Heads up to my friends and church IT peers ... below is a copy of the GCC allstaff communication that went out yesterday about a big change in our TechOps department ...
Subject: A note from Jason and Ed
Jason here—I’ll go first.
On October 7th 2003, only 2 months after I started working at GCC, I had my first meeting with a fella named Ed Buford. Ed had his own IT consulting gig and soon after our initial meeting he started volunteering, which lead to contract work here and there, then in June 2004 he joined our staff team as Network Admin.
Back in the day, our technology infrastructure had not kept pace with our growth and Ed walked in to help with a network as stable as a house of toothpicks. Many of you remember. You felt the pain of almost daily email outages. Crashed hard drives with no back-up. Print jobs that mysteriously vanished. Network speeds that made you want to scream. Ahh, the good ole days.
Things have been stable and secure for quite some time now, and much of that is due to Ed’s contribution. He was one of the hands-on gurus who took an extremely overextended, unstable network infrastructure and rebuilt it from scratch. He has brought countless DOA computers back to life and saved us all from impending lost data doom more times than I can count. The projects he has personally influenced over the past seven years has not only gained GCC a reputation of innovative technology leader with churches across the country, but also with marketplace companies. Ed is known personally for his expertise and integrity not only with the people of Granger, but with anyone who has interacted with the ministry here. Today, our network is more stable, secure and efficient than many organizations ever see in the lifetime of operations. We have Ed to thank for a network foundation that is not only serving us well now, but has us well-prepared for the future.
Which brings us to the purpose of this email. Partly due to Ed’s handiwork and partly due to a change in technology strategy, we have come to the difficult realization that our network administrator no longer requires a full-time staff position. This has been tough for all of us—Ed is a loved family member of GCC with a tremendous history. None of us ever pictured an end to Ed’s season on the staff team, yet in many ways, he has worked himself out of a job.
His last day will be this Wednesday, December 8. If you don’t get a chance to wish him well Wednesday, don’t fret. You’ll be able to offer a proper farewell and hug Ed yourself at the staff Christmas Party. He and Laura will both be there.
Please join me in praying for Ed, Laura and the boys as they take steps towards a new normal. The first few days and weeks will be the hardest—but the God story has already begun. Through this entire process, they both have exhibited trust in God and love for their church family that is both inspiring and humbling. This is not an easy goodbye, but then again—it’s not goodbye.
And here’s a note to everyone from Ed …
Change is a difficult thing to witness and often it’s more difficult to be a part of. When I look back to the past seven years, change has been my constant companion at GCC. Even the past year great changes have been a part of my life as I walked my daughter down the aisle and as I walked both of my sons down into the water to be baptized. In the midst of all this change there has been a constant and that constant is the love that I’ve felt from each of you; it is palpable and it has touched me in so many ways. It is because of so many of you that my family and I are who we are today. Your influence and love are imprinted on the character of each member of my family and for that I cannot express my gratitude.
The changes at hand bring a mixture of sadness and joy, and I would not lie to you and tell you that these changes will be easy. Instead I will tell you that I’m looking at these past seven years with celebration in my heart for these years have been filled with much joy. I have great anticipation for what God has in store for my family. The sadness I speak of has nothing to do with leaving GCC, simply because I’m not leaving GCC. Although I’ll no longer be employed by GCC, my church is GCC and I’m still a part of this church as are my family and we will be here. No, my sadness is because I’ll miss serving each of you in the great adventure facing the staff in the upcoming months.
Please join me in prayer for my family as we embrace the changes God has placed on our horizon and know that I’m praying for each of you as you embrace the changes facing you. Let me also ask that you lift up Jason and Justin as they try to figure out how to move forward and best serve you.
Please join me in praying for this next chapter in Ed's life. He's a great man and great friend. If you'd like to ping him personally you can find him at ebuford@gmail, http://twitter.com/ebuford, and http://www.facebook.com/ebuford