Editors Note: Jennie said farewell last week with her wonderful blog. We thought it would be nice to hear from the sabbatical management team for their perspective on her time with us. Jennie served us with grace, wisdom and kindness during these very trying times. We have been blessed!
We have been truly blessed by having Reverend Jennie Barber to lead us during this tumultuous time period of Pastor Craig Sumey’s sabbatical and the unanticipated and challenging time of dealing with the Covid-19 virus. The virus caused us to close down the worship service to protect our members and visitors from possibly becoming infected with the virus. Pastor Jennie is a fine leader and pastor, and she handled all of the challenges gracefully and lovingly.
There certainly were trials during these three months! In addition to numerous Session meetings, we also had frequent Task Force meetings. There were bi-weekly Session meetings from May through June to work on re-opening the sanctuary for services. Session approved a Task Force to study the issues and submit recommendations to Session. Pastor Jennie presided as moderator over all of the Session meetings in addition to presiding over the bi-weekly meetings of the Sabbatical Management Team. Scripture from 1 Peter 1:6 says, “Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a while.”
During this time, Jennie was also dealing with personal challenges at home, which included her father’s passing and attempts to keep her family safe during the Washington State lockdown. Since she was commuting from her home in Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, most of the meetings were handled using Zoom. The Sabbatical Management Team determined that the church would issue her a letter to show her business in Idaho was essential.
Rev. Barber was also instrumental in supporting Carley Walker and Steve Balas with the Youth and Children & Families programs. We heard good comments from some of the other leaders in those programs.
This time period of serving as our Interim Pastor may have been one of the most challenging jobs ever for any pastor! We are eternally grateful to Reverend Jennie Barber for her service to us, and we want her to know she will be missed when her term with our church ends on July 31st.
Scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We sincerely hope she will return for visits and possibly preach for us sometime in the future. We love her and wish her well.
Your Sabbatical Management Team,