Sheryl Durham, Faith in Action’s outgoing Elder, gave a Moment for Mission at both worship services that detailed just a few of their accomplishments, as well as a responsive Recognition and Thanksgiving for Faithful Service. Read it below:
"Good morning everyone. My name is Sheryl Durham and I am the outgoing Elder for Mission, or as we prefer to be known, Faith In Action.
It is my great honor to present to the congregation, with great humility and reverence, three pillars of our church community: George Aman, Jane Beatty, and Ted Behr. Our committee wanted to honor them for their many years, in fact decades, of service to our Mission Partners and our own WPC Community. They are exemplary models of sustained involvement , who have willingly and faithfully stepped outside their own communities to serve God’s people.
I urge all of you to read the insert in your bulletin of their biographies. When you read their biographies, you will quickly realize (or see) how and why the breadth of their contributions is too great to enumerate here. Right now, I’d like to highlight the areas where their contributions were most deeply felt. It is challenging to pinpoint one area of their dedication and service, but I will attempt to do so nonetheless.
By initiating the establishment of the Social Justice Advocacy Ministry, George has been instrumental in bringing our attention to the needs of those in Southwest Philadelphia and beyond, and their respective challenges related to education, hunger, fair housing, and illegal firearms.
Ted’s commitment to the Southwest Community Development Corporation included a regular presence in the communities, where he developed working relationships with residents, churches, and businesses. His efforts were most particularly realized in his revitalization of the Southwest Globe Times, for which he acted as publisher, reporter, and editor.
Since 1995, when our City Lights program was founded by Carey Davis, who is here with us today, Jane became dedicated to Mitchell School. She has tirelessly served on the front lines there through five principals, recruiting volunteers for tutoring, library support, and countless other needs that have arisen.
Friends, I assure you, George, Jane, and Ted are angels among us. No doubt they would be the last to claim they are doing anything other than the work God has called them to do. While it may be difficult to imagine ourselves measuring up to their decades of dedication to the needs of others, I heartily encourage you to simply take a page from their books and volunteer in any way that fits into your life. No effort is too small. No time is too little.
Please join us after the service in the Connector, where you may greet George, Jane, and Ted and share cake to celebrate them. We also encourage you to sign Memory books in their honor.
And now, please join me in Recognition and Thanksgiving for Faithful Service in your bulletin.
One: George Aman, Jane Beatty, and Ted Behr were clothed with Christ in baptism and called by God to serve in the missions of this church and the Greater Philadelphia Region.
All: We remember with joy our common calling to serve Christ and celebrate God’s call to all who minister among us.
One: Let us pray. Eternal God, look mercifully upon this church, and upon your servants, George, Jane, and Ted, whose ministry we recognize today. We praise you for joys, accomplishments and for your grace, which nurtured and sustained them. Now bind us to one another and draw us nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we may continue their ministry with patience and love, with wisdom and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."