Thanks for the Memories

Pastor Mark McAdow
As you know, Ashley Kiper, our longtime children’s director, announced last week that she has accepted a new position at the Polk Street Global Methodist Church in Amarillo, Texas.  This will put her much closer to her parents in Pampa, Texas, and provide a new opportunity to grow an active children’s ministry there.  Though the news came as a shock to all of us, it was not a surprise to our Heavenly Father.  There are no surprises to God.  He knows all things and knows all our futures as well, because as I like to say, “He is already there.”  We will certainly miss Ashley but are most thankful for the years we’ve had to know her, and she has had to know us and our children.  We now must share her with others.

Ashley has an infectious love for the Lord and children. She has admittedly grown much in her ministry position since arriving at Willow View. I am constantly amazed how she remembers the names of each child here and their parents, too – even those who attended just a few times. Ashley is a “second miler” and as Jesus described in Matthew 5:41: “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”  Ashley has gone “above and beyond” in so many ways – not only in her ministry area, but assisting with technology, social media posts, memorial services, preaching, making videos and of course her lively children’s moments every Sunday for years.  You never knew what Ashley might do next!  (Thankfully, neither child nor property was damaged too often.)  Fall Festival, Christmas programs, supporting Santa’s memory with every child’s name, summer camps and mission trips – Ashley seemed to do it all and usually with a big smile. She rarely ever sleeps.

I really think we could have produced our own version of “The Office” simply featuring Ashley. Working with her in the office every day was never dull. There were often innovative ideas to hear and lots of crafts – family Advent and Lenten calendars, mounds of Fall Festival and VBS supplies, and too much more to mention. Chaos and panic were often present, but Ashley would remind us out loud, “It’s fine.  Everything is fine!”  Not that it was, but she was trying to convince herself and us it really was! And, ultimately, it always was. God is most gracious to those who love and serve Him. He sent many of you to support Ashley as friends and volunteers. We will need you even more in her absence. Thanks for your faithfulness to serve Jesus and our Willow View kids.

We are hosting a reception immediately following our 11:00 worship service this Sunday, July 23, to honor Ashley and her 10+ years of faithful service to our Lord Jesus and our Willow View family. We are asking that each of you sign a note or card to Ashley and bless her as we send her out as a “missionary” to Texas. (God knows they need it!)  We’ll have a basket for cards and invite each of our children and youth who know and love Ashley to sign a matted photo we’ll have for her, too.

Come worship our Lord Jesus with us this Sunday and help us celebrate Ashley.

Yours in Christ’s love,
Pastor Mark

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