Last week I was in Fayetteville, NC where it was very warm and very humid. I’m no stranger to the sand hills of North Carolina. Living in Fayetteville for 8 years gave me a wonderful view of this very diverse community.
I went back to nursing in 1991 while at the same time working on my own healing. The first 6 years of my ordained ministry brought many joys; and many new stresses. Those stresses complicated an already overburdened psyche resulting in depression. So I moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Raleigh, NC to find solace and healing. Choosing bedside nursing this time I went to work on the Oncology Unit of Rex Hospital, taking care of patients in various stages of their fight with cancer. Those patients, fighting to live, and learning how to die, taught me how to live. As the therapy I was doing cleared a path for receiving these lessons in life, I began to experience healing.
Going back to ordained ministry was a bit tougher. Gradually I began to reach out and begin to do supply work on an occasional Sunday. With the permission and support of Bishop Sid Sanders in the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina I took services for churches close to Raleigh. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church was one of those churches. Holy Trinity was then as now a growing church in the Haymont District of Fayetteville. A third or more of the congregation were active military or retired military. It was a warm, open congregation gave me the support I needed to do ministry again. They eventually called me to be their Associate Rector, a position that lasted 8 years. I worked with Ron Abrams, the Rector, and we were able to share ministry by understanding our different gifts for doing ministry.
Holy Trinity gave me a new beginning and it holds a very special place in my heart. Some of my deepest friendships are connected to my time there. Retirement has given me a chance to have a closer and I hope, more giving relationship with those friends. It’s nice to know that the skills I have as a nurse continue as viable gifts to offer friends who are in need. We all “need to be needed” and we all have those times in life when others can step in help.
Life is short,
And we do not have much time
to gladden the hearts of those who
make the journey with us.
So… be swift to love,
and make haste to be kind.