Most of you are aware that a lot of work is done around the church that you don’t necessarily see because you aren’t here much during the week. For instance, we have dedicated volunteers who help us at the front desk. We couldn’t do without them (and can always use more help). Faithful Sunday School leaders prepare lessons during the week for Sunday. Various committees meet regularly to plan for the future.
But I suspect that none of us is fully aware of the contributions of Ernie Dixon to the life of our church over the last 22 years. Managing a sprawling complex like ours is not an easy task. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear someone say, “We need Ernie!”
On your behalf, Ernie is generally the first to arrive and the last to leave if there is a function held at the church like a dinner, a wedding, a funeral, etc. And while we all bask in the glow of Christmas Eve--maybe one of the best services of the year--Ernie is typically here until the wee hours taking down a host of worship decorations in preparation for Christmas.
In addition, there is no adequate way to determine exactly how much money Ernie has saved the church over the years just because of his knowledge of the facility and the ability to fix things that break. Our facility is 50 years old. Some of our systems are outdated and frequently need maintenance. Ernie knows where every pipe, wire, switch, and ghost is in this building. That knowledge is priceless and it will be missed.
Beyond all that, Ernie has simply been such a reassuring presence here. Whenever I saw him in the building, I knew that nothing could happen that he couldn’t troubleshoot. His manner was always calming; I never once heard Ernie’s voice raise in my years here. Whereas some of us (probably me included) would likely react with panic at certain situations, not Ernie. I am deeply grateful to him for that.
This Sunday, June 24th, we will host a reception for Ernie to say “thank you” for his years of service. We have encouraged a “love offering” for him and you still have time this week to contribute to that if you haven’t already. The reception will occur immediately following the 10:30 service.
Ernie’s last day will be June 30th. He and Sally are in the process of preparing their home to be sold and then to make their move to Florida. This has been their dream for some time and no one is more deserving.
And so, Ernie, we bid you “Vaya Con Dios”--Go With God. We will always be friends and we say “Thank You” for all you’ve meant to us.