This morning during the sermon, Karen told a beautiful story about a little girl who wanted time alone with her new baby brother. As her parents listened in on the baby monitor they heard her say "Tell me about God. I've almost forgotten."
I can relate to that little girl. It's how I felt when I first started coming to St. Andrew's. I had moved back to Ottawa after several years in Halifax and had been sporadic about church attendance for quite a while. At the time St. Andrew's was in between ministers and many of the sermons were being preached by Huda. I can't remember the first sermon I heard here at St. Andrew's but I do remember one sermon Huda preached very soon after I started attending. She told a story about a man walking along a beach littered with hundreds of stranded starfish. The man was throwing as many starfish back into the sea as he could and someone came up to him and asked, "Why are you doing this? How can it make a difference?" The man replied, "It mattered to that one." This story moved me so profoundly that it has stayed with me all this time. I began to attend church more regularly and to get a glimmer of what it is like to live a life in Christ, to live on the vine.
It was an emotional day today at St. Andrew's as we said farewell to Huda and thanked her for all she has done for St. Andrew's. Listening to the stories during the reception it was clear how much she has shaped the life of St. Andrew's and how much we will all miss her. It was also clear that whatever her future endeavours entail she will continue to change the lives of those she meets.