As you will have read or heard, Associate Pastor Rev. Rachel Small Stokes has accepted a call to become Designated Interim Pastor at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Louisville, KY. She will serve here until February 11, 2018 then assume her new duties as head of staff at church of her own.
We have all been mighty blessed since she came to Union a little over 5 years ago, and we will certainly miss all she has brought to the church, the community and to God’s ministry among us. For her and her family, though, this is a wonderful opportunity. Both she and Leslie will work and live in the same city, and Rachel will be able to exercise her gifts for ministry in new and powerful ways.
For Union Church, of course this means big changes and the need for good conversations about next steps. Church Council will soon gather so we can begin the transition process. Along with determining what work we will need to cover and how best to do that, we will also be planning a good send-off for Rev. Rachel, Leslie, and Jack, closer to her departure. She goes with all our love and blessing for the work God has called her to do.
If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us, or to be in touch with board chairs. We might not have answers right now, but we’ll pool our questions and identify needs. As the picture clarifies, we’ll make sure to report all progress to you in future updates. Together we will walk with faith and thanksgiving into God’s next call to us.
Thanks and blessings,
Paul Smithson, Moderator Rev. Kent Gilbert, Pastor