Jennifer is pictured on a spring break trip with students to Nome, Alaska.
Monday, August 3, was my first day at work. The staff laughed with me when hearing that announcement since I’ve been having “first” days since the first week of June. The most important first was spending invaluable time with George Reed, who ranks among the best predecessors I’ve ever succeeded. He continues to explain the minutia, clarify the confusion, and remember the details. But he has yet to tell me how to do the job when we both know he is the current expert on how to do the job. He remains available to answer questions, affording me ample opportunity to ask him how to do the job.
Other firsts have included meeting scores of Council allies, writing for our website, spending time with each staff person, appearing at judicatory annual sessions, speaking at the Voting Rights press conference in Winston-Salem, planning the upcoming Governing Board meeting in Salisbury, and painting a wall in my new office. Actually, I didn’t paint the office wall until AFTER my official first day. Even including the office move-in (and when is moving ever fun?), it has been a rich and full summer made better by the constellation of people who support and surround the North Carolina Council of Churches.
My appreciation for the staff at the Council deepens daily. I had been told of their quality character and work ethic, but even glowing reports don’t do them justice. They guide me toward the important, solicit input on the essential, and encourage each other toward excellence. Their high energy and enthusiasm create a climate rich with possibility.
As we head into late summer and early fall, I anticipate the hectic pace of the summer will relax into a routine, perhaps no less hectic, but decidedly more familiar. Administrative tasks will become more normal, advocacy and education opportunities will remain plentiful, and the days will continue to reward.
Thanks for trusting me with this important work.