June 22, 2022
Dear Peace Family,
Many of you have been aware that Pastor Christen has been struggling with what her doctors now believe to be long-haul Covid symptoms. Her doctors have suggested that the best way for her to heal is to take some time to rest and recuperate.
She has requested two weeks of her paid vacation be used, and then has offered to take an unpaid leave of absence for six weeks (three pay periods). The Pastoral Relations Committee unanimously approved this request as did the Board in our meeting Monday evening.
Pastor Christen will begin her medical leave on June 27th and will return to the office on August 23rd. In the meantime, the office will remain open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-2:00 by our Interim Administrative Assistant, Lynn Amann to field any questions or to direct you to pastoral care referrals in Pastor Christen’s absence. We are thankful Pastor Christen will have this time to rest, and we look forward to welcoming her back as we begin our busy fall season at the church!
In preparation for this leave, Pastor Christen has prepared liturgy for the eight weeks she will be out of the pulpit and pulpit supply will be provided on July 3rd and 10th by Rev. Kathleen O’Connell (who has been attending Peace church since spring). Rev. O’Connell is a retired Lutheran pastor with the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). From July 17th through August 21st pulpit supply will be provided by Rev. Kate Penney Howard who is a Disciples of Christ minister at North Christian Church here in Fort Wayne. Because North Christian meets for worship on Thursday evenings, Pastor Kate is available to fill our pulpit on Sunday mornings. Both Pastors Kathleen and Kate will also be available for emergency pastoral care should the need arise.
We look forward to welcoming both Pastor Kathleen and Pastor Kate into our sanctuary on Sunday mornings and are appreciative of their willingness to serve as Pastor Christen recovers.
And we are thankful to be a church that cares about the health of our pastor and glad to we offer her time for respite and recovery. She asked me to also share with the congregation her deep gratitude for granting this time for healing and looks forward to being back with us soon.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With peace and hope,
Amy Miller, Board Chair