Dear St. Luke’s and CDC Families,
This has been a difficult few months for all of us in this historic time. It has been uniquely difficult for those of you with little people who have lost their routine and joy of school, friends and beloved teachers. As a church, we cannot offer our gratitude and pride enough to our teachers and particularly our leaders, Debbie Shellhorn and Cindy Wunderlich. They have sought to have opportunities for our teachers to continue to love and nurture their students and find ways to care for all of our families and teachers.
Debbie has worked for St. Luke’s Child Development Center for 31 years and Cindy for 28 years. For three decades, these women have helped to nurture and graduate hundreds of students into Kindergarten. Together they have created a culture for our Child Development Center with a reputation of being one of the premier safe, loving, caring and faith-filled environments to prepare children socially, academically and personally for entering school. The first children who attended in those early years are now bringing their children back to receive the same love, care and foundation of knowledge and grace.
It is with bittersweet emotions, that we announce their retirements effective this summer. Both Debbie and Cindy have given of themselves while balancing this calling and the calling to their families. They both have new callings as grandmothers and caregivers to their grown children who have growing families, and to spend more time with their husbands. As much as we would have loved to selfishly beg them to stay, you cannot argue with this new calling on their lives and their own much deserved time with family who have supported them above and beyond during their ministry with us.
We will be working with our Staff Parish Relations Committee to find ways to help celebrate these two amazing women and share our appreciation for their ministry of changing lives. We will try to do something small this summer, with a larger celebration in the fall as CDC reopens.
We want to assure our families and community that St. Luke’s is committed to building on the incredible legacy Debbie and Cindy have created as we search for new leadership. Once information is available, we will share details regarding new staff members as well as new safety and health requirements for the fall.
On behalf of St. Luke’s, I want to share my deep gratitude for both of these amazing women. Debbie and Cindy have touched our lives and given the smallest St. Lukers the love and attention Jesus called us to have with the youngest of the Kingdom of God. Their hearts dedicated to not only the children but the support and strengthening of the entire family has changed our community and been an example of how to live and give your life to a higher calling. We are incredibly grateful and wish them both our sincerest appreciation and excitement as they begin their next callings of retirement.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Jenn Stiles Williams