The following is a message from Bridge Conference Ministers Don Remick and Marilyn Kendrix
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and move our hearts to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” -Flavia Weedn
If you have been following our staffing updates you know that this has been a long year of transition. While we have announced new hires as we have gone along, we wanted to wait until the process was complete before acknowledging those who will not continue on into the 2021 staff as a group. Some of these folks have retired. Some have chosen to seek other ministries. Some served in positions that did not continue into the new Conference. Some did not move forward in the search process. All of them are gifted and talented servants of Christ who have brought their skills to our ministries together.
“Yesterday brought the beginning, tomorrow brings the end, though somewhere in the middle we became the best of friends.” -Unknown
Further on in this article we will share their names and ministries among us. But words in this article cannot capture all they have meant to you and accomplished among you. So, while each individual has requested their own ways to say goodbye, we also wanted to offer you a chance to share their impact on you. You may, of course, send them a card or email directly. Any cards we receive at our Conference offices will be forwarded along to each individual. And you may also send your thoughts along to us. We are looking to compile comments into a ‘memory book’ for each individual. If you send your comments to us care of Patti Babcock (email@example.com) by December 29th we’ll put them into those books.
“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” -Robert Southey
We offer our gratitude and pray God’s continued blessings for:
Aretha Wright: Aretha has served since May 30, 1995 as the Receptionist for the historic Massachusetts Conference. Her voice greeted you warmly when you called. Aretha usually had an answer for the wide variety of questions; and in the rare occurrence she didn’t, she always knew exactly who did! And, likely as not, if you ever wore a name tag at an major event, she was the one to put it together. It was one of her many roles with the Conference.
Stephanie Pitman: Stephanie has served since February 2, 2004 as the Business Manager for Silver Lake Conference Center. She kept an eye on site use and the overall budget for Silver Lake and its year round operations. You may have met her warm welcome when you arrived at a Silver Lake event or when you attended events where SLCC was promoted.
Marlene Gasdia Cochrane: Marlene has served since June 11, 2004 as a Storyteller for the historic Massachusetts Conference. You may know her best for her work with “Spotlight” articles. She captured poignant and powerful moments at our events with stories that were masterfully written and beautifully photographed.
Jill Graham: Jill has served since September 4, 2007 as the Associate Conference Minister in the western region of Massachusetts. She served part time with the Conference while also serving as a local church pastor in Sheffield. She brought her passion for leading churches into a new era of church life and ministry, particularly in the Berkshire hill and valley region.
Sioux Wilusz: Sioux has served the historic Connecticut Conference since October 15, 2012, most recently as the Executive Assistant for the Conference Minister of Connecticut and as an Executive Assistant to the Bridge Conference Ministers. Sioux has brought her unique blend of competent skills, a caring personal touch and an upbeat outlook into everything she has done for our Conference. Like all executive assistants she has been the grease that keeps all the gears moving effectively and faithfully.
Ellie Richardson: Ellie has served since January 1, 2013 in Leadership Development for MACUCC and SNEUCC. She has been the genius behind the Communities of Practice and Super Saturday. Her passion for ministry, both clergy and laity, also included ministries from Interim training to Faith Formation, the Together We Thrive Grant programming and so much more.
Kelly Gallagher: Kelly has served since August 1, 2013 as the Associate Conference Minister in central Massachusetts and the western regions. She also served as the minister for Justice and Witness. She applied innovative thinking to leadership development to bring new strength to her ministries. She also brought a deep passion and wisdom for the least of these and those on the margins, supporting the ministry of our Conference Task Teams.
Mary Nelson: Mary has served since February 10, 2014 as one of the Regional Ministers in the historic Connecticut Conference. Building on a foundation of caring relationships, she brought her keen pastoral mind to the concerns of clergy and ministries. She journeyed with them during times of change, conflict and innovation helping them find new possibilities.
Suzi Townsley: Suzi has served since 2017 in the area of Innovation, Leadership and Change. She has a fondness for play as a way to spark the creativity in each of us. Using some of the latest approaches to innovative thinking and human design concepts she sought to inspire and nurture adaptation in churches.
Rick Durance: Rick has served since October 29, 2018 as the Administrative Assistant for the Metropolitan Boston Association and the Northeast Association. He brought his pastoral training into the record keeping, finances, committee workings and communications of the associations.
While this has been known, we also want to acknowledge that Holly MillerShank and Chuck Ericson will complete their interim time as regional staff. Holly has served this year with the Metropolitan Boston and Northeast Associations. Chuck has served the last couple years with the Windham, Tolland, New London and Hartford East Associations. More recently, Chuck served with the Rhode Island Association. Chuck’s interim time will come to an end at the end of this year. Holly will continue in her interim role through the end of January.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie The Pooh
May God, the Alpha and Omega, and everything in-between guard their coming in and going out now and forevermore.