Originally published in the April 2013 Explorer.

As my days at River Road Church wind down, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some of my observations about the journey we have shared these last nineteen months. (It is truly hard to believe it has been that long!) We all know that time has a way of slipping by and I did not want to miss the opportunity to tell you how much I have enjoyed serving this congregation as the Interim Minister of Children.

First and foremost, I would like to thank the many volunteers that actually make the children’s ministry at River Road Church, Baptist possible. Volunteers are the backbone of all ministry efforts. This is especially true the children’s area. It takes hundreds of volunteers to staff the weekly children’s ministries and hundreds more to ensure that we have Vacation Bible School; that our children can attend summer camps; that our playgrounds are safe and maintained; that the curriculum is biblically solid; and that children who attend Sunday School or Mission Kids feel welcomed, cared for, and are taught in ways that reflect the highest of standards. The new staff member who will assume responsibility for this effort will need strong volunteer support in order to continue to maintain the high standards this congregation is accustomed to. I have no doubt that this church will rise to the occasion and support the future volunteer needs of children and families at River Road Church.

I would also like to thank the church staff that I have had the privilege to work with these last many months. This team of professionals has demonstrated their love, dedication and respect for this church in ways too numerous to mention. Although most of us carried the designation of “interim” in our job titles, there was a commitment to excellence that was the foundational principal in each and every decision or task undertaken. In addition, our “group” genuinely has enjoyed servingtogether. Therehasbeenaprofessionalyetplayfulspirit that has infused the staff over these many months that is hard to define. I will miss each and every one of these fine ministers!

Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Clingenpeel for giving me the opportunity to serve this great congregation. During my tenure, I have experienced Dr. Clingenpeel as a kind and encouraging leader. His love for and commitment to this congregation is unquestionable. Although he works long hours and has countless demands on his time, I have found him to always have a ready smile and willing spirit to tackle the next “opportunity.” River Road Church is indeed lucky to have such a capable and caring leader.

And so, as I complete my tenure as the Interim Minister to Children, I do so with a grateful heart. I hope the future for River Road Church, Baptist, is bright and the blessings abundant in the days ahead.