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A Final Farewell

The church sent me off in true United Methodist fashion — with a fork in my hand.  We had a potluck.  People stood and shared their memories of me.  Told my secrets.  And said what it was they would remember most.

They made me cry.

The Three Sopranos (a choir trio, not the mob) sang to me.  Not only did I cry — so did a few others. Then the talks began.  Lonna said she appreciated me for my storytelling, both written and oral.  My Sidewalk Crew stood up — as a team — and said that the shoes I was leaving behind would be dang hard to fill.  I wonder why they don’t know I couldn’t have done any of it without them?  Beverly told everyone that I’d confessed I was really leaving because the church just sold and I wasn’t going through the ordeal of cleaning it out and closing it down (we worked together on the team that sorted through 97 years of storage when First UMC sold).  And Carol said that when she thinks of me the one thing that stands out in her mind was a Saturday night sermon I gave.  She said, “Ask me by Wednesday and I won’t be able to tell you what Pastor spoke about today, but I will never forget your story about the homeless man in the rain.”

I will never forget my Las Vegas church family because they provided an oasis of peace, refreshment and joy in this often hostile desert.  They gave me their love, ministered with me, ministered to me, and allowed me to minister to them.  They have helped shape and mold me into the person I am today.  Because of that, no matter where I go they will be part of my future.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I’ll bet that was a hard ‘good-bye’. I know what that church has meant to you. Bittersweet, huh? One door is closing – another is opening.

  2. I’m so excited for you! Today is the day. You might be on a plane right now… I can’t wait to hear what God calls you to do in Hawaii!

  3. Dear Quilly…..Thank goodness you saved up for that marvelous computer, so that you can keep in touch whether you are in a car, on a boat or in a plane. God speed. Bon Voyage…………Judy

  4. <strong>Melli</strong> — I waited until I got home to start the real water works, but I’m fine now and looking ahead.

    <strong>OC</strong> — I love you. :*

    <strong>Bill</strong> — I think I belong to the nicest church in this entire valley (of course, my opinion may be prejudice).

    <strong>Pauline</strong> — it’s often a hard crop to work, but well worth the effort.

    <strong>Jackie</strong> — It was emotional, but not so hard. God provides. This is a transition time for me and a transition time for the church. As they move from the old building to the new, niches will be filled naturally and the hole I leave behind will be ably filled.

    <strong>Polona</strong> — hard, in a good sort of way.

    <strong>Nessa</strong> — thank you

    <strong>Kat</strong> — no plane for several more weeks. First I go to Friday Harbor for 7 weeks. OC is teaching a class. I am sleeping, chasing sea gulls and doing a bit of reading. I may blog occassionally, too.

    <strong>Judy</strong> — that’s exactly why I bought it

    <strong>Dr. John</strong> — therefore I will always be a part of their future as well. “Bind us together, Lord – with bonds that cannot be broken….”

    Mumma — tasty, too.

  5. I’ve been thinking of you today as you left Las Vegas. Travel safely on this next journey in your life and give my mom and other aunt big hugs from me when you see them soon. I love you.

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