The month of January is named for the Roman god Janus, protector of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted with two faces, one looking into the past, the other into the future. That’s worth noting as we stand at the gate of a new year and look back one last time at 2014, a year of significant change at BBC.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Secretaries Cindy Caldwell and Sandy Light, Financial Manager Bill Morrow, Church Administrator Jane Wallbrown, Lead Sexton Joanne Bassett, and Pastor Patti Ricotta who all served BBC well for many years and whose time of service on our staff concluded in 2014. These individuals all invested significantly of themselves in the life and ministry of our church and helped BBC to be the church it is today. Most recently, Patti completed her time in December to devote herself to the work she has done in Africa for over a decade and she is in our prayers this month as she works in Uganda.
Joanne Bassett completed eleven years at BBC at the very end of 2014. I asked Joanne about her time at BBC and she said, “I’ve had so many wonderful years here and met so many wonderful people. I’ve grown in my spirit, in love, and in helping people. The staff has been awesome, I just love everyone.” Joanne began her work at the church in January 2004, when her husband Al was on the Building and Grounds Team. One day Al asked Joanne, “Why don’t you give up your beauty shop and come work at the church?” Joanne’s first thought was, “I’m going to go from washing heads to cleaning toilets.” Reflecting on her time with those she worked with the longest, Joanne said, “I enjoyed Sandy’s positive spirit and infectious laugh and Cindy was so calm, gracious and loving. You could almost say they were like sisters, right off. Jane and I always made a good team and Bill held us together. He will never be forgotten.”
One of her favorite memories was the staff Christmas parties, usually held in the first week of January after we all had a chance to catch our breath. “I enjoyed the Christmas parties at the Scalise’s with the good food, to be together as a staff and the fun of the Yankee swap. All the people who’ve worked with me on the Sexton team have been terrific.”
Those of us who worked with Joanne appreciated her “can do” attitude, her gracious hospitality in baking cakes for staff member’s birthdays and hosting meals and other celebrations. Joanne enjoyed working with everyone on the Holiday Fair each year and being a part of all the activity and life of BBC. We’ll miss Joanne very much and pray the Lord will bless her and Al for their faithfulness.
We were glad to welcome to our staff: Sharon Kautz and Carol Zavesky in the office, Pastors David Pranga and Barbara Burrill, and new Lead Sexton Chet Robinson. We’re grateful for their presence and service. We also added a third worship service on June 15 and had a successful Fund Raising campaign that raised over $466,500. Tuesday, January 27 will be the Annual Meeting at which we’ll review the past year and all that was accomplished as well as vote on the 2015 budget and the slate of new leaders and officers brought by the Nominating Team.
As we look forward to 2015, we’ll welcome some guest preachers including Rev. Steve Youd, who has preached at BBC before and was well received, and Rev. Sandra Dorsainvil, TABCOM’s Minister of Mission and Stewardship. In February and March during Lent we’ll do an All Church Worship and Small Group Series called Finding God in Unexpected Places that you can read more about in this newsletter. During 2015 we’ll also be having some “Invite A Friend” Sundays to encourage us to be praying for and inviting other people who don’t attend a local church to check out BBC.
We never know as we pass through the doorway of a new year what that year will hold, but I’m glad to be entering 2015 with all of you.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Doug Scalise