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- Staff and Board Members
David Andrews, MDiv
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY RELATIONS
CSAC - Staff List
Director of Development and Community Relations
The Addison County Independent - Middlebury, Andrews retires 12-5-02
"I was 8 or 9 years old," Andrews, now 57, recalled on Tuesday."I remember thinking 'that's a pretty church' and 'that's a pretty town.'"
Little did Andrews know at the time that he
would eventually serve for 20 years behind the pulpit of that picturesque church at 27 North Pleasant St. He's
enjoyed the experience immensely, but Andrews believes it's time for him to move on to do something else before he
reaches retirement age.
, the second-longest serving pastor in the more than 200-year history of the Congregational Church of Middlebury
, will deliver his
last sermon this December.
"I've talked in my sermons about the need for people to accept change," Andrews
said during an interview in his
study at the Charter House, which offers a splendid view of the majestic Congregational Church steeple across the street.
"I thought I had been in a fixed pattern in my own life for some time, and that perhaps I had arrived at the stage where I should listen to my own message, for a change," Andrews
Early next year, Andrews
will begin a new chapter in his
professional life.He'll be working as director of development and community relations at the Counseling Service of Addison County.
"I'll be able to use some of the things I'm good at - administration, communication and raising consciousness," Andrews
has honed those skills during a 33-year career preaching the Gospel, first in Canterbury, N.H., then in East Arlington before arriving in Middlebury
in 1982.After admiring the Congregational Church from afar for so many years, Andrews was finally getting a chance to be its pastor.He
immediately embraced and encouraged the church's historic pattern of tackling some controversial issues.For example, the church had become involved in the resettlement of refugees from Cambodia, and later, Bosnia.And parishioners had also made their voices heard on political hot spots such as Vietnam and Nicaragua.
"That really impressed me," Andrews
recalled, "that people were willing to open up their hearts and homes to people from other parts of the world."
In recent years, the church has taken on other challenges, such as adopting a new hymn book featuring more "inclusive," or gender-friendly, language.
A year ago, the congregation voted to recognize and perform civil unions in the church.Andrews
has yet to officiate at a civil union ceremony, as the only requests have come from out of state.As with any couple he
wants to have a connection with them first.
But Andrews' connection with the church has gone beyond that of spiritual leader.He's
presided over two major renovation projects to the historic church building, which also happens to be the only structure left standing - other than the Statehouse in Montpelier - in which the Vermont Legislature has convened.The once-roaming Legislature met at the Congregational Church
in 1806, according to one of the more famous current members of the flock, Gov.-elect James Douglas.
And while he
may return to the church as a parishioner, Andrews will miss ministering to the congregation."One of my regrets about retiring is that I won't be able to preach to the governor," Andrews joked.
Douglas, a member of the church for the past 30 years, said Andrews
will be missed.
not only a good preacher and a pleasant and gregarious guy, he's
provided us with good leadership that has served us well," Douglas said."I certainly wish him the best."Andrews
enjoys the fact that his
congregation - now 400 strong - has been a good mixture of folks throughout Addison County
.Sunday services see a group ranging from college professors to blue-collar workers.
"It's been a very thoughtful and engaged congregation," Andrews
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