HERALD FRONT PAGE
A Congregation of the United Church of Christ
402.476.7565 I 2000 “D” St., Lincoln NE 68502 I Issue 9 I September 2016
Our 2017 budget will be presented to the Congregation and voted on at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 15, 9:45am, in the Sanctuary. All members are invited to attend.
Nancy Erickson leaves a legacy of faith
Associate Minister Nancy Erickson began her ministry work at First-Plymouth more than 12 years ago. As she looks ahead to retirement the end of January, she leaves her post with the satisfaction of having touched thousands of lives in significant ways. Erickson has spent much of her adult life in the human services and advocacy fields. With her background, which includes a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska in educational psychology and a degree from Yale Divinity School, she has focused her work on specific areas of high need--prison ministry, a homeless shelter, alcohol and drug treatment, and mental health counseling.
She joined the First-Plymouth staff in June of 2004 with primary responsibilities in the areas of adult education, pastoral counseling, LGBT Ministry, and Women’s Ministry. The impact she has had on the First-Plymouth community are astonishing. Consider this:
- Because of Nancy Erickson, dozens of women’s retreats have inspired hundreds of women, which in turn, made the world a better place.
- Because of Nancy, the word ‘include’ is a very active verb, especially when it comes to the LGBTQ community and women who are working through the complexities of a life, sometimes with job, kids and school all at once.
- Because of Nancy, dozens of nontraditional women students had scholarship support, and a vote of confidence to move forward in life.
“I am very grateful for her calm, loving leadership. She challenges us to love more, grow in Christ and be filled with The Holy Spirit,” said Board of Women’s Ministries member Kelly Winnik.
“Nancy was such a wonderful leader of the Board of Women’s Ministries. With an ever-present smile and gentle persuasion, her work toward our mission made all of us feel the deep spiritual care and connection she had with so many people along her journey,” said former board member Donna Ewoldt.
Nancy’s immense impact on Suzanne Sughroue illustrates Nancy’s work with individuals. At a time when Suzanne was frightened by some health issues with her young daughter, Nancy stepped in. “Nancy pulled me aside and we went to the chapel room and she prayed with me. I had never had someone pray WITH me and I barely knew her. She was so understanding and so brave for me and for herself. She made me feel comforted, but not sorry for myself,” said Sughroue.
“I loved that she was a driving force behind Daywatch--another time when her bravery represented the bravery of our church. She represents the best and the bravest things about our church—Inclusivity, spirituality, love for all.”
Soni Fabry served as chair of Plymouth Pride for a couple of years under Nancy’s guidance.
“Nancy provided a sense of community for people who needed a safe place. Some were initially fearful. Nancy brought in the right people to help with the process of growing in confidence as individuals, and growing spiritually. Many individuals who began their relationship with First-Plymouth through Plymouth Pride have gone on to serve on other church boards,” said Fabry.
“She has worked tirelessly for the members of First-Plymouth and will be sorely missed,” said Winnik.
“Nancy conveys the idea that you are loved, no matter what,” said Fabry. “And I love her laugh!”
And because of Nancy, we all learned to breathe deeply going into prayer—to breathe in the Holy Spirit, “to open the space to God,” noted Women’s Ministry board member Charlotte Frank.
While she may no longer be a part of the First-Plymouth pastoral team, it is clear that her influence will continue to be felt-- and lived—for a long time to come.