Janice Gratton, chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, spoke during worship today to affirm the changes to our ministerial staff. Here is the message from the SRPC: All of you who are members and active constituents of First Church should have received a letter from the Reverend Peggy Luckman this week. As you know, Peggy has been on leave of absence since the end of October, tending to some medical difficulties. On Monday of this week, Reverend Donna and I met with Peggy and our Assistant to the Bishop, Lowell Greathouse, to find out how her medical care was progressing and to determine if she would be able to return to her pastoral duties here at First United Methodist Church.
As indicated in her letter, Peggy’s physicians have told her that she will not be able to return to her ministry for some time. Consequently, she (with support from the Bishop and the Cabinet) will apply for an “incapacity leave” which is Methodist terminology for what we laity would call “disability leave”. Her paid leave will continue through the end of November as previously scheduled. Our prayers are with Peggy as she works on returning to good health. She wishes that each of you know that she is healing and expects to be fully recovered, but that may take some time.
On that note, the SPRC is asking that you consider sending Peggy a note expressing your appreciation for her ministry and your hope for her recovery. We have a table located in the Narthex and another one in Collins Hall–there are mailing labels available. If you wish you may take a card home to complete and mail it from there, or you may complete it here, seal it and place it in the baskets provided and the Church Office will mail it. After this morning you will find the basket in the FUMC Office for the weeks preceding Christmas. Peggy continues to express her gratitude for the privilege of serving God through you at FUMC.
Our next steps will be to review the gifts and mission of our congregation and our staff, and determine in concert with the Assistant to the Bishop how to fill our needs. From January through June of 2012, we will be asking for assistance from some retired clergy as well as securing guest preachers from time to time so that Rev Donna will not find her job impossible. We will be examining the possibilities of both lay and clergy leadership in various assignments and restructuring as needed. We are blessed at First Church with a strong lay leadership and an excellent staff. While we must be careful with our talents and not exhaust them, we expect to enter our next year strong and fully functional. Please feel free to let members of the SPRC or your lay leader team know of any suggestions you may have. You may find out contact information on the members of SPRC or the Lay Leader Team by contacting the Church Office.
Blessings to each of you–please keep Peggy in your prayers and let her know of your caring.