Messenger July/August 2018 - Dear friends of St A's
About six years ago Brittany and I were sitting in a Sunday morning service at St A’s for the first time. We had been invited to the church by Ben and Rachael Wilson, friends we had met upon moving to Cambridge, and who had been active members at St A’s for the three years they were in Cambridge for Ben’s PhD studies. Ben knew I was looking for opportunities to be involved in ministry in Cambridge, and that St A’s was in the process of looking for a part-time youth worker. Over the next few months, I applied for the position and was appointed in April 2013.
That seems like a lifetime ago in many ways. The number of changes that have taken place in my life and the lives of the people around me have been astounding. Take, for example, children: between me and Brittany, and Ben and Rachael, there are now five children! The four of us have also have attained three advanced degrees among us in that time. There have been numerous job changes and house moves and all the other things that happen in life over the space of six years. But far more than the practical changes in my life like jobs and houses, the things about me that have changed most in these six years are internal. It is change that has happened in the way I think, the perspective I have on the world, the things I value. And in this way, my time at St A’s and in Cambridge has been transformative in a profound and lasting way.
The Apostle Paul encourages the church at Rome not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. St A’s has played a pivotal role in the renewing of my mind and the process of the Holy Spirit shaping me into being more like Jesus. Being a part of a church with great diversity of backgrounds, nationalities, social status, and even theological views has given me a glimpse of what it might be like for Christ’s church to represent every tribe, tongue, and nation when his kingdom comes in all its fullness. The welcome my family and I have enjoyed at St A’s has reiterated to us the unity that is shared amongst believers whether they are American, British, or otherwise. Being a part of the youth work at St A’s and the pastoral care ministry, teaching folks and learning from them, has helped me understand how people of all ages, young and old, can set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. Having the opportunity to preach and lead services at St A’s has allowed me to find my voice in ministry and to learn week by week what it means to shepherd the people God has put in your care.
My time at St A’s has been marked by times of joy and times of difficulty; times of laughter and times of pain; times of success and times of failure. But when one time comes to a close and another opens, the Lord’s mercy is renewed. St A’s has been a blessing of the Lord’s mercy in our lives, and we are so grateful for our time here. We are especially grateful for all the relationships we’ve made that will hopefully last for years to come.
Even as we prepare to move on from Cambridge, with all the sadness and loss that entails, I want you to know that a part of you, the church at St Andrew’s Street, will move along with me in the lessons I’ve learned and experiences we’ve shared.
Blessings and love,