Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are in a season of change. In so many ways God is calling us to continue to be flexible, to let love and grace guide all that we do. Earlier you received a notice that following the retirement of Gwen Watson, administrative assistant in the North District, that the East District would be experiencing a time of transition. Carla Whitmire, administrative assistant in the East District will now switch to care for the needs in the North District. This change became official Monday, June 1, 2020.
During a recent conversation with Carla I told her that I found I was living with a sense of denial that she would no longer be serving the churches in the East District. I have come to depend on Carla, her attention to detail, her gracious spirit, her willingness to do whatever was needed and her sense of humor. I am sure that there are many ways that you too have come to rely on Carla in her work as your district administrative assistant. Perhaps during this week you will take the time to find an appropriate way to express your appreciation for all that Carla means to you.
Now let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Cynthia Holly, who steps in to serve as our administrative assistant. Cynthia has served as the assistant for the south district office ½ time and she worked ½ time as the receptionist for the Conference Center. I asked Cynthia to share with us a little about herself. Here is what she wanted us to know:
Cynthia Holly was born on a naval base in Oakland, California and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is married, has four grown children: Cara, 32; Mary, 30; Ruth, 29, and John, 27. Her faith began around 5 years old, her early memories being talking to Jesus under the tree in the front yard, and sitting on her parents’ bed reading a Guidepost Bible. Cynthia grew up Southern Baptist but has a very ecumenical faith. She met her husband, Doug, while attending a Methodist church in Tulsa. They met in a counseling training class at the church and were later married there by the class’ pastor/instructor. She attended a Baptist Church in Colorado, a Presbyterian church in Florida, and has also been a part of non-denominational and Anglican churches since moving to Phoenix, Arizona 31 years ago.
Prior to having children, Cynthia worked primarily as a legal secretary. She was very fortunate to be able to be home with her young children in the early years. Cynthia returned to part-time work when her youngest went into kindergarten, providing administrative support in both for profit and non-profit settings. In 2010, Cynthia graduated from the Arizona Ecumenical Institute for Spiritual Direction. Even though she does not currently formally practice as a spiritual director, her very heart and style is that of a deep listener, inviting others to see where God is in their life and circumstances.
She has provided administrative support for the South District at the Desert Southwest Conference for three years. Previously, she was a secretary in a local church. Cynthia sees each job she has been a part of as ministry and an act of service.
Cynthia has a love for music, and she has played the piano, violin, viola, and harp. She also enjoys reading, journaling, walking in nature, meditation, and contemplation, as well as deep conversations with good friends. Her current favorite pastime is playing with her grandchildren: Bentley, age 6; Ashton, age 4; and Summer, age 2.