PLEASE AND THANK YOU
by Sophia Clark, Administrative Coordinator
Three years ago while working at a project management company in the East End of Louisville I started to feel very dissatisfied with my employment. I had a good job shuffling AIA forms and making frequent travel arrangements. I was paid well and my employers treated me well, but after five years of working there I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something more meaningful with my time. That feeling turned into an itch and that itch turned into an ache and just before one of my coworkers was about to be fired pulled my boss aside and said, “STOP! I need to talk to you.” With no job prospects on the horizon resigning from my very stable position with the company was not the most prudent move I’d ever made, but God doesn’t always push us to be prudent. When I told him I wanted to go into ministry he looked at me like I’d lost my mind but he understood. Just as my two months notice was up Ken Curry called me to tell me I’d gotten the job at St. Paul.
The past three years have been the most professionally fulfilling of my life. This was the first time I’d ever been paid for being involved in ministry. And while I was hired to carry out administrative office duties, I was given the opportunity to do so much more. I can’t express how grateful I am for that. Now that my time of employment at St. Paul has come to an end I realize how much my time here has changed me and enriched my life. Being from a typical Northeastern upbringing I was raised on cynicism and a general distaste for all things gentle. While this served me well in the for- profit world of work where I had previously been employed, I knew I’d have to shed that mindset when I got here. It was much easier than I’d thought and not because down deep inside I really had a heart of gold (wouldn’t that be nice?), but because the staff and members of the church inspired me to be a friendlier version of myself. I went from, feeling like I had to be nice to feeling like I “GET” to be nice! I love seeing people’s faces light up because of a good interaction.
(Sidebar *the church’s move toward increased hospitality is a fantastic thing.) Upon my departure I have some requests and words of gratitude to leave with you.
Please: look out for a friend of mine named Malcolm. He walks the streets of the Highlands (sometimes shoeless). He looks like Charles Manson, but he acts like Robin Williams in the Fisher King, meaning, he is nice. Be nice back.
Thank you: Ken Curry, Katrina Paxson, and David Garvin for hiring me.
Please: speak to people you don’t know at church. I know it may be out of your comfort zone, but God wants us to go beyond our comfort zone in his name.
Thank you: Kaleidoscope Group for stocking the food pantry for our friends like Malcolm.
Please: check out the Kaleidoscope Group. They are Awesome.
Thank you: Glenda Young for stepping up on a regular basis.
Please: consider helping on the reception desk on Wednesdays and let Angela know if you will.
Thank you: to all of the wonderful reception desk volunteers, both, present and past. I have learned so much from all of you about what it is to be a Christian.
Please: if you feel someone is making a mistake that needs to be addressed discreetly discuss that directly with that person.
Thank you: if you are one of those people who discreetly addressed me directly when I needed to be corrected.
Please: remember that most people are well intending.
Thank you: for supporting social justice and affordable housing. We had quite the victory recently when the city finally funded the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for this year. I was told on good authority that they got tired of all the requests for it by the community.
Please: continue to fight for those being treated unjustly in our world.
Thank you: to Susan Stopher and all of the members of St. Paul’s Justice Ministry. This is just the beginning!
Please: know that pastors are only human and they can only be one place at a time.
Thank you: Lori Elbert for your brilliant harmonies.
Please: remember that homeless people need handwarmersinthewinterandbugsprayand ponchos in the summer.
Thank you: Karla Temple for turning me into a hugger.
Please: try not to run the water when it rains. It contributes to ground and water pollution.
Thank you: Gloria Costanzo for being such a shining example of what generosity looks like.
Please: send future Tower articles to Amy Lee Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you: to whoever anonymously helped me out when my sister passed away last year. God bless you.
Thank you: Carter and Marilyn for all of the fabulous Henry Bain sauce.
Thank you: Angela for being such a perfect replacementforme.
There are too many meaningful things that people have done for me to properly thank everyone, so thank you. Thank you. Thank you all for being a family to me.