Last weekend, we went to the beach on both Saturday and Sunday. Because our end of September weather was humid and in the mid 80s and it could not have felt more glorious out there. Both days, we launched our boat at the Eastport Dock and both days ended up soaking in the sun and enjoying hours and hours on the same beautiful beach.
However, last weekend when we pulled our boat up to our usual parking spot on the bay side of Cupsogue, I noticed that something seemed different. Looking deeper, I realized that the coming of Fall was causing little changes all around us. The green areas of the beach were starting to turn into golden yellows and browns and towards the evening the air felt just a little bit crisper.
Both days, the ocean was churning. Technically, it’s hurricane season though thankfully none have ventured up north so far. But there was something different, even with the bigger than normal waves of the ocean. They had a different look and feel to them and they were crashing so close to the shore that we weren’t able to enjoy the water quite as much as we did in the summer.
And I suppose it’s a bit interesting considering all of the beach changes that Fall is bringing, because “change” seems to be the theme in our lives lately. The biggest and most significant change that we learned about last week is that as of the end of October, our church will be without a Senior Pastor again.
I’ll be honest, this one hit me hard. Pastor Jerry and DeAnna have been with us for three years. He came in as an interim pastor when Pastor Charley retired and just under a year later, our church hired him to be our Senior Pastor. During that time, we built up relationships and watched our church grow and flourish. Jeremy really enjoyed working with Jerry and I got to get to know him more as well when I was hired this past year to work as a part time Children’s Ministry Director. In the time that he was here, our church had love and appreciation for him and the many ways he served our congregation as our pastor.
So you can imagine the hard emotions that came when Pastor Jerry announced last Sunday that he and DeAnna felt that God was calling them to a different place in their lives. While I was happy for them because they are anticipating a new journey, I was incredibly sad for our church and the loss that we would experience with them leaving. Crazily enough, this will be our fifth change in Senior Pastors since we’ve been here. So we know from experience that these changes bring their own unique set of challenges.
We also found out this week some incredibly sad news for our friend Adam Capurso. Adam is from our town and has been a part of our Youth Group for what seems like forever. Before that we had gotten to know his oldest brother Ralph who was also a part of our youth group. A few days ago, Adam’s second oldest brother Kevin was killed in a motorcycle accident. Kevin was 21 years old. When I heard this I was so heartbroken and all I could think about was how things drastically would change for Adam and his family as they grieved such a sudden and terrible loss.
*On a side note, if you think of it, could you please keep the Capurso family in your prayers. The wake for Kevin Capurso was today. There was a beautiful outpouring of love from the Capurso’s family and friends and from our community as well. But please pray for strength and peace for the Capursos as they journey through this heartbreaking time.
Life is full of changes. Sometimes they are good, but I’m learning that sometimes they are just so hard. My heart has struggled this week anticipating the changes that are coming for our church as we say goodbye to Pastor Jerry and DeAnna and begin another search for a Senior Pastor. And my heart is absolutely grieving for our friend Adam and for the changes that his family will face with the loss of his brother Kevin.
I’ll close with a verse that gave me comfort today and one that always brings comfort through the changes that will come in life. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forget you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” My constant in life has always been to know that no matter what is going on in my life, that God is the same and He is always with me. This is a beautiful truth that my heart will hold close no matter what changes in life may come.