Hi, everyone. I have several important things to share with you.
First, the Session has appointed a task force to think through when and how we might come together physically for worship. The task force is composed of Gwen Aumann, Fellowship Committee Chair; Gary Bagley, Parish Associate; Bob Prim, Pastor; Cheryl Vandiver, Finance Committee Chair; and Debbielee Whelchel, Worship Committee Chair. The group has already met once and will have another meeting or two (by videoconference) before the Session holds its stated meeting on June 14.
All of us yearn to be together! We hunger to have more human contact and to join in corporate prayers, singing, listening to Scripture and sermons, sharing in baptisms and the Lord’s Supper, sharing signs of peace, and having fellowship. Staying apart is a sacrifice. Our staying apart, however, is an example of the classic definition of a sacrament.
Traditionally, a sacrament is thought of as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual reality.” Well, our physical distancing in these times is the outward sign of the inward and spiritual reality of our love for one another. We seek now to show our love by being disciplined in our interactions with one another in church and in the wider community.
The task force and the session will bring forth only those recommendations that are safe and scientifically sound. Please know that we are working, thinking, and praying our way forward.
Second, the Session had to make a hard decision at our called meeting on May 18. The Session decided, and I agreed, to eliminate the office administrator position as of July 31. Denise Bobo, who has been in the position for more than thirty years, will serve her last day of office duties on June 25, although she will be paid through the end of July. At 1:00 pm on June 25 I will present Denise with a basket of cards and financial gifts from the congregation.
If you would like to make a financial gift to Denise, please make checks payable to Denise Bobo or put cash in an envelope and send it to NPC, c/o Bob Prim; ref. Denise Bobo, P.O. Box 87, Sautee-Nacoochee, GA 30571. I collect the church mail from the post office, and I will not open these envelopes; rather, I will keep them together for presentation on June 25. If you would like to send Denise a card now, just address it to her and mail it to the church. We want this time to be a celebration of Denise’s beautiful work among us for all these years!
It is important to me and to the Session for you to know that this change is not based on any shortcomings on the part of Denise. Rather, the decision was based solely on the overall needs of the church and out of a sense of responsibility toward the stewardship of our resources. The decision was difficult to make because of our affection and appreciation of Denise Bobo.
The administrative work of the church will be taken over by volunteers for many months. Please contact Marie Powell or me if you might be interested in helping in the office.
Third, as I mentioned for the last couple of weeks in our prayer times during the worship services, our parish associate emeritus, Keith Nickle, died on May 21. Keith was a good friend to many in our church, especially in the choir, and he was an inspiration to me. Keith was the author of one of the books I used in divinity school — a book I still have and actually remember some of what it said! Keith was a scholar, author, and pastor. He was also a churchman who was faithful to God and to the mission and calling of God’s church. He will be missed.
Marie Nickle, Keith’s wife, is in a memory-care skilled nursing facility near her hometown in Texas and near one of the children. The names of Keith and Marie’s four sons and their spouses are listed below. Please keep this family in your prayers.
Grace and peace,
Keith F. Nickle
June 10, 1933 – May 21, 2020
Marie Nickle is currently in a memory-care facility and would not understand cards, but their son Stephen has agreed to distribute any cards received to all of the siblings. Stephen’s address is below; he and his wife are moving on June 22, so two addresses are listed.
Sons/spouses: Neely and Jeannie Nickle
John and Heather Nickle
Thomas and EunHa Nickle
Stephen and Catherine Nickle
Send cards to: Until June 22:
6213 Cromwell Dr., NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
After June 22:
8095 E. 133rd Ave.
Thornton, CO 80602