On May 1, Gwen Echols will celebrate her 35th anniversary at Auburn First Baptist Church. We cannot express our gratitude enough for all that Gwen has meant to our congregation! She has been instrumental in the life of the church and in the lives our families.
Many us can remember the first Sunday we brought our newborn to church. We checked the diaper bag three times to make sure we had everything we might need. We worried because we had not spent much time away from our child yet. We had a difficult time thinking about leaving him or her in the nursery as we attended worship.
When we walked into the nursery, we were so thankful for Gwen! She received our child with kindness, reassurance, and love. We felt the embrace of the church through Gwen’s welcome, and our child felt the embrace of God’s love, as he or she was held in the nursery.
We have entrusted Gwen with the children of the church for 35 years. She has encouraged and nurtured them. She has tended to the most vulnerable among us. We give thanks for her faithfulness and commitment!
We are thankful for Gwen’s leadership, coordinating all of our childcare as well as taking care of our children on Sunday morning and evening, and during the week. She is dependable and reliable, while also filling our lives with such joy and warmth. She has been such a gift to our family of faith!
On Sunday, April 30, we will recognize Gwen in worship, and we will gather in the Fellowship Hall for a reception in her honor after worship. In the meantime, I invite you to write notes of gratitude, which can be mailed to the church. We will express our gratitude in personal ways by thanking her for her attentiveness and kindness.