Saying Goodbye to Karen

A few weeks ago we learned that Karen Giardina will be moving to Ohio to join her husband Rick who has relocated for work. While we are glad that the Giardina family will be together again under one roof, the Restoration family will miss her dearly.

I don’t have the words to say all that Karen means to Restoration. We have been honored to have her support from our earliest days gathering as a church. And we have seen her grow into her ministry and celebrated her ordination as a deacon. She has truly loved and embraced the members of Restoration and demonstrated the love of Christ in action.

Karen is an example for me, and for all of us, of what it means to be a disciple–following Jesus through joy and hardship. When is see Karen, I see her deep faith in evidence through her actions. Allow me to share a few of Karen’s best qualities that I admire most. She is:

  • passionately committed to Jesus
  • sensitive and submitted to the working of the Holy Spirit
  • prayerful
  • quick to see needs and respond with compassion
  • always hopeful for the restoration of those around her
  • gracious in the way she serves others
  • committed to living a missional life
  • looking for the good in others
  • building relationships and drawing others into community
  • faithful even when it is uncomfortable

If you know Karen I am sure you can easily add your own favorite qualities of hers. The true beauty of this list is that we cannot name everything about Karen because she never stops growing in her faith. We must say goodbye to her and celebrate what God has done through her at Restoration. And we will continue to rejoice because the Lord is not done working through her ministry.

Karen will always be a part of the Restoration family and though she will not be with us each week we will continue to pray for her as I know she will continue to cover us in prayer. Join me this Sunday as we send her out with prayer and, I’m sure, a few tears. And plan to stay after the service for a reception in her honor and bring a note to encourage Karen by sharing how she has touched your life and some of her best qualities that you admire too.