Plymouth's Welcome & Care Coordinator, Liz Smith, bids Plymouth a fond farewell.
Thank you. Since childhood, this is the first church where I have truly felt like part of a community. My husband was recently offered a job at a college in Ohio, and while I’m excited to live near family, leaving my church family will be so tough. So I wanted to reflect on some of the reasons I love Plymouth and how being part of this church has shaped who I am today.
I started attending Plymouth in 2013 when I began my PhD at the University of Kansas. I joined as a member in 2014 and became a deacon shortly after that. This is where I got my first taste of church administrative work, and I have to say. . . I’m a total nerd and enjoyed it quite a bit. Some of my fondest memories from that time involve lengthy discussions about tablecloths and chatting with the other deacons as we filled tiny cups with grape juice.
At Plymouth, I learned how a church can be there for you when things are at their most challenging. When my dad died, I would attend worship on Sunday mornings and cry. The pastors helped me work through my complicated grief, and someone from the church sent pamphlets to help me through that first terrible year. Attending church helped me stay connected with God at a time when God seemed very far and small.
There were also moments of enormous joy. In 2018, Josh and I were married in Plymouth’s sanctuary. I invited the congregation to attend, and so many of you showed up to support us as we committed to love and care for one another always. Every time Kim plays Widor’s Toccata on the organ, my heart jumps, and I remember galloping down the aisle with my new husband, surrounded by the important people in our life.
I joined the Plymouth staff in 2018 as the church’s Membership Associate, a role that has metamorphosed into Welcome & Care Coordinator. I have fallen in love with church work in the past four years. So much so that I have started taking seminary classes with an eye toward being ordained (maybe? possibly? God knows for sure!) I have learned so much from each of my co-workers, and leaving the staff means leaving behind amazing humans and true friends. I am especially grateful for the mentorship of Valerie and Peter; I am blessed to have had guidance from two incredible Senior Pastors during this formative time.
I have worked with so many incredible lay leaders during my time here at Plymouth. I have seen people give of themselves to fulfill the vision of our church: the worship of God and the service of all. And if I listed every Plymouth person that touched my life, made me smile, had my back, or said a kind word when I needed it, that list would be longer than the Bible. Suffice to say, my time with you all has been transformative, and I will carry you with me for the rest of my life. I thank God for the time I spent with you.
With so much love,