Retirement Is Coming

It’s official…

Here’s the backstory. One of the most difficult decisions that I have ever made has been the decision to retire. Like many others, it began to be on my mind after I turned 60, and more so at 62. But when my husband retired and asked me to consider retiring, the decision moved from conjecture to a decision I had to make.

A few weeks ago, at the close of what we call October Board Meeting, I shared the following with the Kentucky WMU Executive Board.

I have asked Susan to allow me to close out this meeting. When I came to Kentucky WMU 18  years ago, I came with the support of Lee Bolton who promised me when he proposed that if the opportunity came for me to do WMU work as a career, he would go with me. And so he did when the opportunity came to join the SC WMU staff in 1995 and again in 1999 when we came to Kentucky.

Now it is time for me to honor his request for me to retire. While you would not know it to look at him, his health has not been good this year and he is ready for me to slow down. This has been an agonizing decision for me for many reasons.

I talked with Susan and Marcia, chair of the personnel committee, when I had my annual review and shared with them that I was wrestling with what to do and that Lee’s health was driving the bus for me. 

I will be 65 in August. I propose to retire not earlier than September 1, 2018 but not later than September 1, 2019.  I am committed to a smooth transition and will stay as needed to work with the next executive director. I watched Wanda Lee stay on and work with Sandy Wisdom-Martin for about 6 weeks to take her to meetings, spend time with her to explain things, and eventually slipped out and left Sandy on her own. They modeled a positive transition and I want to follow her example.

I love you all, love Kentucky WMU and the KBC. I have been blessed to serve with you and am also committed to work hard to my very last day. I will not coast this year. I have a long list of things to be done before I retire, including writing up helps for the next person who has this position.

Thank you for your love and support. Kentucky WMU will forever be in my heart – and, Cheryl, Kentucky WMU has already been named beneficiary of a legacy gift.

I asked the Board not to put this news on Facebook to allow me time to make some calls that I needed to make. I appreciate the Board for honoring my request.  After the meeting, I talked with Dr. Chitwood, and made the decision that the Western Recorder would break the story.

A Search Committee will be named by Susan Bryant. Please pray for Susan as she names the committee, and for the next leader of Kentucky WMU.

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5 thoughts on “Retirement Is Coming

  1. I am sorry for Kentucky WMU, but glad for my Birthday Buddy and her other half. You have done a wonderful job the last 18 years leading Kentucky WMU. I hope we will find a great replacemet. Surely God is preparing one for us. God bless you as you and Lee ride off into the sunset. Happy Retirement! Blessings, June Rice

  2. Joy, it has been a pleasure to work with you in Kentucky WMU. I feel that “it will never be the same” but I’m sure God has a plan and as you learn to slow down and enjoy an easier life, Kentucky WMU will pick up the pieces and remain strong and fulfill God’s will. You will sure be missed and will leave some “big shoes” for someone to fill but with God’s help we’ll continue on. My prayers are for you and Lee to have many years of “Happy Retirement”. Thanks for all you have done for Kentucky WMU.

  3. Best wishes, Joy, as you enter the next phase of your life. I have followed your life from afar and on the few occasions when you touched my life, I recognized your love of Jesus and your passion for His Kingdom’s work. My pastor husband died suddenly at a Baptist Retreat with 180 SBC Pastors and Leaders in W VA 28 years ago and he was only 62. The plans we had for retirement were never realized. His absence is still keenly felt. Grandchildren, and now Great Grandchildren, have joined the family and they never knew him. I wish for the two of you some special times together and with family and friends.

  4. Joy,
    You so model the balance of following God’s call to ministry and following God’s call to family. I remember days with you at Shocco Springs and in the ‘new’ WMU building. Know that your ministry has touched many–and will continue to do so!! Prayer for God’s grace for you–and direction for the Search Committee to come!

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