Pastor retiring

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Pastor retiring

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:13 pm

Rev. Dr. Judy Gay, who has served as the pastor of Fremont Baptist Church in Seattle since 2004, announced in the past week her intention to retire from the position (and I think from pastoral ministry altogether) at the end of September. I will miss her. I think most if not all of the congregation feels the same way. I think she's in her early 80's, and doing quite well for her age (as is her husband Leonard, but then I think he's a bit younger than she is). So I can't say I blame her, though I could wish she had set her sights on outlasting Father Cairns, who was pastor at Fremont from 1899 till his retirement, at the age of 85, in 1909. Under Father Cairns the membership grew from 28 to 145. Can't say the same about Judy's reign, but then what church that isn't trying to be Willow Creek or Mars Hill can, and look where that landed them. Judy has had a ministry focused very largely on the street people of the neighborhood, and she will be missed on the streets of Fremont as much as in the sanctuary. I think general Sunday attendance has been pretty flat during her tenure, which is pretty good for a Seattle church these days. The Evergreen church immediately north of Fremont, Oak Lake Baptist Church, finally folded somewhere in the last five years. I never worshiped there (or otherwise set foot in the building), and now I wish I had. (The thing that sparked my renewed sorrow on that count was rereading yesterday, in the context of Memories Dished Out By Facebook, this atheist blog post from 2013.

I didn't get there till the last few minutes of her sermon, yesterday, The Threshing Floor (on Ruth 3). Now I wish I'd been there for the whole series.

The hymns were
People Need the Lord
Seek Ye First
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
God Will Take Care of You
God Be with You
The third and fourth in particular seemed to me especially appropriate both to Judy's leaving and to Ruth's story.

I'll start a separate thread about the Offertory Doxology.
Haruo (呂須•春男) = ᎭᎷᎣ = Leland Bryant Ross
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:30 pm

Wow! Ministering until her early 80s is quite an accomplishment. I hope she enjoys her retirement.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Haruo » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:49 pm

Tim Bonney wrote:Wow! Ministering until her early 80s is quite an accomplishment. I hope she enjoys her retirement.

This was her first pastorate. She was raised thinking pastors had to be men. After she retired from a career in Special Education and School Administration, she went to Fuller thinking that she had a calling to be a hospital chaplain. Did that for a few years, got roped into being an interim for us, discovered this was her actual calling, and served us well for 14 years or so.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:37 am

That's quite a record and a thing to be celebrated. May the church continue to be led to its next shepherd.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby JE Pettibone » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:56 am

Ed: Given the nature of Baptist congregations her training and experience in Special Ed May have been her greatest asset.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:06 am

I’ve seen a lot of second career pastors who do a great job because they bring such a wealth and diversity of experience with them.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:30 am

Tim Bonney wrote:I’ve seen a lot of second career pastors who do a great job because they bring such a wealth and diversity of experience with them.


And, they won't take the garbage some lay leaders want to dish out onto younger pastors. Some churches I have seen need a second career retired Marine Drill Instructor.
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Re: Pastor retiring

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:31 am

Dave Roberts wrote:
And, they won't take the garbage some lay leaders want to dish out onto younger pastors. Some churches I have seen need a second career retired Marine Drill Instructor.


Indeed! I find also that bi-vocational pastors often don't take too much guff from people because they aren't as dependent on the whims of their congregation to put food on the table.
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