Well, there’s no good preface for this little bit of news—we’re losing our excellent secretary of three years, and it’s going to be difficult to find someone with the dedication, upbeat spirit, creativity, and genuine interest in the job as we have had with Traci Burgess. Recent family circumstances necessitate her taking a full-time job with benefits, and I know you join me in wishing her well in her next venture. She was hired not long after my appointment here, and I had just been mentored by Rev. Bob Long (who is minister at St. Luke’s UMC in Oklahoma City, a very large and thriving church) on the importance of “putting together your team” of staff people. I immediately felt like we were hitting the mark with Traci, and I know our church is better for the three years of time and talent that she has contributed “aboard this vessel.”
On our recent “Roots of Methodism Church Tour,” Father Bill Christ at Holy Trinity Orthodox church spoke about the origin of some of the words we use to refer to the church, and one that has always made an impact with me is the fact that our sanctuary is called the “Nave.” The word comes from ancient Latin word “Navis,” which I’m sure you see looks a lot like “Navy” or “Navigate.” This is because the word literally means “ship,” and the name has architectural significance (if you look up in the Nave, you might imagine you are looking at the bottom of a ship) as well as theological significance (ecclesiology holds that this architectural choice is deliberate to evoke the notion that you are indeed on a ship when you are in the church—that being the Ark carrying you to salvation!)
I say all that to give you an insight into Traci’s work ethic and indispensable role she has played here—she is a good “ship-mate!” She has swabbed the deck in times when we have been without a custodian, she has bailed water when we have quite literally sprung a leak, she has charted our course in her diligent and outstanding work on our weekly newsletter, and she has hoisted the sails as one who has aided every committee in their work—printing publicity, cataloguing minutes, logging and printing giving statements, and a number of other things that “make us go.” I appreciate all of this, and join our SPRC Chair Karen Manera in praying for God’s guidance in our efforts to find a new administrative assistant.