Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beloved Rev. Barbara Buck

How can I count the ways Rev. Barbara Buck has grown me in Christ? They're too many; I can't. I will, however, try to share a few.

In this post, I'll share the email I sent to our Interim Sr. Pastor on 12 May 2009. It's a gentle introduction to why I appreciate and love Barbara so much. Barbara started a Women's Monday night Bible study a long time ago and it was her "baby." Last couple of years, she was reassigned to other church duties, and monday night left in the hands of lay women leaders, some of whom, like me, were pretty new to Irvine Pres Church. We missed Barbara but I, who emerged as a leader/teacher at this time, especially understood; we didn't have a senior pastor, the pastoral load had to be shared, and Barbara was a part-timer. In subsequent posts I hope to flesh out how Barbara helped me get involved in church leadership and service but for now I'll say this: without her behind-the-scenes help and prayers the monday night ministry would not be flourishing the way it is now, 100% laity-led. In my experience, Barbara is a unique pastor, unlike any other. For now, let me just share the short appreciation I sent in Spring.

Dear Pastor Rick, I wanted to take some time and write you about how much I appreciate Pastor Barbara Buck and thank you for your love and support of monday night women's Bible study.

Barbara's sermon, three weeks ago, titled "What About That Person?" resonated deeply with me. It was a timely reminder of my motto to keep "My Eyes on Christ" and not become distracted. Barbara delivered an outstanding and uplifting sermon that I won't forget easily.

Barbara is a blessing to me. I am very thankful to God and IPC for Barbara's care and nurture of me since I first came to our church in 2006. I had this incredible thirst and desire to draw closer to God and I was drawn to Bible study and the spiritual disciplines, contemplative practices as a way to do so. Thanks to Barbara who affirmed and supported me every step of the way, I'm now able to minister to other ladies at IPC who are similarly thirsting to live for his glory and be close to our God. Barbara's loving gifts of books, her generosity with time, and advice have all contributed to improving my abilities as a Bible study teacher. I am delighted that so many full-time working women especially have started to make monday night Bible study a habit this last year.

So I thank you, Pastor Rick, for giving Barbara the time, in recent weeks, to attend Monday night Bible study and minister, once again, to all of us. I love teaching Monday night Bible study. Its incredibly life-giving but its also been great to have Barbara come in as a special guest teacher. You see, Barbara's teaching inspires all of us. Not just me as a teacher - although there's no doubt that Barbara's role modeling improves my own abilities - but the other women seem to need to hear Barbara's voice too periodically. I am delighted that we were able to do so.  Thank you. 

While a number of people have supported my spiritual formation here...  Barbara Buck, however, has played a very critical role. I wanted to be sure to highlight this and thank you.

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