A Beautiful and Grief-Centered Chapter

The great J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” This has certainly been my experience for the last six years of Mosaic. Three years ago in August, I asked Amy Gallaher to do the same by joining Mosaic’s pastoral staff. She had just wrapped up a chaplain residency program at Wake Med, Tyler was well into Veterinarian School, JT wasn’t a twinkle in their eye, and Amy’s ministerial next steps were uncertain. In great faith, I believe, she agreed to join in the pastoral work of Mosaic.

Now to understand Amy’s work within the Mosaic community would require you to follow her around 24/7. You can’t define it by a specific area of leadership or set of task. In reality, Amy brought pastoral leadership to every area of Mosaic that she touched; from leading the community groups initiative to one-on-one pastoral care sessions over coffee, from the harmonizing the work of the Mosaic coordinators to taking on the missional ministry of Mosaic, and from planning/leading worship to dealing with the most difficult pastor in North Carolina (most likely the United States). Whether we realized it or not, some area of Mosaic we were involved in was touched by her great leadership. Now consider that all of these things came from being paid only to work 10-12 hours a week on Great Depression era wages. Time, however, was never a calculated mindset for Amy as she put in well beyond 2o+ hours in per week.

Amy is, without a doubt, the best pastoral care provider I have ever seen in action. She listens deeply, cares overwhelmingly, and speaks authentically.

Before we proceed forward, we should pause to consider Tyler and JT. Have you ever met someone who does everything so well? That’s Tyler. From his heart and giftedness, Tyler has given us an elevated worship experience on Sundays, humbled most of us on the golf course, and blessed us with a deep friendship. Here is a fun little trick you should try out if you have animals…when the Gallahers come over, accidentally let the dogs out, because you know that Tyler will pet them. This interchange is an almost guaranteed free medical examine by Mosaic’s resident vet. And JT…well could you ask for a sweeter boy?

It is difficult to put into words just how challenging this next chapter of Mosaic’s history will be without my ministry partner in crime. History has given us great dynamic duos: Batman and Robin, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid, Jordan and Pippin, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Hall and Oats. The beautiful thing about Amy and my ministerial partnership was that we trusted in each other’s leadership, so there was no need for job title hierarchy. We empowered one another to live into God’s calling and were willing to speak truth into each other’s lives when we did not see eye-to-eye on a matter. So just ask Robin what it would be like to lose Batman or Batman to lose Robin… they’ll tell you it is not a happy prospect to consider.

Yet I am so overwhelmingly joyful for the Gallaher’s next chapter. It is so obvious that God’s hands are in the life set out for them in Kernersville. So this next chapter is one of beauty and one of grief. I will miss the Gallahers on a personal, pastoral, spiritual, familial, and kingdom level. Nevertheless, each of our lives are in a better place moving forward because of their impact on our lives. What you do with that time and change because of them is up to you.

Grace and Peace, Andy Hale