October 30 marks Elizabeth Goodrich’s last day with us as Associate Pastor for Discipleship at IPC. For the past four years, Elizabeth has blessed us with the considerable gifts God has given her in her work among us. Her ministry at IPC exhibits a deep well of wisdom, a committed faithfulness, a love of liturgy and preaching, remarkable intelligence, and the benefit of her considerable knowledge of Presbyterian history, theology and polity. Her vast web of connections in Presbyterian churches and seminaries across the country gave us the added gift of excellent speakers for Focus on Faith and Walthall Bible Study series over the years. In her time at IPC, Elizabeth oversaw the work with Ministry Architects to enhance Children, Youth and Adult ministries in the area of Christian Education. The staff of CE enjoy much deeper, more joyful and collegial relationships with one another than ever before because of Elizabeth’s considerable skills as a leader and supervisor. Elizabeth cares deeply about the Christian Education of every member of IPC, and works to ensure that all ages, various theological perspectives, and people with differing stages of faith development can find educational opportunities that speak to them. She carefully considers the best resources for every class and group at IPC, seeking curricula that will deepen our faith and add to the depth of our biblical, theological and spiritual knowledge.
These are all true and wonderful parts of Elizabeth’s professional ministry among us. What can never be measured is the impact Elizabeth’s joy, her calm presence in the midst of times of difficulty, the example of the way in which her faith so clearly informs every aspect of her life, and the richness of her friendship has had on the members of IPC and her colleagues alike. What a joyful privilege it has been to get to work with Elizabeth every day and to be witness to her ministry in this place. It is difficult to imagine the halls of IPC without Elizabeth roaming them in the days and months ahead. Her absence will be a profound loss to our community of faith. However, Elizabeth is not only a pastor; she is also a mother, a wife, a sister and a daughter. We know that Elizabeth’s family is at the core of her own joy, so we wish her God’s richest blessings as she leaves her formal ministry at IPC to have the space to spend more time with her children as they grow. Elizabeth and her husband Mike are raising three remarkable young people who are so lucky to grow up in a household of love and grace, grounded in their faith in Jesus Christ. We can continue to count Elizabeth as a friend and colleague, even as she steps out of her professional role among us at IPC. Let us all continue to pray for Elizabeth, Mike, Catherine, Gibson and Andrew in the days ahead as they enter this new chapter in their family life. Elizabeth, may God give you peace, joy, fulfillment and the fullness of God’s grace on this next part of your journey.
Our love and deepest gratitude go with you. We miss you already!