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April 11, 2019

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian,
Like every family, our church family is in a continuous process of growth and change. Today, I am writing to share with you four staff changes which have taken place recently or will take place in the near future:

1. The Personnel Committee and Director of Christian Education Mary Park have together decided that the time has come for Mary to transition out of the DCE role. We have been blessed by Mary’s presence and leadership these past four years and trust that God will continue to use her gifts in another setting. Mary’s last day will be on Thursday, April 25, and we encourage you to take a moment in the coming days to express your gratitude and well wishes. Mary and her family plan to stay in the Richmond area, and we look forward to continuing to welcome Mary, Robert, and their children into church programs. In the coming weeks, the staff, Session, and Personnel Committee will be evaluating the educational needs of the church and the best way to meet these needs through our staffing structure. In the short-term, current staff members will support the education program and its many devoted volunteers through the end of the program year and over the summer.

2.     As you may know, Wilson Kennedy, our Director of Youth Ministry, is pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at Union Presbyterian Seminary. In order to fulfill the requirements of his training and be approved for ordination through his home Presbytery (New Hope in North Carolina), Wilson will complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at VCU Health this summer. This is a 10-week, 400-hour hospital chaplaincy training that helps individuals develop the pastoral and interpersonal skills necessary for ministry. The Personnel Committee believes that this training will benefit Wilson and, through him, the youth and families he serves at FPC. The committee has granted Wilson its blessing to complete the training this summer, knowing that his presence at the church will be reduced during this time. Elise Cardot, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry, will increase her hours to ensure that the church continues to offer a full slate of youth ministry programming this summer. Beginning in September, Wilson will increase his hours to full-time as Director of Youth Ministry while he continues his studies at Union.

3.     Last week, Kim Ritz, Administrative Assistant for Faith Formation, resigned due to personal reasons. We have been blessed by Kim’s gentle spirit for the past eighteen months and we wish her well. As the staff and Personnel Committee determine how best to meet the needs of this position, Elise Cardot and Cindy Jennings, Administrative Assistant for Music, will provide extra support to this area of the church’s programming.

4.     Finally, I am delighted to announce that Lisa Clarke, who has served for three years as the half-time Administrative Assistant to Associate Pastor Mary Kay Collins, has agreed to step into a full-time role as Administrative Assistant for Worship and Congregational Life. In this role, she will work closely with both me and Mary Kay, as well as with the Session and Diaconate. We are deeply grateful that Lisa has felt called to move into this expanded role and know that many of you will enjoy working with her in a variety of ways as you serve the church.

Being part of FPC’s talented and committed staff has been one of the many joys of stepping into my role as pastor and head of staff. I am grateful every day for the generosity, professionalism, and support the staff members offer the church and one another. Although these changes in staffing will require us all to navigate the way forward with flexibility, openness, and trust, I am confident in our capacity to do this with grace and good humor, knowing that God is guiding us each step of the way.

If you have questions related to these changes, please do not hesitate to contact me or Bruce Tyler, active elder and current chair of the Personnel Committee.

With gratitude and in faith,
Amy Starr Redwine, Pastor