Mar 31, 2019

Dear family and friends,

“What are you doing? The ice cream is melting!” Calvin, who was in charge of the frozen section at the Safeway on Beretania, yelled out as he came upon the five foot high mountain of ice cream cartons stacked on the pallet in the middle of the floor. Earlier, before he left for an appointment, he told me to, “quickly restock the ice cream freezer on the floor, we got lots to do on our shift.” I was 19 years old. It was my first day with him, so I pulled the whole pallet of newly delivered ice cream from the basement up onto the floor with the electric pull truck. There it sat held together by the thick plastic wrapped around it.

I was frantically organizing the space in the floor freezer to make room for more cartons. I felt the rising heat of panicked pressure as I imagined the thawing of the cartons of ice cream behind me.

That’s when Calvin arrived. After his burst, he took a deep breath, scanned the store to make sure the managers hadn’t seen my mistake. We then rushed back down to basement storage freezer, trying to out run the speed of melting. He explained the way to take it one step at a time, small loads and quick more effective efforts. My panic soaked shirt welcomed the freezer chill of relief to find a better way.

I share this memory story as I reflect on these months of transitioning back to being more present with you in my cherished role as one of our pastors. I feel the need to let you know I have struggled to find my way to know how to best do what is needed in the most faithful and thoughtful way. Each week, if not each day, Bev and I are adjusting to her challenges and changes that come with the chemo process. There have been setbacks that we are learning from others is part of the process. We are finding our pace and way to make the most of life on the way. My Mom, in California, is settling into her new senior living home week by week. It has been a emotional and at times discouraging change for her to move, as she realizes her memory is fading regularly. Mom is very aware of the changes. It is good she can function well, yet she also painfully recognizes she is changing beyond her control. To be able to visit regularly has been especially comforting in the absence of my brother. I am in the middle of selling her house. Moving forty years of memories is stressful for her, my sister and me.

Most times over these months I’ve felt some of the pressure of worrying I may be letting the ice cream melt of my Mom’s needs while at home with Bev. And vice versa when with my Mom. My desire to serve you here at Wellspring has been another part of my desire to do well with each of you. These have been part of my darkest hours, that I learning a great deal through.

I want you to know, that as my strength and energy is recovering quite well, I am gaining new light of perspective. I have heard consistently from God, many of you and my own soul, to simply do as best I can with what I have. I am returning more each week to meeting regularly with our pastoral team, staff, and leaders, you who have requested time to meet. I am open and finding the energy to balance my schedule well for meetings with you in a good pace. I ask you to trust that I will be honest and open about when I can meet. Please feel free to ask and we will find a time that works for us both.

We have many great opportunities that bring some good challenges before us here at Wellspring. I invite you to seek me out with questions, concerns and encouragements. Please know any pressures I’ve felt have been my own of wanting to be as fully participating in your lives and the life of Wellspring as possible.

I thank God for you,

Pastor Dale

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