Sunday, June 21, 2020
First Baptist Family:
As many of you learned at the close of worship this morning, our friend and minister, Rev. Amy Grizzle Kane, has announced her decision to resign from her position of Associate Pastor for Missions & Community. Please see below for her loving letter to our Congregation, followed by some plans to affirm and bless her in this transition.
Dear Church Family, Over the past almost three years since you called me as your Associate Pastor for Missions and Community Ministry, life has not been kind, but you have been. In this timeframe, Sean, the boys and I moved twice, both times during hurricanes. Sean and I both had surgeries and Sean was unable to walk or drive for several months following his. We journeyed with my 34 year old sister in her battle with brain cancer and lost her last summer. Most recently, I faced life-threatening bacterial pneumonia even as the pandemic was coming to our state. Certainly life can always be harder and we have been sustained and loved by God’s grace and your kindness at each turn. While my life is full of blessing, it’s time I’m honest with myself and with you as my church family that the sustained hardship has taken a toll on my mind, body and spirit. Additionally, we have found these long days of COVID living/teaching/working/parenting two young boys under quarantine to be unsustainable. In an effort to do what is best for all of us, I will be stepping away from my position here at First Baptist at the end of this month. While it is not the decision I want to make, it is the right decision. It is time for me to have a season of being rather than doing. It is time to focus my health and energy on our boys and meeting their needs first. It is time to refill my soul and tend to my own physical needs. We plan to remain in Greensboro and look forward to being church family alongside you at First Baptist. Sean, Aaron, Aiden and I love each of you deeply and for ALL the love, care, cards, food, hugs, prayers and acts of kindness you have shared with us, we are profoundly and unspeakably grateful. With all of my love, Amy Grizzle Kane firstname.lastname@example.org
To Amy’s letter, let me add my observation that this has come with much thoughtfulness and the clarity that comes through prayer and conversation. We are grateful that Amy can do what she deems best for her and her family at this time, but we also recognize how hard such a decision is, and we especially understand, as she mentions, how hard and heavily-burdened life has been over the course of these recent years. Amidst this decision, we also want to affirm Amy’s call and gifts. This is a shift from a job and a change of daily responsibilities for a time, but it’s not a move from a vocation and call. Amy describes this as a “season” of life, with an intent to return to professional ministry in the future, and we will be supportive friends in every possible way along that path. In the immediate, I’m especially grateful for the fact we’ll get to be so as church family, as the Kanes remain in Greensboro. Even as Amy remains a part of our church, the Personnel Committee is planning ways to express our love and appreciation as she transitions from this specific role. On Wednesday evening, July 1, from 6:00-7:30, you are invited to a “Drive-Thru Reception” in our church parking lot. The Kanes will be present to receive your expressions of love. We are arranging for an ice cream truck to join us, and you will be safely served in your car, after which you can park and enjoy ice cream either in your vehicle or at a safe distance somewhere on campus. We also hope you’ll help us collect by bringing some canned good donations for Greensboro Urban Ministry, one of the valued community partners with whom Amy has worked closely. Also, as part of our expressions of gratitude, Personnel invites church members to contribute to a Love Offering for Amy and her family. Gifts may be made through our usual channels with “Love Offering” indicated in the memo. Thanks for your prayers and expressions of support and love for Amy, Sean, Aaron and Aiden, and for your continued dedication to the life and ministry we share.
Together in Love,