Joyce Reynolds has served as pastor of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church for more than eight years, longer than any other minister in island history. And she will be retiring in June. On Sunday evening parishioners and friends gathered at the Community Center to celebrate her life on Ocracoke and wish her well as she prepares to move to Hickory, NC.
A crowd gathered on the ramp outside the Community Center to greet Joyce as she arrived with David Tolson on his motorcycle (she told me she was more accustomed to riding Hondas than Harleys).
(Click on photo to view a larger image.)
Joyce has been an active part of the Ocracoke community, serving on various committees, helping in a variety of projects (her t-shirt quilts are ever popular items at island raffles), and volunteering with local organizations. Over the years she has been an active member of the Ocracoke Fire Department, helped distribute meals on wheels, clerked at the Preservation Society Museum, tutored at the school, and volunteered at the library, among other things.
Joyce is a no-nonsense kind of person who has always seen her calling as ministering, not only to the church, but to the entire community. Thus, it was no surprise to see the Community Center packed with neighbors and friends. Every seat was filled, with many standing to enjoy good food (it was a potluck dinner), fellowship, music, and a few short speeches.
The new Methodist minister will not be arriving until the first of August, so Joyce has agreed to stay on through July. We hate to see Joyce leave the island, and we wish her all the best in her retirement. At the same time we look forward to meeting the new Methodist minister in August.
If you see Joyce around the village be sure give her a hug and tell her how much we will miss her.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates colorful islander Don Wood (1936-1998). You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042610.htm.