Ann & I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for your loving & kind farewell on Sunday 16th June. We felt truly blessed by God & his people (you) and everything about the final service & meal was wonderful.
The music was beautifully chosen & led us into worship with a mix of solemnity & fun. As always, Nathan led us easily into God’s presence – and managed to do the one thing I have been fearing all the 6 years I have been here! If you missed it, one of the staging blocks broke causing Rutger to fall into the gap! Now, he was upfront because he was sharing something about the journey of faith he has made these past years….and with Kristien doing so too, and Lucie giving testimony before she is baptised next week (in the river at the camping weekend)….it felt like a celebration of God at work amongst us.
Some old friends were able to join us too and we were able to reflect on God’s love for us all – and the call for us to love, love, love, love one another (1 Corinthians 13). Church life can be a challenge but we are the Body of Christ and each of us has a part to play. And, wonderfully, no one is too small, shy, insignificant (or bold, brassy & confident) not to have a role. The Church of Jesus Christ is wonderfully crafted and fits together. We need each other! It was appropriate that we could celebrate with Sharon as she told us that she had been selected for ordination training from September. Well done, Sharon – we have been enriched by your time with us!
After the service, this became clear as many people helped set up the canteen and transform it into a beautiful space in which we could say our farewells – not just to us but also Sharon & the Wirwilles. Christine organised a delicious African lunch – thank you to all who contributed! Great food – and then a special ‘retirement’ cake….a good start to the next phase of life, I felt! What with Patrick Lambert’s speech (he knows me really quite well!) and some lovely gifts we felt truly spoilt.
You gave me such a fabulous picture of the Kapucijnendreef in the woods near where we live; also a very generous cheque and Alison had obviously spent a long time putting a delightful memory book of pictures together. Ann & I will indeed remember you all….with much affection & gratitude for all that we have shared during our journey together.
I finish with my favourite poem, which was written by Raymond Carver….(see picture at the left).
May you continue to journey with Jesus, knowing that God loves you deeply and experiencing that love through each other (both here in Tervuren & wherever life’s journey takes you).
Thank you, thank you, thank you!