GraceWorks Ministries

GraceWorks will be closed may 25-27

A Wonderful Season 

Well y’all, looks like this is it! For decades I have thought about my day of retirement and now here it is/ June 30th is fast approaching. Where did the time go? 

While cleaning out my desk in preparation for my exit, I came across my very first Annual Report article, written only a few months after I started. It was titled “A Season for Everything.” In the article I talked about being convinced I was at GraceWorks in the right season of the ministry. I also talked about my first impressions of this community I was new to, of the existing staff at GraceWorks and of the army of volunteers.  

In this same article I presented what I hoped to accomplish as the new CEO. Here is a direct excerpt from what I wrote about 8 years ago: 

I am praying that this is GraceWorks’ season to birth new ideas, to plant new seeds of service, to heal from past hurts, to build new programs to reach our Neighbors, to gather community around us, to keep the heart with which we were created, and yes to laugh, to embrace, and to love! I am asking God to use me in bringing all of those things to fruition in my season here.  

In hindsight, I can truly say my first impressions of GraceWorks were definitely “spot on.” I saw you for who you are. You are a supportive and generous community, the staff has proven to be dedicated and hardworking, and the faithfulness of our board and volunteers brings me to tears. And I pray that in turn, everyone can say I accomplished the things I had hoped that I would.  

But now it seems that things have come full circle. 2016 was my season to start my work here and now 2024 is my season to end it. I can’t think of having a better swansong than GraceWorks. I can’t think of a better group of people to end my work life with than you.   

I love this ministry and I love you! Thank you for everything you’ve done for GraceWorks. Big or small – I saw it, I felt it, I benefited from it. You are woven in the legacy that I leave. 

Of course, I am not going away entirely. You will be seeing me around, especially every Thursday on Senior Citizen Discount Day at the Thrift Store!  

Thank you for making this a wonderful season for me!  Please pray for Alicia Bell as she steps into her season of leadership.  She too will do great things! 

All My Love,  

5 thoughts on “A Wonderful Season ”

  1. Thank YOU Valencia for your enthusiastic direction. You have been and will continue to be a Graceworks blessing.

  2. Janice Dethridge

    I have enjoyed working & talking with you even though it has been a few months..

    Friendship is not measured in time & I am happy
    to call you my friend!!

    Stepping stones in Our Lives that GOD has us travel are
    Priceless now it is YOUR TIME TO EXPERIENCE
    NEW ONES!!!

    GODS BLESSINGS
    Janice Dethridge

  3. Mae Watts Parrish

    Valencia, you are a giant among women. Thank you for your hard work. You’ve been an example of how God’s grace actually does work!!

    Your admiring friend, Mae Watts Parrish

  4. We have been so blessed by your commitment and leadership to our community and neighbors, Valencia. Thank you for all you have done and for blessing us with your faith in God, faith in us, and faith in the next GraceWorks Ministries leader, Alicia Bell.
    With sincere admiration and appreciation, Joy Lehmann

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