Only 7 weeks till my leaving service from Borders Mission Methodist Circuit and then only two weeks until we move to the newly formed Trent and Dove Circuit; being this close creates a strange mix of emotions within me; the sadness of leaving friends and people who I`ve come to accept as family and the joy of meeting new people who will hopefully become just as valuable to me. It really is a strange time and despite having done this many times before as I`ve moved around the country this time I`m really feeling the pressure and stress.
What`s the difference this time ?
I`m not really sure but I wonder if it was because I was in at `the birth` of this circuit and so feel more of an ownership; I feel as though this is `my baby` and now I`m handing it over to someone else. Although I remain sure that Dermot will be a wonderful Superintendent and is the right person for the next phase of maturing that this Circuit needs, it’s still hard to let go.
Maybe another reason is that my health is beginning to suffer because of the amount of time I`ve put in and its now time for that fresh challenge; after all I`ve been Minister of some of these Chapels for 9 years which is a long time for them and for me. We both need a freshness but after that length of time where I`ve held hands with the dying, listened to the weeping and danced with the joyful I`m only too aware of how many lives I`ve been involved with.
On Saturday I spent a wonderful day with Newton Chapel studying the book of Job, my favourite, and from it I tried to draw out the idea that even in the midst of the hurricane, the troubles, the grief and loss God was still at work and still cared. On the Sunday I followed this up with the need to listen to the still, small voice of God often lost in the business of life amongst care and worry.
And through it all I tried to encourage people to realise that no matter what was happening or coming God was a step ahead of the situation. Because of this, despite my current mixed feelings, I know that there is a job for me to do in Trent and Dove, I know that I will continue to love Borders Mission and above all else I KNOW that I`m in Gods hands. Where else would I rather be ?