As November rolls in, a season of change is upon us. The weather is cold and wet. The leaves have changed color and most have fallen. And like this season of change we see happening all around us, we are experiencing one ourselves here at church with the retirement of Father Martin. An exciting time of change for him but one that can leave us all wondering… what now?
With this change, I would like to take some time reflecting on the past 14 years that Father Martin has been here and what that time has meant for me and my entire family. As many of you know, I absolutely pride myself in being a 4th generation member of this church. My great-grandparents, Katharine and Don Cameron (who the Cameron Wing is named after) were one of the founding families of St. Andrew’s. My grandparents, Wayne and Peggy Nelson, were married in this church over 60 years ago. My mom and dad, Brian and Karen Burdick, met in the Episcopal church and were married over 30 years ago at St Andrews. I have been a member since the day I was born over 24 years ago. This church has even introduced me to new, non-blood related family with my Grandma and late Grandpa Lowenberg. So many of the members of this church have become“family” and I, and my family, are truly so blessed. With that all being said, we have seen A LOT of change over the years of being members of St. Andrews.
Father Martin came to St. Andrew’s when I was only 10 years old. As I was so young, I can barely remember the pastors who came before him. Father Martin has been there through all the change in my life. From the highs of my confirmation, graduations, birthdays and family celebrations. To the lows of losing family members and conflicts that have arisen over the years. He has always been a strong model of support and offered wisdom, teaching or just a hug when it was needed. Father Martin, from my family to you, please know that you will be missed tremendously but we are all so happy for the next adventure in your life! Cheers to you!
So now what? With this change, you might be asking yourself this question. You might be feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, confused. I wish I had the answers on how to handle the anxieties of change, but honestly I struggle with this too. My best advice that I can share, as simple as it sounds, is to remember the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things that I can
and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.