The Reverend William A. Evertsberg

Sunday night at a meeting of IMPACT youth and parents, Silvi Pirn announced that this summer’s Mission Trip to Hawaii will be her last. After 15 years of faithful service to Kenilworth Union, Silvi is retiring and plans to move to Cleveland to be closer to family.

Silvi started her youth ministry when her own family was young, about 17 years ago, as a volunteer with a passion for youth and a natural, God-given, intuitive sense for their needs. Fifteen years ago, Kenilworth Union hired her as a youth group leader, which led to her next position as youth director and then her current position, Minister of Youth.

Kenilworth Union is one of American Christendom’s great congregations, but even we never deserved her for such long service. Now in my ninth year at Kenilworth Union, the fourth call of my career, I have worked with maybe 15 Youth Ministers over the years, but never for as long as with Silvi. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to my ministry with you that I have been her colleague for the entirety of my ministry with you so far.

When someone as beloved as Silvi moves on after “a long obedience in the same direction,” as someone put it, there is much work to do. Please know that the Staff, the Personnel Committee, and the Board have already begun to attend to the two main tasks facing a congregation at this time: Succession and Celebration.

Silvi plans to lead the Hawaii Mission Trip in June and the Confirmation Wilderness Adventure in August, one last time. She has also agreed to advise the Personnel Committee and the as-yet-unassembled Search Committee. We owe Silvi nothing but earnest gratitude for the last 15 years and sincere benedictions for the next 15. We never deserved her in the first place, but God saw to it anyway that she and we walked the Pilgrim Way together for a long, long time.