Our own Marilyn Syverson, Church Administrator, has given her notice to us and I thought I better just blurt it out so you know the news right up front. Marilyn has been working at Family of Christ for nearly ten years, first as an assistant to the Faith Formation program, and then as the Office Administrator. It is no exaggeration to say she has been the heart of our church office: the voice that greets you when you stop in, the one who helps you when you have a problem, the one who keeps details like no other and the one who helps all the other staff members keep their priorities in line. She has been a tremendous worker for the staff and for this church, and she has been a terrific administrative assistant to me. I've been upset since she shared this news with me, and I have been feeling a little bit sorry for myself. But now I am ready to start thanking Marilyn and encouraging her on to her next job. I know you will be finding your own ways to share your thanks with her and encourage her onward as well.
Her husband, Jay, in true entrepreneurial fashion, has been developing a new company, and the time has come to bring his wife, Marilyn, onto their staff as a project manager. It is a great promotion for her, and though Jay already knows this, he will find none other who will be so dedicated and dependable in her work. We will miss her terribly on our staff and, for a while, the rest of us, especially me, may just run around in circles, unanchored, and unmoored. Change is so very challenging, though it is a constant, and we are always working on how to adapt to new realities in our work, our family, our play, and yes, even our church.
Though Marilyn never really had a typical day, I do want to cobble together a few scenes that I've observed simply as a way of letting you know some of what she did for us. She often arrived early to straighten things up so that Preschool parents would have a good first impression of the building when they entered with their children. She policed the kitchen and the sanctuary. She dealt with vendors and often negotiated better prices for things in order to help FoC save money. She worked very closely with Kris Spangrud to ensure that funds in and funds out were handled professionally with every detail attended to. She kept track of everybody's birthday on staff and often was the bringer of treats that honored that person. She was the cheerful voice on the church phone, and the welcoming presence to guests and members. She helped all of us on staff problem solve, and gave great advice and assistance. Do you remember the character Radar O'Reilly from the old Mash TV show - he had a way of anticipating requests ahead of time. Marilyn sometimes did that for me and for the staff, having things done before we even asked for them. And she was also good at nudging me forward on a task that I may have procrastinated a bit. Plus she provided extras from weeding some of the church landscaping, to flower arrangements, to restocking supplies, to learning about the boiler or the pneumatic system. Her job was multifaceted and hardly one day was like the next, yet she handled it all with grace and a joyful spirit. In sum, she was (and is) "practically perfect in every way."
So yes, I did not want to bear this news to you today. But our own dear Marilyn Syverson has decided the time has arrived for her to give us her notice. In true generous fashion, she is giving us into January to help make the transition, and she is making herself available to train the next Office Administrator. Marilyn, you will be terrifically missed, but I'll join my voices with all those in the congregation saying, "Thank you good and faithful servant. Thanks for a job well done. We have so appreciated you! Thanks for loving this church and loving this staff".
See you all in worship!