31 October 2013

Well Done, Faithful Servant!

Today marks the end of an era at Hope Ev. Lutheran Church in St. Louis. Mrs. Carol Spyers, church secretary for 23 years, a great help to pastors and members, and well loved by all, is entering the next chapter of her life: retirement. In my October newsletter article, I took the opportunity to thank the Lord for a wonderful, faithful servant of the congregation:

The announcement is now official: Mrs. Carol Spyers, church secretary here at Hope for 23 years, is retiring. In a letter announcing her retirement, Carol said, “I feel it is time for me to put my family before my job and my commitments here at Hope Church.” She also wrote: “Hope Church has been and will always be very much a part of my life.”

Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank our Lord Jesus Christ for His gift of Carol Spyers to Hope Ev. Lutheran Church.

We all know and love Carol, and she has served Hope faithfully for the past 23 years. She has served in many and various ways. Not only has she carried out the usual tasks of “church secretary,” but she has always gone “above and beyond the call of duty.”

Her smiling face and cheerful, warm personality have greeted many people who come into the church office or call on the phone. She has always shown great dedication to publishing the bulletins and newsletters, to scheduling visits for the pastors, and to making sure the church office runs smoothly. And she has executed all of these ordinary duties with a wonderful zeal that reveals her love for her Savior and His Church.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Carol has always done so much more—helping people who come to the food pantry or who need help with grocery gift cards; filling candles on the altar; changing paraments for services; assisting with the payment of bills; helping with agendas and reports for various boards, committees, and the voters assembly; picking up the Communion wine; writing thank you letters for various donations. The list could go on and on.

Carol’s love and devotion to her Savior Jesus Christ and to His congregation named Hope have always been a wonderful witness to the hope that she has. Carol has certainly lived out her faith in her vocation of “church secretary” as well as in her volunteer “jobs” for the congregation.

So, I trust that you will join me in borrowing words from Jesus and telling Carol: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little….” (Matthew 25:21).

On a more personal note, I thank our gracious God for His gift of Carol, not only as church secretary and faithful worker, but also as friend. (Yes, many others treasure her friendship too.) Proverbs 22:11 says, “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.” Carol Spyers lives in that purity of heart given by Jesus. Her speech is always gracious. And she certainly has King Jesus as her friend.

We all wish God’s richest blessings for Carol as she enters the new chapter in her life called “Retirement.” We also know that she will remain a treasured member at Hope as well as devoted sister in Christ. The LORD bless you and keep you, Carol!

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