Kelley Douglas, our Director of Worship and Staff Musician, submitted a letter of resignation to the Session on Friday March 27. Her last Sunday leading worship is April 12.
When DOWNTOWN CHURCH was conceived, we embraced the opportunity and challenge of establishing a worship service from scratch. We deconstructed all aspects of worship in preparation for the first service. Screens were banned in exchange for programs published on quality paper. The baptismal font and communion table were constructed from recycled materials. An order of worship with ancient creeds and standard prayers was adopted.
The service was never easy to qualify. The typical worship labels didn't work, and we didn't help by perpetually tinkering with stuff in the margins. What you witness today is the result of an experiment and experimenting with worship is not for everyone. The result, I believe, partly because of Kelley's contribution, is a faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Kelley Douglas was here, three years ago, when the experiment began. First, she worked part-time and the assignment was temporary. Over time her role expanded and working at DOWNTOWN CHURCH became a full-time job. Still, even as her job description changed, she remained steady.
She always did her work with grace, never putting music out of reach for the worshipper. She always did her work with humility, frequently stepping aside so other musicians could lead us to an encounter with God. She always did her work with courage, conviction, and restraint. Today, my mind is incapable of imagining worship at DOWNTOWN CHURCH without Kelley. That is how much I will miss her.
In the coming days expect to hear more details about how we will collectively say thank you to Kelley and Alderman for their service. For now, make every attempt to join us in church on April 12 and reserve some time that night to attend a party we will host in their honor.
Also know that Lindsay-Blair Simmons, a frequent vocalist on Sundays and Kelley's substitute when she took time off, will assume the role of Interim Director of Music after April 12.
I've learned not to speak for Kelley. She doesn't need my help explaining what is next or why she is leaving. Her letter of resignation, is linked below. Take a moment to read it and then thank God for sending Kelley to pass through DOWNTOWN CHURCH and stay long enough to help the church become something new.