From the Archives: June 19, 2005

I know. I know. It is Father’s Day. But this year The Back Page will not feature a Father’s Day theme. I will touch on faithfulness, which is a theme that is supposed to be true about us dads. But, this morning, I want to talk about someone today — but that someone isn’t a dad. I know that is not the normal pattern I’ve followed, but every once in a while, something happens that requires a change of pace. This will at least get your attention and get you thinking about faithfulness. At least let’s hope so.

Today I want to make a public tribute. I must. It is a tribute to faithfulness. Eileen Summerfelt is retiring this month after 30 years of faithful service to our preschool. Thirty years is a long time. And 30 years of ministry to preschoolers is a really long time. Eileen has helped in many positions in our preschool, but I know her best as the music teacher and accountant. I would venture to guess that music is one of the things the children (some now in their 30s) remember most about their preschool experience. And the accounting side of things is probably remembered the least. Music has way of imbedding itself in our memories… and can ooze out our pores at any time. Music is important. Money is important. Both have required consistency.

So, a huge thanks this weekend to Eileen for her faithful service. But what’s great about Eileen is not just her service to our preschool but to the church as a whole. She has been a faithful member of our finance team for as long as I can remember. Her and Burritt Hill and Ray Beachler form the reliable core of our volunteer staff who do the financial grunt work. They count the offering. Every week. It’s the hidden ministry. The mundane ministry. The ministry which requires special faithfulness. And as Eileen leaves the children, she won’t leave the finances (at least I hope not!).

Where would a church be without those silent faithful members keeping the machine well-oiled and humming along? The answer is obvious:  we’d be in trouble. Big time. So, hats off to Eileen Summerfelt for 30 years of ministry to preschoolers, and for many, many years of steady financial service to the preschool and to the church. You have been faithful, Eileen. And that’s what the New Testament says is required of stewards… just be faithful. Well done. Kudos to you! Lives have been changed and Jesus lifted up — there’s nothing more anyone can ask of you.

What about you? How’s your faithfulness meter doing these days? Getting tired of doing good? Weary in well-doing? Buck up, the day is coming when strength will fail, so you’d better use today to do all you can for the Kingdom. All He looks for is faithfulness. Be faithful today. Don’t get weary in well-doing!