CONVERSATION CORNER - SEPTEMBER
The editor asked readers to consider St. Margaret’s new mantra, “Embrace Change” and recall a time they have been surprised by a change of heart in terms of adapting to a change they initially resisted. Here are a few replies:
I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO do not particularly like change, but what choice do we have? Things always change! Instead of resisting change (which is really my natural instinct) I try to keep my eye on the prize as the saying goes.
There has been a lot of change at St. Margaret’s but in the end it is the church that is important to me and the family there that remains. It is very important for me to have my boys grow up at St Margaret’s the way I did. So in my mind, whatever changes occur I have to just roll with it if “the prize” I am keeping my eye on is belonging to St. Margaret’s ... and accept it for whatever form that is at the given time. I cannot picture myself belonging to another church and maybe that is because I don't like change ... but I think it is really because St. Margaret’s is like home to me. I appreciate what all of our members do to make that so.
~ Christine Kott
I'VE COME TO SEE MOST ALL CHANGE AS DIQUIETING. It’s hard to accept that things I did as a younger man or that we did as a younger couple are no longer easy or even possible. I want to resist the march of time. While we bless our children and celebrate their successes, we now rattle around in a house too big for us. We sorely miss them. We miss friends who have moved away; the loss of things as they once were. I even get a little sad on the death of cut flowers!
Change is everywhere whether we are aware of it or not. Attachment to the way things are, what we know, and on what we’ve come to rely is the stuff of illusion. I would prefer to keep things the way I like them, just as they are; I enjoy the sense of control and predictability it affords me. Yet, I know it is isn’t real!
The change at St. Margaret’s, Mother Jennifer’s leaving, and the time it takes to find another pastor, is all uncomfortable. Frankly, it’s a pain! Yet, at the same time, it’s exciting.
Not knowing how it all turns out simply leaves this in God’s hands as we do our part along the way. The change swirling around me now is an important reminder from the Spirit of both who is in charge and what really matters, LOVE, as we ride the whirligig of time. From where I sit in the face of changing circumstances, I just need to hold on tighter to the people I love! Nothing else really matters. Nothing else has ever really mattered!
~ Br. Anton Armbruster, TSSF
FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, I was enjoying our older daughter Lorraine’s family life and adventures for about a decade. I would drive up the Bronx River Parkway in my blue Happy Honda and spend the day, relieving a busy mother who worked a 7 p.m.-to-7 a.m. hospital shift. Sometimes I would bring Jack home with me for a sleepover with Grandma and Poppy. I loved sharing in their family life, whether birthday parties for the twins, picking apples or enjoying the first sleigh ride.
And then the most difficult challenge came for me. I couldn't bear the thought that Lorraine and Pete might relocate to Charlotte, N.C. Of course, the unthinkable became quite real, and with heavy hearts, we helped them lift off. After several months, when they had settled in to their new home and new school and church, Bob and I flew the Friendly Skies of United (for the first of what turned out to be 5 years of flights), and found them quite happy - curtains hung and rooms ready for Poppy to hang the pictures.
This is what I saw: I couldn't deny their family was bonding together. Instead of Lorraine's calling her dad for advice, they were solving their own problems. Pete found the right church for them, St. John's Charlotte; the boys on the block formed their own ball team and bonded together; Lorraine began movie night for the neighborhood; and Pete was happy at his job. Charlotte was the perfect setting for their family to grow in, the most nurturing atmosphere for them all. It was perfect timing for them and time for Barbara to plant a new garden.
~ Barbara Festa