Carl Hill's measuring a stack of paper.
"I've got it down to that little pile," he
said, indicating the correspondence and administrative details on the church secretary's desk, which he
is temporarily manning on this day.
Of course, there was also a luncheon to prepare in the church kitchen, and, oh yes, Sunday's
Then, the Rev. Carl Hill will step down after nine years as pastor of the Mount Nittany United Methodist Church
in Lemont and 41 years in the ministry.
But to say Hill
is retiring may be a bit misleading.He
is just completing the first year of a three-year term as chairman of ESSEX
-- the Eastern States Student Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International districts from Quebec to North Carolina.He'll also work as chaplain for the Centre Home Care hospice service.And he's
also got at least one commitment to prepare a five-course meal -- a prize offered in a charity auction.And he works with the International Hospitality Council and serves on the board of the Centre County United Way.
"I'm not slowing down," said Hill
, who will be 63 later this year."I'm actually accelerating in some ways."
Soon he'll be accelerating all over the world.
"Oh yeah," he
answered enthusiastically when quizzed about his
travel plans in retirement."All kinds of things: New Hampshire, my wife is going to Utah in July; we're going to Croatia and Bosnia in August, Denmark -- all Rotary stuff -- British Columbia, Vancouver, Japan next year."
And there's a Penn State football game in Iowa he
would like to attend and, since the ticket manager is a member of Mount Nittany congregation, he
can get tickets, Hill
But after Sunday
will no longer be serving the church he
has seen grow by more than 100 members over the past decade and, just recently, finish the third phase of a major expansion project.At a cost of nearly $1 million, the project added office space, a new Family Life Center
and, not coincidentally, dramatically increased the size of the kitchen.
Some members of his
congregation will remember Hill
as much in the kitchen as in the pulpit.
cooking skills early.
"In Boy Scouts way back when," the Berwick native explained.
, family means -- in addition to the 560 or so members of the church -- Janet, his
wife of 40 years, their two sons and three grandchildren.And then there are the 22 exchange students they've had in and out of their house over the last several decades, the most recent of whom, a young man from Brazil, returned to his
home about a month ago.
"Once you get involved, you just get hooked," Hill
said of his
commitment to the student exchange program.
"I see the change -- the growth and maturity in the students.It opens up college opportunities and career opportunities," he
said."Plus there is the long-term effect on world peace and understanding.I believe it's made a difference someplace."Hill
has been making a difference for more than four decades, in churches in McVeytown, Pleasant Gap and elsewhere before coming to Lemont.
In retirement, he
wife -- who retired as a schoolteacher in Bradford County just last week -- will live in Pleasant Gap once again.