From my heart to yours – July 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

From my heart to yours – July 2016

I thought I had written my last Informer article, however, there is just one more left, which waits to arrive in your heart from mine.  This article is filled with thankfulness and appreciation for what you have expressed and offered to us at our farewell service (Sunday 19th June) and at our final Communion Service (Sunday 26th June) along with words expressed personally to Fleur and me.

Looking back at our farewell Café Service, it truly was a celebration of our communal journey together. The gracious responses shared from table conversations along with the little notes of appreciation warmed my heart as I took time to read and reflect upon what had been written with deep love and affection. Thank you. Mark’s singing was once again enjoyed and appreciated (Thank you Mark).

Then arrived the basket of goodies, (Thank you Isabel for selecting appropriate his and hers gifts) for Fleur and me, the envelope with that generous cheque, the beautiful orchid, and that stunning pictorial book of remembrance of our journey together (Thank you Andrea for creating and compiling the book).  Then we had the first of Jimi’s cakes, it was so delicious and enough for every one (Thank you Jimi). But wait, there is more, then Bruce shared his thoughts and a story from Pooh Bear and Eeyore, on behalf of you all. (Thank you Bruce, for your gracious and heartfelt words).  Following this, we again shared the peace, it was a special time of greeting and acknowledging, within the Mystery of Christ who is present in and among us.

It was appropriate that my final service was also a celebration of Holy Communion, which is at the heart of our communal life and journey; I was delighted and privileged that I could share this with my ministry colleague and friend Rev Roxy Gahegan (Thank You Roxy). After the service we shared another of Jimi’s cakes, once more it was delicious and enough for everyone (Thank you Jimi)

Looking back on these two gatherings, we found ourselves, filled with thoughts, feelings and memories of our journey together. In my past ministry situations, when I have left a church community having been called to another ministry setting and had a farewell, it was nothing like what I have experienced in recent weeks here at St Aidans. This has been very different and something that Fleur and I will treasure and hold dearly within our hearts, it was very precious, for you warmed our hearts with your love and acceptance.

Six and half years ago, we arrived, needing a place to belong; you welcomed and took us into your hearts, so our journey together begun.  It has not been easy to conclude my ministry here at St Aidans, for I hold you all within my heart, and will delight in hearing all the good things of your future travels along new pathways of creativity and service to the community.

Fleur and I look forward to sharing in the potluck dinner on Saturday 30 July; it will be an opportunity for further conversations, the sharing of stories, and of course enjoying good food and wine together.  Until, then:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,

May you be held in hollow of God’s hand.

– Traditional Celtic blessing

Meanwhile Peace

Alf