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September Wheel 2017 Newsletter

BY: Susan Latimer0 COMMENTS CATEGORY: Newsletter

The count down!

Dear People of St. Catherine’s,

I am counting down the days to the end of my radiation treatments (a couple more weeks – 33 in total) and to my return to you on September 24th! It has been a long time. My priority will be to re-connect with you, and get to know the new people who have joined the community since January of 2017. This will take a while. I look forward to sitting down with you, and to hearing what God has been doing in your lives since we were together.

I know that it will be an opportunity for growth for all of us for me to return and join you again in ministry as your Rector. When I began my medical disability leave in January, I probably knew the parish better than any other one person, having been Rector for just over 5 years. Now I realize that there is much for me to catch up on, and that this will also take a while. People have stepped up into leadership positions and our Sr. Warden, Terry Bechtel, has had to do the administrative work that usually falls to the Rector. Our parish administrator, Brenda Menendez, has also had to do more than usual in my absence. I am deeply grateful to both of them and to all who have taken on more responsibilities. I remain deeply grateful to Fr. Allen+ who was with you the first four months of my treatment. I didn’t worry a bit about the parish, knowing that Fr. Allen+ was doing the liturgies and pastoral care, and that Terry Bechtel was the Sr. Warden.

I know that some things have changed, some people have died or moved on, and many new people have joined the community! I look forward to re-engaging with the parish as it is currently, not as it was when I began my cancer treatment.

I also have been changed, deeply, by the journey through stage 3 cancer treatment. Not only is my appearance changed, but I have experienced the past 8 months as something completely different from anything in my life before.

Having a life-threatening illness, and extensive treatment for the same, can help put everything else in perspective. My life was slowed down, pared down to the daily necessities for living. For the first time in my life I was unable to predict how I was going to be, and what I was going to be able to do, from one moment to another It will be a while until my energy returns to what it was before my illness. I will have to be patient with that, and I ask your patience as well.

Through all of this I have felt God’s presence, and support, in many ways. With the many challenges there have been many blessings. Thank you for all the wonderful cards and especially for the prayers which have held me up through this long time of chemo, surgery, and radiation.

So – I am changed, you are changed, and we are about to join together again in ministry in Christ’s name and to the glory of God. I trust that God will show us the way forward, and I eagerly await our reunion on September  24th. I am deeply grateful to God that I am alive and well and counting down the days to September 24th.


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