On Saturday, May 18, NSBC celebrated Kate Whitmore as our Daily Disciple at the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago Disciples' Dinner. On June 3, we gathered once more to celebrate her life and legacy, after she passed away on May 28.
For the award presentation, this is what we said about Kate:
In a church with four diverse congregations, relatively few members are able to impact the entire church in such a way that causes them to be spoken of with great fondness in four different languages. In the span of just a few years, Kate Whitmore has become one of those people. It is small wonder, as she is the kind of person who, in between chemotherapy treatments, once rented a moving van and drove a struggling mother and child from the church community to Missouri so they could start over in a safe environment, supported by family members.
As director of the handbell choir, she supported and encouraged ringers from their first time picking up bells to the hundredth time, bringing joyful new music to our services. As church treasurer, Kate worked tirelessly to make finances more transparent. She reached out across congregational lines to insure that financial information was being effectively communicated in all our different languages. Finally, she worked diligently to advocate for equitable compensation for all members of the pastoral team.
As a member of the pastoral relations committee, Kate improved the quality of dialogue between church leaders and pastors, helping the whole church articulate a clearer vision of good pastoral leadership. She empowered clergy and laity alike to ask for what they needed from the church. In all circumstances, she never failed to advocate for justice and fairness.
In her faithful and tireless service, Kate always brings a kind word of wisdom, a courageous prophetic call, and a razor-sharp wit. She has made NSBC a more loving and just reflection of the kingdom of God, and the church will never be the same.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Rest in joy.
To learn more about Kate Whitmore and the marvelous life she led, read her obituary here.