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Armonk Minister Says Goodbye to Westchester

ARMONK, N.Y. - Six years of hard work and memories were packed into boxes at Reverend Hikari Chang's office in the Armonk United Methodist Church . As she waits for her next big move, the Japanese minister said she will miss the people of her church the most.

"I don't have a lot of family members in this country," Chang said. "The people of this church were close to me, and almost like a part of my family."

After serving as the Armonk minister for six years, Chang and her family are moving to Oceanside, Long Island to work at their local church, a move she said she was excited for.

Chang and her husband Paul are both ministers and brought their two daughters up at the Armonk church. The "clergy couple" moved from New Hampshire in 2005 so Hikari could serve her term as reverend.

The United Methodist Church has their ministers relocate every several years so the members do not become too attached to a single person.

"We are a connectional church," Chang said. "The local churches do not belong to the minister. The churches belong to the community, and we, as ministers, vow to serve anywhere and everywhere."

Chang will be replaced by Reverend Jennifer Pick, who will be relocating from an upstate church. She and her husband Todd are both pastors.

"Though it is the Methodist way to change ministers every so often, we will miss Reverend Chang," said Geri Mariano, of Armonk. "She came to us six years ago and was like a fresh, clean breeze blowing away dust and cobwebs."

The highlights of Chang's tenure in Armonk included the church's 220th anniversary in 2007, animal blessings, tag sales, art shows, Palm Sunday parades and numerous other events. She was also an educator for children during Sunday school.

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