Appreciation for service rendered
By Vickie Wagstaff
Members of the Cypress Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently recognized their outgoing Presidency during an open house.
President Frank G. Mackay with councilors Duff Whitaker and Rick Nitta were called to serve as the Presidency of the Cypress Stake in Jan. 2013. Ken Jenks replaced Whitaker in Jan. 2015.
A 2013 photo from the day the new Stake Presidency accepted their callings. Pictured from left are Visiting Church Authority Elder Choi, Duff Whitaker, from Buena Park; Frank Mackay of Cypress; Rick Nitta of Cypress and Visiting Church Authority Elder Haynie.
The outgoing Presidency was released in Aug. 2017, when Robert Redding of Buena Park was called as the new Stake President.
Regarding the method for changing leadership in the Church, it is believed that “callings” are made through inspiration.
Visiting Church Authorities interview worthy candidates within the Stake boundaries, prayerfully pondering who should be called to serve. Based on inspiration received, a new president is then called. All service is done voluntarily and without pay.
At the time Mackay was called as Stake President, he had served in the previous presidency with William Wynder as President for nine years.
Mackay is no stranger to service having served five years as the Bishop of a local congregation before serving with Wynder.
Mackay also held responsibilities overseeing the youth/children and single adult programs, Sunday School instruction, Welfare Programs and Public Affairs to name a few.
Outside of church, Mackay was also employed as a Principal in the Garden Grove Unified School District.
During the open house, Redding first expressed appreciation to the wives of the past presidency: Janette Mackay, Debbie Whitaker, Kim Nitta and Erin Jenks.
“I learned early on that when husbands are away on the Lord’s errands, it puts an additional strain on the families at home,” said Redding. “Very real sacrifices are made; many times, wives are left to run the home and they spend many nights alone. I want to express gratitude to them for their sacrifices.”
As a token of their appreciation, the Cypress Stake presented Mackay, Whitaker, Nitta and Jenks with a statuette of the Savior holding a lamb.
“There are many images that the Lord uses to characterize the relationship He would have with us,” Redding continued. “One that He utilized more than any other is of a shepherd with his sheep, a relationship of protection, nurturing and caring. When we serve in the Lord’s kingdom, we are being entrusted with the care of Heavenly Father’s children—His lambs—in our efforts to sacrifice and give to others we are slowly, very slowly, becoming like the Savior. I view this statuette as a representation of the many hours that were spent serving others by the outgoing presidency. We want to say ‘thank you’ very much for your service and examples.”