I commend to you our sister Phoebe….Greet Prisca and Aquila….Greet my beloved Epaenetus….Greet Mary….Greet Andronicus and Junia….Greet Ampliatus….Greet Urbanus…and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles….Greet my relative Herodian….Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another….All the churches of Christ greet you. –Romans 16:1-16
Saint Paul concludes his letter to the Romans in chapter 16 with an appeal for the church to greet many people. Some of their names appear above. We know little to nothing about them. While some in the Bible remain well known and have been esteemed through the ages, those listed above are merely names rarely remembered and ones we can barely pronounce!
As we know, however, these ones to whom Paul sent greetings were more than names. They were first century men and women who followed Christ and served the church. In ways we do not fully know, they blessed the life of Saint Paul. He wanted them to know that he loved and appreciated their lives and services to the church. When I read the names of all the ones Saint Paul mentions in Romans 16, I wonder by what ways, great and small, they served the church.
Marsha Weis, our church secretary and office manager, will retire at the end of this month after many years of outstanding, faithful service. When I see her name, I don’t have to imagine how she has served our church. I have witnessed all she has done. Marsha has been an outstanding, faithful servant. She’s been a friend and confidant for us; the face of our church to the community; and has served by such effectiveness, compassion, confidentiality, and love that she is the model for every church manager and secretary. I will miss her greatly. She has done everything well, helping us through difficult times and fretful questions. She will remain for us more than a name as those listed above in Romans 16. Marsha will be remembered always as the steady, trustworthy, cornerstone of our church’s day to day life in the years she held her post.
We wish Marsha all the best in her retirement and I invite all of you to join the church for her farewell reception on Sunday, December 1. Marsha will be present at the 8:30 AM liturgy. We will greet her between the liturgies for light refreshments in the foyer outside the office. During this month, she will be training our new secretary and office manager. More will be said of her in next month’s newsletter. For now, let us be present to give thanks for Marsha on December 1, remembering her with tremendous joy and conveying our fondest hopes on the occasion of her retirement.
I commend to you our sister Marsha as much as Saint Paul commended and remembered all those listed above. On behalf of our church, thank you, Marsha, for service well done!
Love always in Christ,
Pastor Doug Heagy
PS Blessings to all! Join us for Advent and Christmas worship this month!