In Alice's final week at Glenn, the clergy staff reflect on what they will remember from their time in ministry together. Ways she has taught and guided them, how she has shaped and inspired them, and the memories and moments they will carry with them.
And this Sunday, as a congregation, we too will remember Alice's ministry and the moments that were meaningful to us.
As you reflect on the past 5 years, what will you carry?
Alice has been both my mentor and friend over these past 5 years. She has (quite literally with preaching exercises) helped me find my voice, supported me through my transition to balancing motherhood and ministry, guided me in where to lean into my passions, and pushed me to see my own potential. I am most grateful for time spent together: meals, tears, and so much laughter. Alice baptized my children, stood beside me at my ordination, has loved on my family, and has helped me experience, understand, and love God in new ways. I thank her for making me who I am today, and I will miss her dearly.
These pictures remind me how incredibly thankful I am for the joy and laughter that Alice brings to her ministry. On two separate occasions this past week I have had people remark about how much they are going to miss Alice’s boisterous laugh. I must say that I am also going to miss the ways she made me laugh. From well-timed jokes in a team meeting to perfectly delivered sermon illustrations, she reminded us to smile. Ministry can be hard, both on a personal and professional level, and the church is not always the peaceful place we desire it to be. In the midst of the good and the bad, we as a congregation and we as a staff have laughed with joy during our time with Alice. Watching her minister has reminded me to take this calling very seriously, but not so seriously that there isn’t time for friendship and a little frivolity. Thank you, Alice, for showing us that a life connected to God is a life of joy.
I’m more of a words person than a numbers person. But in these bittersweet days of bidding farewell to Pastor Alice, I think I will stick with numbers in effort to salvage my emotional composure. So how do you measure 5 years of the Reverend Dr. P. Alice Rogers serving as Senior Pastor of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church?
Well, that’s approximately 1,825 days (Leap years notwithstanding!). Around 260 Sundays. Given guest preachers and associate pastors sharing the pulpit (as Alice is not what we clergy affectionately call a “pulpit hog”), I would estimate around 225 sermons. Through her Dancing with the Stars: Clergy Edition stage debut (and People’s Choice victory!), her recent birthday Facebook fundraiser, and her culinary skills hosting the annual Dinner at the Parsonage for the Arts & Eats fundraiser, Alice has personally raised OVER $20,000 for homeless/hunger and children’s ministries! She brought together and led worship on the historic Glenn-Emory Day as 1 of the 5 remarkable women serving as Glenn’s Senior Pastor, Bishop of the North Georgia Conference, President of Emory University, Dean of Religious Life, and Dean of Candler School of Theology. I don’t think I will attempt to count the number of prayers prayed, calls made to check in with parishioners, hospitals visited, long meetings attended, Wednesday Night Suppers consumed, children & youth choir songs applauded, or hours of lost sleep when she was praying, writing sermons, or worrying about us, her flock.
Then there are the innumerable quippy jokes, belly laughs, and walks down North Decatur Road to Zoe’s Kitchen that kept us all encouraged week after week. 5 of us associate pastors have had the honor to serve alongside her – a beloved mentor and friend to each of us. Speaking of associate pastors, we’ve added 7 new preacher’s kids to the church family in these 5 years that know they can always stop by Pastor Alice’s office and she will stop whatever she is doing to spend time with them (and to give their parents unsolicited, but usually correct, parenting advice. Alice – I promise to do better at keeping socks on my baby’s feet!).
Speaking of adding to the church family, 5 years under Alice’s pastoral leadership has grown our Glenn Church family by 119 baptisms, 229 professions of faith, and 170 transfers of membership into the Glenn Church family! I may not be a metrics expert, but as each of these children, youth, and adults – and ALL of us touched by Alice’s ministry – grow in our faith, I think it’s safe to conclude that the output measurements of these 5 years will continue to grow exponentially for years to come. Thank you, Pastor Alice. It’s been quite the 5 years.