To all couples, but especially to the couples I have married over my ministry of fifty- seven years.
As most of you are aware, a year ago this last November the time came for me to retire from the active ministry because of my health. This was a most difficult decision, but now a year has passed since my retirement.
God has been so very good to me for my heart first gave me trouble when I was only thirty-eight, and here I am now in my eighties.
Dale and I have a beautiful cape home, far different from our Victorian home in Attleboro. It is a lot easier for us to maintain and care for. Both of us are very happy here in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Often in the evenings, I will start a fire in our living room stove, and we will eat our supper together nice and warm and cozy.
As a pastor, I certainly miss the friendships and close relationships I have had with the people of the churches and chapels I have served, but I look back on a wonderful life, a life with depth and meaning.
Certainly Dale and I have had adjustments to make with our new life, but our love has only grown stronger. Dale is so wonderful to me as she takes on the burdens of carrying so many things like the groceries, shoveling snow and seeing that I do not overdo. With all my strength, I attempt to do those things that will make life easier for Dale as she works full time in the Hopkinton School system. I’m very good at doing the wash and putting the clothes away; I see that the dishes are washed and that the dishwasher is emptied. Yes, and I make the bed too – after all, I am the last one out of it. I‘m not a cook, but I will help Dale with meals, and often I drop off a salad for her at school so that she can have a special lunch.
I have not preached for over a year, but I have been asked to do so the on the last day of December. The sermon topic will be New Beginnings. In marriage, there are many new beginnings, and each one is somewhat frightening; however, with God in your marriage, and a great love and respect for each other there is nothing to fear.
How many new beginnings have you had in your married life?
Oh, a great new beginning this year for Dale and for me is our love for our new Bernese Mountain dog, Molly. As a couple, we have come to so love Molly and to work together for a joyous home with what I call, “A Most Remarkable Dog.” Molly has brought us closer together and not only that – there is a sense of security for me that Molly is with Dale to love and protect her as well as me.
May all your new beginnings this year be ones of happiness; yet if there are difficult times ahead – remember – remember well, if you keep God in your marriage, the future is nothing to fear.
I want to wish all of the couples that are married and whose weddings I officiated at over the years a most Joyous Christmas and a loving bond as deep as Dale’s and mine. Happy New Year!
In Christian love, Ken.