Dear Singers and Players--
We all love Ann Strickland--I know that well. She is a great gift to the Grace community, and to so many of us individually. She has certainly been my good friend partner in ministry for 14 years--and I'm sure you celebrate with me that she has this chance to take a sabbatical to rest, learn, play, and be a grandmother in New York.
As we know, she will be gone from Christmas until the end of February. She has already planned ahead, and I know we will still be singing and playing each Sunday at Grace. What I also know is that we will miss her, and she us. To that end I want to invite us to send her off in a particular way.
I'm hoping that each of you will take a moment to write Ann a note--and that parents will help the Kids SIng gang do the same. Make the note specific: tell her how her musical support and leadership touches you. Offer her words from a song we sing at Grace--a song that means a lot to you, and that maybe she introduced you to. Share something about how her spirit lifts yours. And then, if you want, and if you are able, we are also collecting contributions for a small support fund for her. Grace, fortunately, has a Sabbatical Reserve Fund that will help cover some of the costs of her travel and course/workshop registration--but we'd also like to gift her with some "glad money." Something she can use just for fun. Any amount will be perfect. Checks can be made out to Grace, with a note about "Ann's Fun Fund."
Of course this is all a secret, and we'll surprise Ann on Christmas Eve. So, send your card to Candee, or drop it by her desk. We'll keep a folder labeled "Just for Fun." Drop it there if Candee isn't around.
Lastly, thank you all for the way you return her love and support. I know how much that means to her, and how glad she is to create something good in community.