There will be no replacing Bill Goodenough.    He has served over the entirety of my epsicopate and long before as the diocesan representative to the Board, working to help every congregation in this diocese with whatever property needs they may have, and so many things we probably will never know.   He has done this with an amazing integrity and passion. Even though he will continue to serve on the Board he has resigned from his diocesan representative position effective December 31, 2013.

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And here is the theme I would use for him,  and I would include Joy in this too: “They love the Church.”  And that sounds so trite and simple, but it is so far from that, and actually just so unusual today.   Bill loves the Church.  He does what he does because of that.   He doesn’t allow personalities to get in the way, because he knows that deep down, we need all the personalities to make us who we are.    What he is focused on, so consistently, is what is best for the Church, with a Capital “C.”  In congregational development there is one model that talks about the Apostolic Core, the people who hold the center, no matter what.  Bill Goodenough is one of those people.

For me, his departure is personal, because from the very beginning of our touching this area, they have been part of it, both of them.    Bill has always responded to our requests at our home, which I try to keep at a minimum, but literally he has stood there in the muck with us at all hours, with a smile, and some humor, and the tenacity that got it always “fixed.”

When I asked who might need the old washer and dryer in our old place, I should have known not to ask, because before I knew it, Bill and Joy, had come, gotten it, taken it to the SERVE House for the interns there!  Even though he is retiring he tells me he has unfinished projects at my house and he will need to come by and complete them after the first of the year.    You see this isn’t a job for Bill, it is his Church, and he loves it.

I have rarely seen him lose control.  I have seen it but so rarely and let me say, when I have seen it, it was totally warranted, in my mind, because what causes it, is when he sees something that steps outside that basic center, when what is being said or done goes outside what is best for the Church.   It isn’t a job for Bill, it is his Church, and he loves it.

Bill, we have heard from many people about your work, Bill Tubbs, Director of Camp Huston being one, he sent a list of things that you have done that made me tired just reading them.

Bill has been involved in many projects at Huston. Some of the highlights include the river bank stabilization project that included filling sand bags, anchoring trees to the river bed chaining the logs together, and driving the excavator. Bill would often bring his chain saw and fall trees and buck rounds and split fire wood. Bill and I recently worked on restoring cabin 9 the only original building left from the 1930’s. We jacked the cabin up off the ground and built a new foundation under it then lowered it back down and rebuilt the missing wall. Bill built 2 new alters for the camp one for St. John in the Woods and the other for Curtis lodge. Bill also made a new cross for the front entry way of the camp. Whatever needed to be done Bill would always have lending hand or an idea on how to fix it. Bill is a doer what every needs to be done Bill would do it.

It isn’t a job for Bill, it is his Church, and he loves it.

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He is often called out to crisis situations, if not in reality, at least in the minds of those dealing with it, and what we have consistently heard is how level-headed, how comforting, how gracious he is.  Bill I would say you are a pastor, I hope you know that, you have been that to so many when things like this have happened.

It isn’t a job for Bill, it is his Church, and he loves it.

And Bill that is why this Church loves you, so very much, and thanks you for all you have done, some of which we will never know!

+Greg