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The Rewards of a Long Hike

February 04, 2022 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Photo of a rocky mountaintop, with a hiker in the distance and the sun shiningIn Rev. Nick’s Annual Meeting address to us, he acknowledged that many of us feel tired. Tired of Covid, tired of Zoom, tired because we are working hard to renew our communal life together. Rev Nick pointed out that we may feel tired but not exhausted; we feel the type of tired one might feel after a long walk or a hike in the White Mountains. As a hiker, I understand that analogy. After a long hike there is a sense of accomplishment — each step brings you closer to the summit with lovely rewards along the way.

I have hiked on and off for my whole life, and as a sport, it is simple: you just put one foot in front of the other. Some might call it boring, but if you are observant, there is a lot to look at and think about while hiking. In the springtime, when the trees are not yet in full bloom, you can spy the lady slipper and trillium wildflowers off to the side of the trail. Summer is beautiful with the long days and warm temperatures, and possibly thunder clouds forming in the distance. Of course, in New England the “hiking season” is the fall when the mountains are ablaze with color. I happen to really enjoy winter hiking: the day needs to be just right, cold and sunny, but the snowy woods are magical, and quiet, and the snow-covered trail is easier on the knees.

Like hiking, I am ending my six years as Warden feeling tired, but the good tired, not exhausted but tired with a reward of a long hike that is now over, with a sense of accomplishment of a job well done. Typically, a hiker’s reward are the beautiful views along the way or feeling like you are standing on top of the world and seeing for miles. The rewards for me during my time as a warden has been getting to know each of you better and working alongside you to make God’s kingdom on Earth a closer reality. Often when the trail gets steep, hikers need encouragement to continue. I have felt encouraged and supported by all of you during the most difficult times in these past six years and for that I am very grateful. Along the way you have been the vista points, the points of beauty. You have helped me in my spiritual journey; my faith is stronger and deeper knowing that not every problem can be solved, that sometimes you just need to have the faith to hand it over to God.

I have been blessed to have served with two wonderful Co-Wardens, Jane White and Dave McSweeney, both of whom I consider dear friends. Jane was a patient mentor, and we made a good team guiding the rector in organizing the fiscal and spiritual life of this place, while enjoying a few laughs along the way. Dave’s three years as a Warden have been full of unpredictability and change. I am so grateful to have had Dave as a partner to walk with during these days. His intelligence, deep spirituality, and sense of humor lightened the burden that we both carried — thank you.

It has been a joy to get to know Rev. Nick and his family. The Parish of the Epiphany is blessed to have him as our spiritual leader — we are in good hands.

Finally, thank you to our new Warden, Nelia Newell, for accepting the call, and to our new slate of officers and Vestry people for saying yes to the call to serve the good people of the Parish of the Epiphany.

Thank you again; it has been a pleasure to serve along side of you.


Yours in Christ,

Suzanne Owayda,
Warden, retired


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