Dear friends at Transfiguration,
I have some important staff news to share with you. This past week, three members of our administrative team have shared with me their intention to step down this summer. Each has done great work and leaves with my enormous gratitude.
First, Sophie Lowrance will leave her position as Parish Administrator on June 15. Sophie has served in that role for the past five years, during which she has earned the respect and appreciation of the Vestry, Treasurer, Endowment Trustees, and staff. Sophie began with no experience working in churches, having held previous positions with investment firms, but she was a quick learner and extremely diligent, and she has given her very best in service to our church. She is quite at home among spreadsheets and budgets, and she possesses great attention to detail. We just completed our second full financial audit, and when sharing the final report, the auditor made special commendation of the quality of our financial operation.
As anyone who has worked with Sophie knows, she is kind, patient, and generous, always eager to help and go the extra mile. Whether it’s the Treasurer calling with a request, a parishioner in need of help with the Columbarium, a staff person with a question about benefits, or a parishioner who just needs a friendly, listening ear, Sophie gives every person she encounters her full attention. She has always understood her role as more than a job, but as a ministry, and our church is better for it.
Sophie, her husband Nash, and their three daughters are members of Transfiguration, and they intend to remain a part of our community in the future. So, even as she leaves our staff with our gratitude for a job well done, thankfully we are not saying goodbye.
Second, our Bookkeeper Mary Hall has shared with me her intention to retire on July 15. Mary joined the staff shortly after Sophie began as Parish Administrator, and they quickly developed a strong, successful team. Mary arrived after a series of bookkeepers with very short tenures, and she inherited an array of accounts in urgent need of review and reconciliation. She was unperturbed, and set right to work using all her skills from a 40-year accounting career. Mary was another major reason for our recent commendation from our auditor, and our Treasurer, Allison Murphy, and recent chairs of the Budget, Finance, and Administration Committee all praise her work. In addition to her effectiveness with our books, Mary has blessed our church with a loving and gentle spirit. Every request made of her is met with kindness and courtesy, and every task performed with a sincere desire to help.
Mary’s husband, Lance, is also anticipating retirement later this year, and they are looking forward to the next chapter of life. She promises not to be a stranger at Transfiguration.
Lastly, Sophie and Mary have been supported for the last four years by Jill Carpenter as Administrative Assistant, and Jill has shared with me her intention to step down in tandem with Sophie in June. Jill is the friendly face you may have encountered as you entered the office on weekdays, and she has aided our administrative operation with her intelligence, diligence, and positivity. Sophie and Mary both praise her work, and credit her with a big piece of our overall administrative health. I hope you will join me in praying for Jill and her family, and if you have a chance, express gratitude for her years of service to our church.
The loss of our entire administrative team this summer is going to be a challenge, but my feelings are mostly of gratitude. Sophie, Mary, and Jill leave their roles having done excellent work, and their successors will inherit clean books and a healthy operation. We are blessed with the most marvelous Treasurer you could hope for in Allison Murphy, and our BFA Committee is extremely strong and capable, under the leadership of Lacey Garcia. We are in good shape, and after a time of transition, we will go from strength to strength.
In coming days, we will post the position descriptions on our website as we begin the search for talented, caring people to succeed in these roles. If you know of someone who may have the right skills to become our next Parish Administrator or Bookkeeper, please direct them to www.transfiguration.net/jobs. And please join me in praying in coming days in gratitude for the faithful servants who are leaving our staff, and for God’s blessing and guidance as we seek their successors.
Grace and peace,