Dear Friends,

As you may have noticed, I have been having some difficulty walking lately. I haven’t talked about it much, in part because there is not much to tell. My doctors are doing tests to narrow down what might be causing this and to find a course of treatment. I wanted to let you know because my doctor has prescribed a cane for me, and I don’t want it to come as a surprise when I start using one. As many of you know, mobility aids can be very helpful!

I am telling you this now because I know that people have been concerned. I am grateful for your care, and I know you want to help. There are two ways that would be most helpful to me. First, please do not offer me medical advice. My doctors are in the best position to provide medical care, and I am in one of the best locations in the world for treatment. Second, please don’t ask about my health. My doctors have advised me not to discuss it, as it can be stressful and draining.

I also want to reassure you that I am planning to continue on as your interim pastor until New Garden Friends Meeting has a settled pastor. In addition to leading worship and providing pastoral care, I am proud of the organizational progress that we have made. I have been working with our talented staff to improve the way the meeting operates. We now have templates and procedures for most of our important events, such as holidays and memorials, and we are adding policies and improvements to keep our community safe. I am also leading the effort to provide standard job descriptions and lists of duties so that our staff are empowered to do what they do best. All of this will be invaluable to a future settled pastor, and will make sure New Garden attracts the highest-quality candidates.

Finally, I’d like to mention the great work of the Transition Team, another crucial part of making sure New Garden gets an amazing settled pastor. A deep understanding of what makes the meeting unique and what it needs in a pastoral leader isn’t just good for the meeting . . . it’s what the best pastoral leaders look for when they’re trying to decide between numerous offers. Serving in this way is a joy.

Blessings, Ashley
[email protected], 336-338-1986

Office Hours on Monday from 2-4pm and by appointment