From my heart to yours – June 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

From my heart to yours – June 2016

The moment has now arrived.

Sooner or later, I knew

this day would come, when I

retire from ministry here at St Aidans.

 

Silence

 

All manner of,

thoughts,

feelings,

memories

are clamouring for attention.

 

Silence

 

From my heart to yours,

we have had a wonder – filled

six and half years together, with

moments of spontaneity, when

laughter echoed around us.

 

Moments of grief, when

tears flowed, and we found

solace in the embrace of each other.

 

Along the way,

creativity abounded, as

we experimented with new ways of worship.

 

Kids N All, remember our

webs of belonging….. and the experience

of many activities, let us not forget

Don’s magic fingers on the organ.

 

Quiet Service, the prayer candles

lit in silence, with

reflective music from

Grace and Pat.

 

Café Church, offering

food to share, table conversations

and fellowship.

 

Communion, were all are welcome

at the table,

served by our elders.

 

Youth and Hymn Services have been

appreciated and encouraging.

 

Creative endeavour expressed, through

Friday Fun Nights,

Floral Affair,

Come to Quiet,

Speaker Evenings,

Movie Nights,

Drop Inn,

Fund Raising Concerts.

 

What about our journey with Roxy, and

the blessings shared?

 

The delight of working through teams, with

co-operation, shared leadership, collaboration

producing creativity, with moments

of laughter, decision making and prayer.

 

Silence

 

We encouraged each other, as we travelled

our common pathway, at an unfamiliar

intersection, we pause.

 

Silence

 

Standing at the fork, are

pathways heading in different directions.

We look at each in turn, then

to each other, we acknowledge

the beauty, that has,

enriched us along the way.

 

Perhaps, over food, coffee or wine,

we reminisce, do you remember when….?

 

Silence

 

We remember fellow travellers, whose

physical presence no longer abides with us,

yet whose unseen presence is ever present,

within the memory banks of our hearts.

Whom do you remember ………………..?

 

Silence

 

Within my memory banks, I

remember and acknowledge:

Rev Don Glenny and Liz Hansen.

In their own creative ways,

encouragement was offered,

through gentle and wise words.

Their friendship and pastoral care

enriched my life and ministry, now they

remain forever as treasures within my heart.

 

Silence

 

No one knows what lies around

twists and turns on the journey.

 

When a minister leaves

to travel a different pathway.

Occasionally, a congregation,

will be tempted to compare,

whoever comes after,

with a previous one.

Alas, this is not helpful for both

the person or the congregation.

You offered me grace and
acceptance, to be myself.

For that I am grateful.

I invite you to do the same,

with those who will arrive

at St Aidans in the months ahead.

So they and you will be

eternally blessed.

 

While travelling the pathways of life,

from time to time, the

mists of uncertainty will

swirl around us……..

 

Silence

 

Be still, don’t be afraid,

may courage enable you to pray,

to open your eyes,

to be compassionate.

To open your hands,

in encouragement and support.

To open your heart,

to love.

For all shall be well.

 

A story I told some years ago, which Liz often told back to me at moments of uncertainty, and I shared at her funeral:

 

The Israeli violinist Yitzhak Perlman contracted polio at the age of 4.

Ever since, he has had to wear metal braces on his legs and walk with crutches, yet he became one of the great virtuosi of our time.

 

On one occasion, the story is told, he came out onto the stage at a concert to play a violin concerto. Laying down his crutches, he placed his violin under his chin and began tuning the instrument when with an audible crack, one of the strings broke.  The audience were expecting him to send for another string, but instead he signalled the conductor to begin, and he proceeded to play the concerto entirely on three strings.  At the end of the performance the audience gave him a standing ovation and called on him to speak.  What he said, so the story goes, was this ‘Our task is to make music with what remains.’ That was a comment on more than a broken violin string. It was a comment on his paralysis and on all that is broken in life.

 

There are times, when

brokenness, pain and grief,

arrive unexpectedly into our communal and individual lives.

No one is immune.

our task is to make music with what remains.

 

This we have done, now we continue to do so,

while travelling,

along our separate pathways.

 

Thank you for allowing me to travel with you,

what a wonder-filled journey!!!  Which

I will treasure for the remainder of my days.

 

Go well.

 

Meanwhile peace along the journey of our lives

Alf