We have some very exciting news here at Kirkwood! Our wonderful chaplain Reverend Richard Hanna is stepping back to part time in order to spend more time with his family, so we have Reverend Lucy Turner from IPC coming to lead us in those hours of his absence. We are so delighted for her to join the ministry team at Kirkwood by the River and pleased that her help will allow Reverend Hanna to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. I would like to introduce you all to Reverend Turner and let her share a little about herself with you!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
“I grew up in a large family in Gulfport, MS, in a time so many of us appreciate. My mother let her six children roam our immediate neighborhood and beyond on our bicycles from morning until dusk. We could cross the street in front of our house and enjoy the beach with equal freedom. In hind sight, I see that what we called freedom, she might have called sanity! I received by BA from Agnes Scott College, my MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi and my Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian seminary in Decatur, GA. Prior to entering seminary, I worked in business and banking for 10 years.
I served two churches in North Carolina before I received a call from Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC) in Birmingham to serve as the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care and Counseling. It had been my hope that at some point in my ministry I would have the opportunity to focus on pastoral care at a large congregation where such specialized positions are normally found. As is so often true of God’s way of working, my call to IPC came about in a slightly unusual way and not without some resistance on my part. However, I quickly came to see my call to serve there as being truly the will of God. For the first twelve years of my ministry I was the Director of Congregational Care and Counseling; for the last four years I was the Executive Associate Pastor and oversaw many administrative functions as well as stewardship and development for the church and the IPC Foundation.”
What is your new role at Kirkwood?
“I have joined the Rev. Richard Hanna in the chaplain’s ministry. Richard and I talked several times during the last few years about sharing the chaplain’s position when we were both ready to step back from full-time ministry. Fortunately for me, Richard was ready to make that change when I decided to retire from IPC. Fortunately for both of us, Chad Carter and the Kirkwood Board of Directors agreed that such a partnership in ministry would be good for Kirkwood.”
What are you most excited about for your new role?
“One of the blessings for me in coming to Kirkwood is that I can return to my first love in ministry: pastoral care. While I am not a licensed therapist, I do have 30 years’ experience caring for the spiritual needs of men and women in many, many different circumstances and life situations.”
What is your favorite thing about Kirkwood?
“My favorite thing about Kirkwood comes as a bit of a surprise to me and may to you: it is an ecumenical community. I have been a Presbyterian all of my life. I have served only Presbyterian churches. Coming to Kirkwood means thinking about Biblical interpretation, theology, doctrine, worship and the sacraments from a new frame of reference. Before I write a sentence in a sermon and form a thought for a prayer, I now think about the members of the community who will hear my words, perhaps, from a different perspective than mine. Paul’s declaration in Galatians 3:28 has new meaning for me, ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Jesus Christ.'”
If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone in the world who would it be?
“There is a regular column in the NY Times Book section which I love to read called, “By the Book.” The columnist asks the featured author to name three people with whom he/she would like to have dinner so I am going to take the liberty of selecting three. The first thought that came to mind was having dinner again with three members of my family who have died: my mother, father and a younger sister. Then I thought about politics and wondered what it would be like to overhear the dinner conversation of Madeleine Albright, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Margaret Thatcher. Or mystery writers Louis Penny, Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear. In the end, though, I decided to stick with family; we have a lot to catch up on!”