By The Rev. Lina Robinson Hart
Anyone who knows Carie Turner is probably smiling and giving God thanks and praise. For she has been working with our Synod and Living Waters for the World since 2010. You may have been greeted by her at any number of in-person Synod Meetings up in Franklin, TN. You probably were helped by her when on a Synod Committee and had a financial question. Carie has worn many hats for us, and we have become quite dependent on her presence, gifts and many skills.
So it will be a sad day for us on October 31st when we have to say goodbye to her. She has announced her retirement from serving as our Financial Administrator so that she can devote more time to the growing needs of her family. Fortunately, she and her husband, Greg, will not be moving from the Nashville area due to his career. But with aging parents and 4 grandchildren spread over 3 states, there’s only so much of Carie to go around. She loves being with people, and times with her family, friends and, in particular, her church friends bring her great joy. More specifically, fellowship with her Wednesday night Bible Study group and opportunities for singing in the choir are just a few of the many life-giving experiences for her. Even though she’s a people-person, Carie and Greg enjoy long walks or hikes in the woods. One of their personal goals is to experience as many of the National Parks as they possibly can.
Carie grew up in the Presbyterian Church, Ellis Grove PC in Waverly, TN, where her parents still reside. Her education prepared her for a career in accounting, and since 2001 she has been serving presbyteries in financial administration. She got her start as a Financial Administrator in Middle TN Presbytery. But Carie has been working in that capacity for our Synod since 2006 and almost as long for Living Waters for the World.
Anyone who has worked closely with Carie can confess that she’s one of God’s best cheerleaders. Anytime one reaches out to her with a question, a need for help or a word of encouragement, Carie promptly responds. She writes up detailed minutes for any meeting she’s assisting. She explains the nuances of the synod’s budget and financial documents in terms that those of us who may be numbers-challenged can easily understand. She’s organized, responsible, enthusiastic, and just a delight to have around. Carie will admit that she gets very attached to people, which is revealed through her involvement with groups. To bear this out, Carie will not only take good notes for a meeting, she’ll volunteer to give a lovely prayer, she accepts assignments to make calls or as the Clean Water University can attest, Carie can and enjoys leading their music in worship. Carie probably has a few faults, for no one is perfect, but she hides them well or errs on the side of being too caring.
Now Carie is in the process of training others to whom she will pass the torch of her responsibilities. She’s not leaving our synod in a lurch. Her work products have become like “her babies,” and she wants to make sure they are being well cared-for in her absence. Carie will be hard to replace, but her influence will be felt for years to come. When asked for some words of wisdom, she offered, “Look beyond the numbers. Look for the people, the stories that they represent.” Carie also trusts that she and others will “take time to look back; look back over your day to see the WOW in all that took place.” And if Carie could leave anything of herself in this job it’d be the ideals that she lives by, “to love one another” and the prayer “that our lives may bring glory and honor to God.” Carie has been a shining light for us and will be sorely missed. We will welcome her trainees with open hearts and minds, for anyone following Carie could easily be a bit intimidated. We wish Carie all the best that comes with retirement. May she create lasting and cherished memories with her gifted husband, her devoted parents and her precious children and grandchildren.