By Father Casey

This weekend we have a chance to thank someone who has made an enormous impact on our church. After several decades of service to Transfiguration, including many years on staff leading communications, many more years as a key volunteer for our children’s ministry, and finally five years on staff at the helm of that ministry, Cindy Hauser is retiring.

It is hard to measure the positive effect she’s had. She has certainly brought our children’s ministry to a new place of strength and vitality. Hundreds of kids have participated in formation during her years of leadership, attending fun, creative, and carefully-planned programs designed to stir their spiritual imaginations and set them on a pathway of lifelong faith. This was possible because, with her keen eye for recruiting and gentle way of inviting, Cindy has cultivated a large and committed group of volunteers. And they learned from one of the best storytellers I know, who not only captivates the kids but also trusts them to draw holy lessons for themselves.

I would say the secret of Cindy’s success is that she’s never been overly focused on growing the numbers. For Cindy, every child is uniquely precious and every child is worth her time and energy. She models her ministry after our Lord, who said, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” You only have to watch her for a few minutes on a Sunday morning to see how she loves each one, and how they love her in return. I have seen this countless times in the Gathering Space as she welcomed kids to join the procession for Children’s Chapel – each child is greeted by name and asked about things she knows are happening in their life. It has certainly been true in my children’s’ lives. “Ms. Cindy,” as she is known, is like another godmother. She is family. When I struggle to motivate one of them to get ready for church, all I have to do is ask, “Don’t you want to see Ms. Cindy?” and they’re ready in no time.

On Sunday, we’ll take time between services to thank and honor Cindy. Join us in the Gathering Space at 10:20, and please bring your children. There will be stories and words of gratitude, and I’ll share with you a sneak-peek of the art we’ve commissioned in Cindy’s honor.

Even as we say these goodbyes, we are blessed by a gifted successor, Allison Blalock, with whom Cindy has been working for the last month to help us get ready for fall. If you have a child in your life, I hope you’ll take a moment soon to register them for formation. Just like the rest of us, kids need to encounter God every week and be encouraged in their faith. They need the stories of Scripture, the wisdom of our tradition, and the loving mentorship of teachers to grow as Christians. So, I hope everyone who has a young child will reinvest in our formation program this fall.

See you this weekend.