Letter to the Congregation

The following letter went out in the mail to the congregation. To make sure that all in our community have seen it, we are including here in our email too.

Greetings from the church.  We write to share news regarding an upcoming transition in our relationship with our long-time, much-beloved building superintendent Gaston Paige.

Beginning in January 2018, Gaston will begin a new relationship with us as Western’s Sexton Emeritus.  We have proposed that he work on a part-time basis, with duties on Sunday mornings and continuing care for our landscaping.  Gaston declined our offer.  This decision comes as we develop a facilities maintenance plan that addresses increased usage and administrative needs while continuing to ensure high quality maintenance for our building.  We hope to have the plan in place by January.

This decision was difficult for all involved.  It is important to have enough time for all of us to anticipate and plan what comes next.  Given the changes ahead, we will all have some adjustments around the church.

As many of you know, Gaston has served Western for more than fifty years, maintaining building systems, working with contractors, tending to the church’s exterior, not to mention assisting with the church’s move to a new building, parking cars, greeting us all with a joke or a smile, and assisting many members with household work.  As one person has said, every church should have a Gaston!

As with any employee who has served the church, but particularly one who has been as faithful as Gaston, we plan for this transition to be fair and generous.  While Gaston has said that he does not want a celebration, the session has begun discussing an appropriate way to honor him later this fall; we will keep you apprised.  We have also discussed how we might include Isaiah Watson, who has become a beloved part of our community.

In the meantime, I hope you will join us in giving thanks for Gaston Paige, who remains a faithful servant of the church and a committed friend to all of us in this congregation.

Grace and peace,

Laura Cunningham
Pastor/Head of Staff

Susie Farr
Chair of the Personnel Ministry Team