Letter from Vernice Thorn on her Retirement

“Walk your path one step at a time – with courage, faith and determination. Keep your head up and cast your dreams to the stars. Soon your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again. A path that you never imagined will become the most comfortable direction you could have ever hoped to follow. Keep your belief in yourself and walk into your new journey. You will find it magnificent, spectacular and beyond your wildest imaginings.” –Vicki Silvers

On the brink of retirement from active ministry, I find this poem inspiring and encouraging. Six months ago, as I struggled to make this decision, I knew in my heart it was the most faithful one I could make, at that time. And still... the uncertainty at times would take my breath away. The fear still lurks in the corners of my mind and yet, with as much integrity and hope that I have I’m taking the next step... and the next step, unsure of where it will lead.

In the last year and a half there has been loss; loss of a professional partner, loss of two siblings and now the impending loss of a 15 year community; a community that I helped build and in that building (both physical and spiritual) I found a home and immeasurable professional and personal growth.

As I come to terms with the reality of leaving Broadway, I am thankful for the presence and inspiration of people on the journey with me. You, CWACM, have been one of the constants – in the back of my mind, on facebook, on conference calls and in person – you have supported me in various ways and I so appreciate you in my life. Who we are, is the touchstone that I continually come back too. The focus of intersectionality, which includes a radical welcome, is the home that gives me strength and courage for my next steps. You all give me the breathing space to dream. And yes, I am still dreaming. Even in my anxiety, I am yet dreaming and imagining what might be. As I take these next steps, please stay connected with me in spirit and in person; send me light and hugs and prayers. I need you more than ever now.

I hope that some of you will be able to join me in celebration. It’s party time in Chicago! If you can’t join me in person, join me in spirit as I celebrate 15 years of inclusive ministry. Below is a letter that was sent out by my retirement team.

Thank you for staying on the journey with me. I look forward to our continued work and walk together.

Trusting The Way,


Vernice is retiring, and she is Trusting the Way!

'Trusting the Way' are the words Vernice has chosen as her theme for 2016. The phrase comes from a Lenten theme selected by Broadway Church in 2007, and it embraces and celebrates the uncertain times in life. Vernice recognizes the uncertainty of retirement even as she celebrates its possibilities!

And celebration is where YOU come in! Vernice would like for you to join her as we celebrate 15 years of her ministry at Broadway United Methodist Church, Chicago. Her ministry's passion has been and will continue to be Justice at the intersections: claiming God’s radical welcome and celebration of all people.

Vernice’s celebration begins on June 18, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with an Open House at The Metropolitan Building 5320 N Sheridan Rd. Come enjoy dancing, food and fun.

Vernice’s last Sunday of active ministry is June 19, 2016 and she would love to have you be a part of this momentous occasion. Worship service, where Vernice will preach her last sermon, begins at 10:30 a.m. followed by a brunch and program in the downstairs fellowship area.

Satia Orange is the coordinator for the retirement weekend. If there are questions email her at satia.orange@gmail.com

If you would like to celebrate Vernice's ministry with a gift to her, a suggested gift idea is an Apple gift certificate.

About the Author

Rev. Vernice Thorn

Rev. Vernice L. Thorn, MA, LPC is an ordained clergywoman of Church Within A Church Movement (CWACM); a national organization whose focus is the intersections of oppression. Vernice is a retired pastor whose ministry continues to be one of welcome and inclusivity.

Vernice’s passion is finding harmony in life as ...