Godspeed, Pastor Amy
Amy Diller came two years ago as part of the pastoral residency program. She offered us her care, sense of humor, and insightful perspectives on faith. After farewell weekend on July 15-16, she will remain in the Quad Cities to be pastor at Together in Christ Parish, the newly combined parishes of St. James and All Saints churches. Her significant other lives here, too.
If you’d like to donate to a gift for Amy, please write a check to St. Paul clearly marked for “Resident Gift.” You’re also invited to send individual cards or notes to the church, or drop a written expression in the basket on farewell weekend, July 15-16.
Here are a few words from St. Paul people about Amy and her work:
St. Paul’s Residency Program is unique. It affords newly ordained pastors the opportunity to enter into a rigorous learning experience. When Pastor Amy arrived two years ago, she found herself immersed in a church with thousands of members; in a church which offers four services each weekend; in a church which is blessed with multiple groups and programs; and finally in a church with extremely gifted pastors and staff.
I commend Amy for her courage and resilience as she has faithfully served St. Paul. As a member of her Residency Team, I sought to offer feedback in a caring, helpful and sensitive way. Pastor Amy has always received my comments with maturity, a willingness to really hear me, and a desire to grow in ministry.
God has blessed Pastor Amy with a multitude of gifts, including but not limited to, self-confidence, intelligence, kindness, creativity, a keen sense of humor, and an openness of heart. I have spiritually grown as a result of her sermons. I have benefited from her kindness and pastoral care.
Although I am sad to see Amy leave, I am elated for the many people she will serve throughout her ministry.
Your time with us has passed much too quickly and we will be sad to see you leave. We will miss your friendly and professional demeanor. I suspect that you have learned much while here but conversely we have learned much from you in how we view and practice our faith. Your recent forum on sermons was not only enlightening but provided insight into how a good sermon relates to the gospel as well as how it applies to our daily lives. In addition, your Sunday morning adult Bible studies have provided additional insight into biblical history and how conditions /circumstances at the time apply equally today. All of these and more will help guide us in our faith journey.
As you move onward with the next phases of your career, we not only wish you well but know that other congregations will gain so much with your leadership.
– James Weiss
One of our first fond memories of Pastor Amy came on a frigid fall morning in September at West Lake. Our church Primetime group was having a breakfast smorgasbord in a windy picnic area overlooking the beauty of the lake. Great food, great fellowship; but potentially an ideal Saturday morning to “sleep in” for a young resident pastor in her first few weeks at St. Paul. Instead of “sleeping in” Amy joined our group at the lake that morning. She ate with us, chatted freely and made a great first impression on everyone that attended.
It has always been fun to join Pastor Amy for her adult education session. One series that she conducted early in her time with us, was a food ministry series that she “teamed up” with Tammy Hermanson to lead. We were all curious, because we knew about her previous life as a chef. It is still easy to remember how much fun those sessions were, largely because Pastor Amy was such a fun leader.
Finally, at a most personal level, I recently received a beautiful unexpected pastoral care call from Amy. I had just returned home after being hospitalized for a successful but complex cardiac procedure. Her cheerful voice, her prayers for us, and her perfectly timed “follow up” really impacted us.
Your tons of friends here at St. Paul will be cheering you on and praying you through your exciting transition.
NEW RESIDENTS ARRIVE IN MID-AUGUST
With unanimous affirmation, the congregation of St. Paul voted in April to call Kelsey Fitting-Snyder and Joshua Kestner to serve as pastors in our congregation through the Pastoral Residency Program, starting in mid-August. St. Paul’s Pastoral Residency Program is a two-year program for gifted new pastors. It’s designed to sharpen vocational identity and shape wise pastoral practices and habits in the context of a healthy congregation and supportive multi-staff setting. St. Paul is privileged to be the only ELCA congregation to host a residency program for first-call pastors.