Administrative Assistant, Finance Secretary
It was a slow dance. When I first noticed Jan Talbott several years ago, I could just barely see her through the window in the office into the copy room. Who is that? I wondered. Next I found her at Colleen’s desk where she would help fill in occasionally. Jan would greet with a smile, answer the many questions sent her way and offer sweet words to the kids. During our next couple encounters she shared that she knew my husband’s grandfather and proceeded to tell fascinating stories about him during WWII- colorful, detailed stories about setting up camp for the other soldiers and other tales I hadn’t heard before. And now that comfy "come sit on the front porch and drink some iced tea" feeling appears whenever Jan is around. Jan shows sincere interest in what others have to say and freely shares humorous and endearing tales of her own.
Jan’s own dance here at Gay Street UMC has had the same pattern. Her first connection was from a distance when in 1987 she began working as the secretary in the District Superintendent’s office. In 2005, after some resizing in the district and a shuffling of staff, Jan decided to take a break, though it didn’t last long. In November of that same year, she began working just a couple hours a week in our office. Over the years she has taken on more and more duties, and now one can find her working diligently during the full morning hours every day of the week. Among the many tasks Jan tackles, highlights include those of financial secretary, putting together the monthly Tower Topic and the new UMW newsletter, working on special projects (such as the recent Lenten devotional book) as well as membership items. "You name it - whatever I can do to help out as folks go about the ministry of Gay Street UMC." With her adept computer and people skills, help she does.
The helpful role models were never far away. Chatting with Jan, you will soon notice that family has and is an important and positive force in her life. There are reminiscings of time spent with her nearby grandparents. Jan’s parents were very involved in her and her sister’s lives, whether it be her mom coaching Junior Olympics or her dad, after a long day at work, throwing a ball with her until her hand burned. You may hear about how the family would sled ride groceries and laundry to and from her grandparents’ house during the winter months. Everyday they tried their best to make life fun.
Dance, then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he
And I'll lead you all wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he
And now it is Jan’s turn to be that role model for younger generations. Jan and her husband, David, are the proud parents of two girls, Andi and Abby, and proud grandparents of Abby’s daughter, Jillian. Jan loves spending time with Jilly, playing in the woods and in the creek, just like she did when she was little. Jilly also has the same love for tractors that Jan has had since spending time on her dad’s Farmall IA, mowing the six acres on her childhood property near Amity.
Perhaps her love of the tractor can be found in the fact that that is where Jan feels closest to God. Being out in the open with the fresh air, just letting her mind "kick out of gear" and think about what life is all about. Perhaps it is there that she calls up one of her favorite Scripture "In my Father’s house there are many mansions..." and looks forward to being reunited with all those special loved ones that are waiting for her someday.
But for now, Jan is making the most of her dance here on Earth. And we thank God for that.