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Dear Family and Friends,

As I set out to write this third note in regards to “legacy staff” at The Firs, I am reminded once again just how crucial the resource of people is at this place. As I looked out over our staff at a recent meeting, I was surprised and pleased at the youthful faces that looked back. While a good number of veterans remain, we are definitely seeing a slow changing of the guard. And when I look at both new and veteran staff, I see how important it is to have them side-by-side.

Over the years, I have discovered that both the beauty and the strength of a staff team is found in its diversity. I know that is an over-used word in our culture, but in this case, I refer to the variety of personalities and skill sets reflected in our staff. God has made each of us different for a reason and it is those differences, in concert, that make us the most useful to Him.

For the past ten-plus years, Jim Donath has been the Food Service Director here at 4605 Cable St. and at the end of this month he is transitioning on to what God has for him next. I need to say that 10 years in food service is like 20 years in comparison to other jobs (kind of like dog years). Nowhere else do you pretty much give up all of your weekends. Nowhere else are you essentially evaluated in your job three times a day – you get the picture. Food service director jobs are not for sissies.

Jim brought to this position at The Firs a number of things. He brought stability – as our previous years “in the kitchen” were anything but. He brought laughter and with it the idea that stress accompanied by humor is a good thing. And, he brought a sincere love for people. He took young, promising employees and he gave them greater opportunities to learn and serve. He thoroughly enjoyed each season’s batch of summer staffers and adopted them as his own. He found the much-needed balance between meals and mission and as a result, the people who came to The Firs were well cared for!

My prayer is that as the coming months and years bring more transitions, they will also bring more opportunities for legacy shifts. The new will learn from the old, while bringing a whole different set of ideas and passions into play. As this happens, the stage is set for the mission to remain strong but also the means for it to be carried out to reflect a new and exciting era.

Trusting Him with our future,


Tom Beaumont
Executive Director

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