Today, September 5, 2023 was my last meeting with my Batavia, Ohio Rotary Club, one of the oldest local clubs in the world. It is a bittersweet day for sure.
But it is a day of reflection and awe as well for the associations that I have had with these extraordinary people for the past 11 years. I want to thank them all for giving me a broader reality to the real world which was particularly valuable during the nine years when I served as President of the United Church of God. Not only were these people professionals in their field; they possessed a humble spirit of service to the local community and the rest of the world. Our friendship and acceptance of one another is beyond words.
Here’s a partial list of the kind of people I was privileged to know in our Club. (I may have missed some, so please excuse me):
- Chief of Police for Union Township
- Director and CEO of Great Oaks Career Centers
- Delta Airlines Captain
- County Auditor
- Top executive for a major telecom
- Transportation Director
- Insurance Company Owner
- Financial Advisor and Planner
- Bank Vice-presidents and other bank officials
- Radio Show host
- Director of the YMCA
- School Superintendent of Batavia
- Deputy Ambassador to Iraq
- Batavia Heights Christian Child Care
- Printing Company Owner
- Family Relations Judge
- Funeral Director and owner of funeral homes in the area
- Developmental Disabilities
- School Board Member
- Scouting Director
- College Dean
- And not the least: four elders: United Church of God, Baptist, Methodist and Non-denominational.
Who can imagine four elders and ministers becoming friends and discussing community activities, social issues and the Book of Galatians and discovering things we had not known before about people and life.
I appreciated Club members coming to the recording of Beyond Today at the Home Office and doing podcasts and interviews with them. I thank those who have come and spoken to our Ambassador Bible College students.
Our club was based on respect and on a desire to build a better world based on eternal values that transcend who we are and where we are and what we are.
Bev and I are moving to Indianapolis next month and I plan to continue my Rotary membership. I was asked by our Club to become this year’s President, but because of the move I had to decline.
I will miss the community activities such as GLAM (Give Like a Mother), the annual Spaghetti Dinner and Golf Outing Fundraisers and much more.
I give special thanks to our Club for giving generously for our aid to civilians suffering in the war in Ukraine.
As I walked out our meeting location at Clermont County Airport, club members gave me parting thoughts of appreciation for the light that our Church and LifeNets brought into our club. I was often asked to give the invocation to our Club that still looked to Him with gratitude and faith in the dark days of spirituality that we live in now.