – 18 months for Karen and 10 years for Dave (six as a band member and four as its leader). They have been a gift to us!

The Coeur Team has received Karen and Dave’s departures as an invitation from the Holy Spirit to spend the next few months discerning together the needs and potential of CUMC’s music ministry. Instead of immediately filling the organist and band leader positions, the Coeur Team will be spending dedicated time in prayer and conversation, listening for God’s vision for worship at CUMC. As we do this work together, Bill Jaquette will be stepping in as our Interim Music Minister through the end of November. Bill is a former Choir Director at CUMC and comes to us with a wealth of experience in music ministry and music education. He will take over leadership of the band, focus on rebuilding our vocal and bell choirs, and help the Coeur Team craft a strategic vision for CUMC’s music ministry. As for the organ, Connie Walters has volunteered to fill the position on a voluntary basis through the end of August, after which the Coeur Team will evaluate possibilities for stewarding the organ.

We are also pleased to introduce our new Bookkeeper, Kathleen Turner! Kathleen is a math instructor at North Idaho College and co-owns a local gym where she manages the books. She began training with our Accountant, Kerri Olsen, this week and is proving herself a capable addition to our staff. If you see Kathleen in the office, be sure to say hello and introduce yourself! We are grateful to Kerri for the good work she has done managing our books these last few months, and to members of the Finance Team for the hours they have volunteered in the Finance office.

If you have any questions or concerns about these staff transitions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Coeur Team. As we journey through this season of change and transition, I invite you to be in prayer for Karen, Dave, Bill, and Kathleen. May God richly bless each of them and bless our church.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Amanda
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