September 10, 2019
For seven years, it has been my joy to serve on Plymouth’s Care Team, as your Faith Community Visitor. With a mixture of sadness, deep gratitude, and some excitement for what comes next, I’ve decided to move on from this role.
In the Fall of 2011, I was 55 and had just retired from my dream career as a Research Scientist at UW. Giving up that career was the right choice, but it was also a bit of a come-down. My cheerful face at the time masked a wounded spirit. As always, it was good to have my church community to keep me thinking about positive things and thinking about others.
Then one week a little notice appeared in the Herald announcing that Plymouth was looking for a new “Parish Visitor”. Hmmmm…. Almost on a whim, I threw my hat in the ring. Rev. Brigitta Remole (our lead pastor at the time) took a chance on me, despite my lack of formal training or experience. Thank you, Brigitta! Your faith in me was the first of many blessings to come - but the one that made all the others possible.
Let’s pause a moment to reflect on the mission of Plymouth’s Care Team (from the 2018 Annual Report):
Together, we seek to provide help, companionship and a loving church connection to those who can no longer attend church regularly or who are experiencing medical or emotional transition, bereavement, or the like. On behalf of the church, we strive to keep abreast of major changes in a family's or individual's life and support folks through life's inevitable transitions.
Now think about what those goals and responsibilities feel like from the point of view of the Visitor: An ongoing series of deep, one-on-one relationships with members of your Plymouth family. Being an important part of Plymouth’s Care Team and witnessing first hand the work that holds our community together in so many quiet but vital ways. Experiencing over and over again the joy of service as you see what a difference a little listening and encouragement can make in someone’s life. These and more have been my blessings.
It’s been a great seven years! I might have fallen into post-retirement depression; instead I’ve grown tremendously, exploring whole new areas of life and myself and making wonderful friends along the way. I feel strengthened and renewed and, while it’s hard to step away, I feel called to return to Nature and Science as the focus of my energies. As I step into that calling, I pray that the fall of 2019 will be the opening of a wonderful new chapter in the Visitor Ministry at Plymouth. Might this opportunity be calling to you, or to someone you know?
Peace and blessings to you all, Tad Anderson