With mixed emotions we want to inform our readers that Candice Shoemaker, the current office administrator, will be retiring at the end of January this year. Which is, at time of writing, Wednesday of next week! Truly, it’s almost unthinkable. Candice has been working at the CGGC for 24 years, and it would have been 25 years in March. Her daily contributions to the office are invaluable. Her service to our churches, often as the first line of contact between pastors and regions to the CGGC, is immense, and finding a suitable person to fill her position will be challenging, not only because she was and is excellent in her role, but because she is also integral to the culture and patterns of this staff body. Directors rely on her, admin staff work closely with her, and we all admire her.
That being said, Candice is a remarkably private person, so while normally we either give those leaving our office a chance to either be interviewed or write their own farewell, Candice wasn’t eager for either. If she could have written her own farewell, it would have said,
“She was born at a very young age, and now she’s not. Goodbye.”
We’re not kidding around. That’s her verbatim quote. Yet, after a little while we did manage to muscle her into a brief interview which you can read below. Don’t miss the call at the end to send her a card. She would really appreciate it.
What did you do before you came to work for the CGGC?
I came in as a part time admin for church planting. Most of this time I’ve had the opportunity to be in support of new ventures.
Would you say this is another new venture?
I’m eager and excited. Nervous of course. There is always unknown. I’m grateful that I’m going to have the opportunity to continue mentoring and tutoring, and a lot more time one-on-one with grandbabies and family.
Well, how does it feel to be retiring?
It feels good. It feels like I’ve done what I came to do. So, I feel at peace with it.
This is the part I really don’t want to dwell on here, but I’m grieving. One of the greatest things that I’ve enjoyed about being a part of this office is that I’ve been a part of the global family of churches, being apart of this denomination, and it’s bigger than any one local congregation.
There is loss and grieving, and I know that’s coming, and I’ll have to process it more before it’s gone.
I’ll miss this mission of this place. I’ll miss being in a front row seat to Kingdom Thinking people. Both in the office and in those kinds of conversations I’ve also had exposure to bigger voices, Reggie McNeal, Ed Stetzer, Steve Pike, voices that look toward the bigger picture than if I had only been in contact with a local church.
I’ve been proud to be a part of a denomination with abolitionist roots, and with a global focus from the very early days. While I’ve been here, I’ve been able to watch and see new places open up like in Kenya. And the Latino ministry which took off since I’ve been here. A new region in the Southeast has opened up.
Why did you choose now to retire?
Things are going well. My family is in a really good place, and if I have to do a transition, then now is a good time.
What are you most proud of with your work here?
Proud is too strong, but I’m pleased, if anything, to have been an advocate for rogue church planters. Maybe rouge isn’t quite the word, but they are kind of like unicorns, and they need a lot of space to try new things, and innovate, and to be on a completely different page than the rest of everyone. I’m pleased to have helped connect them to the whole body. They don’t always do that well either.
What do you think you’ll miss most about working here?
I’ll miss praying together. Always, it’s the relationships. That’s the hardest last thing that you’ll hold on to. I can get projects done, but with relationships you just have too… you know. That’s the greatest loss.
Any big plans?
Now that you’re not working for Lance anymore, tell us how you really feel about him.
I’d like to tease him but not in an article. Most of those things are inside jokes.
I’ve appreciate working for him. I think he’s a person of integrity. He lives the Kingdom with his family and in his own community. Not just declaring it like a spokesperson, but he’s actually in the process. That’s his life of integrity.
I think for all of his joking and humor and façade, I think that people don’t always recognize him as a person of spiritual depth.
Candice, you’re full of so much wisdom. Who do you plan on pouring all that wisdom onto once you’ve left the office?
Mentoring. I have a little huddle of ladies that I try to mentor. I try to mentor university students. But that’s part of the new venture too. Everything is a new venture in faith. If God is invested and God cares about it, He can take care of that. He can help me find new opportunities and new skills.
Send your cards or emails to:
Churches of God, General Conference
700 E. Melrose Ave
Findlay, Ohio 45840