The song, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday” was the Rev. Dr. Vertie Power’s parting message to the Illinois Conference. The board of directors and participants of Off the Pews: Faith in Action (OTP) will miss her sage advice and quick wit. Her decision to retire closely precedes the global pandemic experience that is forcing faith communities across denominations to rethink the practice of worship. However, she does not take credit for that!
The Rev. Dr. Vertie Powers has retired from the vineyard in which she was called to labor, i.e., ordained public ministry. However, as the ministry she founded, she will remain in touch through the practice of social distancing. It is also her legacy to the Illinois Conference. The specific focus is the intersection of youth, poverty and financial literacy and practice. OTP is the benefactor of her decision to accept a volunteer consultancy status.
For the sake of physical, emotional and spiritual health old and young alike will learn to touch with words in an increasing virtual environment. OTP’s goodbye only signaled the end of a zoom conference call. All we have to do now is to figure out how to find a suitable substitute for the warmth that goes beyond the words inferred in the human touch.