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Joy Chaffin Retires as Office Manager

By Susan Shinn Turner

As of Aug. 1, there will be no Joy in the church office. That’s “Joy” with a capital J.

Joy Chaffin, office manager, will retire after three years in a position that was created when she joined the St. John’s staff.

When asked about the variety of her duties, Joy laughs and replies, “Oh dear! I’m chief cook and bottle washer!”

All kidding aside, Joy’s main task is to ensure that the office runs smoothly. She coordinates volunteers who answer the phones as well as the tellers who count the weekly offering. She assists the pastors in their ministry tasks and works with Rob Durocher and the worship team in pulling together Sunday bulletins. She supervises all printings and mailings. She maintains the altar flower schedule, the daily email prayer chain, and coordinates funerals.

Joy worked in the corporate world until joining the St. John’s staff in May 2016.

“My intent was to work here several years,” she explains. “My husband had already retired, but I just wasn’t ready yet. Then it got to be hard to tell him no.”

Joy’s husband, Wayne, a self-employed plumber, retired five years ago.

“He’s been patient and very understanding and supportive,” Joy notes. “At the same time, we are not getting any younger.”

Joy and Wayne have two sons and two daughters, along with 10 grandchildren. Joy looks forward to spending more time with her family, some of whom live in Oklahoma and South Carolina.

“We don’t have the luxury of just popping in,” she says.

Wayne wants to take a cross-country camping trip, and Joy wants to tackle the ever-growing to-do list. That includes remodeling her family home in Salisbury to prepare it to be rented, and working in her yard and flower gardens.

“I plan to plant a vegetable garden next year,” she says, something she hasn’t been able to do while working full-time.

She also looks forward to refinishing antiques and reading more.

“So I’ve got a list,” she reiterates.

The thing she’ll miss most about working at St. John’s, she says, is the people.

“Everyone has been so kind and loving and supportive, and made me feel right at home from day one,” she says. “That’s the hard part about leaving.”

In her position, Joy has learned the inner workings of each job. “You have to understand each job when people ask questions. You have to dig into what everybody does. It’s a year-long process of learning, by the time you go through all the seasons of the church year, the services and the different programming. It’s not going to happen in three weeks.”

To that end, Joy has developed a procedure manual for the next office manager. Angel Owens will continue as communications specialist, with Ruth Ann Diehl as business manager.

“It has been an honor to work with Joy,” says Ruth Ann. “Her gifts and love for St. John’s have left us all with wonderful memories. We are sad to see Joy leave, but excited for the new opportunities that she and Wayne will share as they begin a new chapter in their lives – retirement.”

“St. John’s is extremely lucky and fortunate and blessed to have the quality of staff that they have,” Joy says. “I hope the congregation appreciates it. In some ways, this is not a church but a business, and the office manager treats it as such. Everyone takes their jobs so seriously. They really have the best interests of the church at heart when they do anything.”

Next month. As Joy bids farewell, we welcome Deborah Cross as the new Office Manager. More about Deborah in the September newsletter.