After nearly 20 years at her first pastorate, Reverend Nancy Gowler has left the building.
In February, Pastor Nancy made the announcement to the congregation at First Christian Church of Puyallup that she would be ending her time in Puyallup on May 17, 2020, and had accepted a call at First Christian Church in Morehead, Kentucky. Nancy cited many reasons for this decision, among them that Kentucky would put her within driving distance to relatives, and that a 20-year ministry in one church is comparatively a very long time, and never that she didn’t love or wouldn’t miss us.
No sooner had the congregation begun to let that news soak in, when a global pandemic reached Washington State. What might have looked like a slow phase-out of activities at FCC Puyallup took a sudden turn as quick decisions needed to be made, traditional ways of serving a church were no longer viable, and a steep, rapid learning curve ensued. Nancy immediately jumped into action and never slowed down until her last day with us. Learning technology, creating virtual Worship services, and rallying the teams of the church to follow her lead, an amazing transformation occurred, and Nancy never lost focus on caring for and tending her flock in new ways.
As a congregation, creativity became a necessity as non-traditional goodbyes and thank yous were planned. In a challenging and emotional time, every person gave their best efforts to show appreciation and thanks as a celebratory and loud surprise drive-by parade was pulled off; photos were gathered for a personalized slideshow and custom-made photo memory book; a collaborative community art project was assembled from art studio finds and mailed-out supplies; and a final Zoom gathering to send air hugs and love, share stories, and to take part in a litany of farewell and vow of release. In bittersweet emotions, the final days have held great meaning for all FCC congregants, and we all wish every happiness for our dear friend and pastor. Nancy has prepared us well for carrying on in faith the teachings, ministries, and passion that she shared with us. Thank you, Nancy! Be well! And may the Lord bless you and keep you.
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