Farewell and Purse for Rev. Kit Novotny

June 14, 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

We find ourselves with another farewell to a beloved member of the pastoral staff. Our gifted Associate Minister, Rev. Kit Novotny, will share her last Sunday with us on Sunday, July 11.

Rev. Kit arrived as our Young Adult Minister in 2015, gathering and welcoming those in the churn of young adulthood. She dreamed the Open Chapel service into being, creating a beautiful and engaging new liturgy that helped support years of young folks in finding belonging and community at First Church. So many emerging leaders benefitted from her gentle and generous mentorship. We’ve delighted in her creative rewrites of pop songs and her improv skills. And so many of us, of all ages, have benefitted from her gentle pastoral care and accompaniment. Rev. Kit has been a steady presence through the fire, through many new members and many departures. We’ve delighted in her growing family and received so many of her gifts, and now it’s time to bless her, Nate, Zoe, and Gwendolyn on to their next adventure.

When a minister leaves our congregation, it is customary to invite members of the community to provide monetary recognition, called a “purse,” to express their love and gratitude and to support the minister in their time of transition. In order for this gift not to be taxable compensation for Kit, but rather a gift from parishioners, contributions cannot run through the church’s books. Therefore, to facilitate the collection and presentation of the purse, Nick and Annis Kukulan have agreed to receive contributions. (Please remember that your gift will not qualify as a charitable contribution to the church when you prepare your personal tax return.)

To contribute to the purse, you can use PayPal to send money to Nick and Annis at [email protected], or you can write a check payable to Nick or Annis Kukulan and mail it to their home. You can get their address from Realm or by calling the church at 510-848-3696.

Please send your check as soon as possible, and know that Nick and Annis will accept contributions after July 11 and provide Kit with a check for any additional money received.

Additionally, Ben McKnight has graciously offered to put together a slideshow of Kit’s tenure among us. If you have photographs of Kit from over the years to share, send them to Ben at [email protected].

We also encourage you to write to Kit and tell her what she means to you. You might share an anecdote about a way in which she helped you, include a prayer or blessing toward the future, or express your feelings via your own best art form. Because Kit and her family are moving to Boston and have no address to share yet, we will receive cards at the church office and mail them as a group to Kit if we receive them after her move.

Several opportunities to honor Kit will come in the next month. Young Adults will have a special gathering on Saturday, July 3 from 4-6 pm at Rev. Kelly’s house in South Berkeley. We’ll celebrate Kit during the online service on July 11. And our large in-person celebration will take place during Lawn Church—an outdoor gathering at 4pm on July 11, featuring festive music, cupcakes, improv, and more! Please stay tuned for more information online and in the Carillon. Hope to see you soon!

Thank you,

Rev. Kelly Colwell
Acting Associate Minister

Sara Woods