Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 6, 2012

Pastor moves on to answer calling

Christ Church rector departs with new goals, fond memories


“I knew, if I were to stay here, we’d either have to reinvent the relationship and go for some other big goals, or maybe it’s time for me to go on and let somebody come in,” Gill said.

Sitting in her office on Gill’s final day in Andover, Moskal recalled a trip to Jerusalem she and several others took with him years ago. Walking through an ancient marketplace, she said she could imagine Roman soldiers building the walkway she was on. She imagined herself moving through a space occupied by Jesus Christ two millennia ago.

“It’s a marketplace, but it’s also a place where Jesus walked,” she said. “It changed my world view.”

In Andover’s corner of the world, “we’ve become better people,” Moskal said.

“Jeff has broadened the way I think, and I think that’s what the other parishioners think as well,” she said. “He’ll probably still encourage Seattle to think differently and more globally.”

While it was a calling he felt that brought him back to Andover a decade ago, it’s the quest to answer another calling that’s sending him to Seattle.

“A wise theologian named Frederick Buechner said your call is where your own deep passion intersects with a deep hunger within the world,” he said.

First and foremost, Gill will be with his family, who live in Oregon.

“We became grandparents 18 months ago,” he said, smiling. “We’re going to be grandparents — big-time.”

And while it’s the memory of Andover children he’ll take with him, his new parish, Trinity, has few children.

“I’ll be going to a parish where there are virtually no children, a handful at best. It’s in a downtown location where families with young children don’t live,” he said. “One of the things I’m really excited about at Trinity Parish is the potential for developing a really strong adult ministry. They’ve got a growing number of young people in their 20s and 30s.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Pictures of the Week