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Celebrate Donna Schoonmaker

A special message from Lead Pastor, Russell Smith:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

For the past five years, we have been blessed to have Donna Schoonmaker serving as our Church Administrator. We’ve all benefitted from her professionalism, organizational acumen, warmheartedness, dedication, and spiritual depth. Sadly for us, Donna is being called to a new season of life. Donna has accepted a new job, much closer to her home in Dayton, which will enable her to devote a lot more time and energy to providing care and support for her mother. In her resignation letter to Session, Donna said “The past five years have been amazing. I am thankful and grateful for the experiences and for all the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I am prayerful for MSPC moving forward and will provide assistance in any way possible.”

Donna’s last official day will be August 11. However, she will be in two days the following week to help tie up loose ends. If you are able, please join us for a reception in the chapel on Wednesday, August 16 anytime between 11:30 and 1:30.

I’ll confess that I have a jumble of emotions in sharing this news. I’m sad that our team is losing a great colleague, good friend, and sister in Christ. I think I speak for all the staff when I say that we have loved working with Donna, and we all will really miss her. However, I’m also excited for her. When she shared the news with me, it struck me that this is right and good and clearly in the Providence of God. One of the Ten Commandments is “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” How wonderful that Donna has this opportunity to invest more time in care for her mother and family!

Since this is in the Providence of God, I feel confident that God will take care of us, as well. I’ve been in conversations with Todd Powers, the chair of our Personnel Committee, about short term measures to cover Donna’s responsibilities, as well as long term opportunities offered to us by this unexpected change. It is interesting that this transition comes just as our Elemental Churches team is beginning their strategic planning work (Look for more information on that project very soon!). This gives us the great opportunity to assess our roles and internal systems and design them in line with the strategic priorities that we will discern in the coming months.

In this season of transition, we will certainly have stumbles, mistakes, and dropped balls. I ask for your patience with our staff, Session, and Deacons as we all work to carry the ministry of Madeira-Silverwood forward. Above and beyond that, let us also joyfully hold on to truth that the Holy Spirit is working in our midst. Let us eagerly expect that God is preparing something wonderful for us. As Paul says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I invite us all to be diligent in prayer that the Lord would be moving mightily in our midst in the weeks and months ahead.

The Lord has blessed us richly through Donna’s ministry. May the Lord, who loves to shower blessing upon His beloved children, continue to bless Donna and Madeira-Silverwood in the weeks, months, and years ahead!

Soli Deo Gloria



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