County lake retiree to become new pastor

Staff writer

The day after the Rev. Sue Talbot retires, she will accept the duties of the Valley United Methodist Church pastor.

“It makes you laugh when you think about it,” she said. “God certainly has a sense of humor.”

Talbot has been a minister for the past 20 years, but is ready to retire and couldn’t think of a better place to do it than at a small cottage on Marion County Lake. So, when the position opened at Valley United Methodist Church, she went for it.

“It was a godsend,” she said. “I’ve wanted to come for a long time. I have a lot of friends around Marion. It’s a great place with great people. As far as positions go, this is as good as it gets.”

As a missionary kid, Talbot has traveled the world, living in places like Africa and Turkey. But she couldn’t think of a better place to retire than Marion. She has had a vacation home at the lake for several years, and has enjoyed the friends and fellowship of those in the greater Marion community. Monday, her moving van will pull up to her now-permanent residence.

“It’ll be interesting to see how I’m going to get a house full of furniture into an already furnished home,” she said. “I’ll be lucky if I can find my Sunday clothes before I give my first sermon!”

Talbot’s position at Valley is part-time, but she said it is important for her to be available when the community needs her — even if means working more than 20 hours. However, she does look forward to spending equal time leading the local church and in retirement.

Talbot said, at first, she expects the position to be challenging, but said it promises to get better once she puts a few more names with a few more faces.

The first six months, she said, will be filled with getting to know people and how the church operates, before she implements any changes. Her main plan is to build relationships, and let the cards fall where they may.

“I love to preach. I love people, and I love to create,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I enjoy Valley?”

Between now and July 6, when she will take the pulpit for the first time, Talbot plans to work on her sermon and get to know the residents. She said she is excited about serving, and knows that God has placed her in this position.

Talbot said this will be her last post, and she plans to serve as long as the church will allow before permanently retiring full-time at the lake,

“Methodists like to move their pastors around a lot,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been moving my entire life. It’ll be good to say that this is my last move. I’ll be able to really get settled and put down some roots here.”

Sue Talbot has two sons, three daughters, nine grandchildren, and two dogs.

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