It's hard to write about all the ways Andrew's been part of my life. There were all the different classes he taught at the Vineyard, the countless wedding ceremonies he officiated that I attended, the sermons preached, and the leading by example as he shared life's stories with Val during the leading of the Marriage Course. Here are a few specific memories that come to mind:
The first time I met Andrew was in 2001 during my small group that Prashant Murti was leading. I introduced myself to Andrew thinking he was another new person coming to the group only to find out Andrew was observing that night as the Small Groups pastor! (I was still new at the Vineyard at the time).
My first time directly working with Andrew was in 2005 when I was head of the Logistics team at the church and Andrew was one of the main people (in addition to Chi-Ray) overseeing the transition to our new church building. (see accompanying picture as we were touring the construction of the building) I had many conversations with Andrew on the best way to handle all the details of smoothly running our own church as well as how to not exhaust myself in the process. His leadership was invaluable in the important task of taking care of the practical as well as the spiritual needs of people serving. Here is a snapshot from my meeting minutes during that time of tasks to do:
Andrew will take care of how people are doing things, making it more welcoming so people want to serve
I think that sums it up – Andrew wholeheartedly was part of serving the church and meeting people's needs.
Two funny times I remember with Andrew was the time I first started dating my husband and we were walking into church together and were coming in from the parking lot – we were holding hands but when we got closer to the church and I started seeing people (like Andrew) I got embarrassed and let go of my then boyfriend's hand and tried to pretend we hadn't been holding hands. Andrew called me on that and joked with me about my shyness in admitting I was dating (Andrew loved to laugh and have fun!). The other time was when I first visited the Boston site of the church and asked Andrew how things were going as we were walking into service. While holding his cup of coffee, Andrew said, "Great! I love it that I can bring my coffee into the service!" Somehow I think this may have led to the site at Cambridge adopting that privilege when we merged the sites back together… : )
There are moments like these when I just have to laugh at Andrew's candor and good nature. Though I wasn't as closely connected to him and his family, I was definitely touched by his life. While I was looking back on my pictures of events and celebrations at the Vineyard, Andrew is in almost all of them because he was such a huge presence in the church. He will be missed.