As many of you may know, May 15, 2022, was my last worship service with you, followed by two weeks of vacation. I begin retirement after almost 23 years as an ordained minister, 18 years in books publishing, plus a variety of other employment adventures. I am looking forward to the downtime, the rest time, the play time, the new surprises, and to being a grandmother. I am so grateful and appreciative for the gifts that I have received from you that day. I was showered with words that lifted my soul from committee chairs and your lovely notes in the cards, a generous donation from you and the Board and Staff, and individual gifts, including books to read to my forthcoming granddaughter. Not to forget the song from Paula filled Hillard Hall.

My leaving you is bittersweet, for I truly enjoyed getting to know you in the small ways that we connected. I find you extremely gifted and joyful, even in your sorrows and struggles. You possess such a strong sense that "you are not alone" and that the spirit of God is moving in and through you. And it shows in the careful and caring ways that you express God's love. I hold nothing but the highest hopes for you individually and for First United as a community of

I will miss you. You are truly blessed to be a blessing,

Rose Ann Vita, retired United Church of Canada minister