Today my heart is a bit sad. Today I have to say goodbye and good luck to an old friend. A woman who has been my pastor for well over a decade. She had been there championing me for years, always willing to lend an ear, and always asking and caring about how my family is.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to say goodbye to Ashley Crowder Stanley. She was my family’s first pastor after we moved to the Asheville area last century. Over the years we worshiped together, I preached for her, and I served as her Chair of the SPRC committee for a couple years. Then she was called to leave Biltmore UMC and go a different path. And she was missed.
A few years later we were reunited when the family moves to Mills River UMC in a hope to create tighter roots to the area we lived. Soon after we started attending regularly at Mills River UMC she was appointed to this church. Heather and I were delighted!!! We had an opportunity to worship together again. She was able to lead and confirm our children – whom she had baptized as infants. It was always a joy to attend a worship service with her and learn more about my faith and be strengthened.
While I wish her great success in her new endeavor, I am saddened that she will be leaving us.
Photos of Ashley’s Celebration Sunday can be found below. You can download free social media versions of the day using the shopping cart links if you like.