After 12 years on the job, Alexandria District Secretary Martha Flanagan will retire at the end of April. Kim Johnson sat down with Martha to talk with her about her time on the job. Here are portions of that interview.

Kim: How long have you worked for the District?

Martha: I’ve worked for 12 years for the Alexandria District. I came from the Arlington District. I worked at Sterling United Methodist for 12 years.

Retiring Alexandria District Secretary, Martha Flanagan (R) and incoming Alexandria District Secretary, Maureen Allison (L).

K: But you’re not a United Methodist yourself?

M: No! I’m a Lutheran actually. But you all have been VERRRRRY nice to me and taken me in. I appreciate that very much.

K: Is it weird to be in and around all of this United Methodist stuff while balancing your role at your Lutheran church all at the same time?

M: Not at all. I have United Methodist clergy in my family.  My Grandfather was a United Methodist his whole life and so it is familiar to me.

K: What has been the best thing about working for the District?

M: It has been all the people. I’ve met and worked with hundreds of people—clergy and laity alike and everyone has just been wonderful to work with.

K: What advice or words of wisdom do you have for the clergy you are leaving behind?

M: One thing is to try to get your reports in on time! (We spend a lot of time here trying to track down missing reports!) But also just to love your people and to bring them to Christ.

K: Same question but for the laity you’ve worked with.

M: I think to work toward the good of the church and to the kingdom of God. Work toward those goals.

K: What’s next for Martha Flanagan in retirement?

M: A little bit of traveling. Hopefully more time with friends and family. Time to relax and do what I want to do. I want to get more involved with my church. I haven’t had as much time to do hands on mission work and I hope to get to that in retirement.

I’m thankful to God for this opportunity. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working for the district and getting to know everyone. I feel your love and support and I really appreciate that.

Martha Flanagan — Fun Facts:

Number of Years as Alexandria District Secretary: 12

Number of years as a United Methodist secretary: 12 at Sterling UMC

Number of Alexandria District Superintendents served: 4 (Alan Reifsnyder, Ken Jackson, Ted Smith (interim), and Jeff Mickle)

Number of Alexandria District office buildings worked in: 2

Number of Squirrels removed from the Bi-District Office: 1
(See Martha tell this story in her own words here!)


Do you want to join the Alexandria District in honoring Martha’s retirement? Click Here to learn more about the Celebrate the Increase/Farewell Martha banquet on April 23.