Park Avenue Methodist Church, Park Avenue North, Northampton, NN3 2HT :: 01604 720624
Administrator - Alan Brett :: Senior Steward - Hilary MacCallum
office@parkavenue.org.uk | webmaster@parkavenue.org.uk

Go forth from here

Tina SwireGo forth from here. Continue walking with Christ in love and service.  Take with you all we have shared.  May our memories be springs of water when we are thirsty; rays of light when we are in darkness; and reason for rejoicing always. May God bless and keep us all. Amen.

This is my last message to you.  John and I are moving on to pastures new in Somerset.  We are excited about it and looking forward to this newest stage in our faith journey and ministry.  But there is poignancy for we shall miss you very much.

We have enjoyed our time here in your midst.  Seven years is a long time and yet is not, for it feels as those we are just beginning somehow.  But for God, and the writers of Scripture, the number seven is significant and important.  There is a sense of completeness about it, a sense of wholeness and sometimes, perfection.  To forgive someone 70×7 times, for example, means to forgive completely and utterly.  It is full and complete.

Our time here is full and complete in God’s eyes and we are moving on to Somerset with joy and in the knowledge that God is already there.  It is not our job after all to bring God anywhere, as God is, was and always shall be.  As those who live in God’s grace, it is our mission and our joy to help others, and ourselves, to recognize that God is in our midst, reconciling and making all things new.  A manger, cross, and empty tomb are witness and sign.

We came here to be part of that mission with you and now we will be with others.  You will embrace others whom God sends, to journey with you in this mission.  And this is perfect and good in God’s eyes.

And so, while there will always be poignancy in such times of transition, we may take our joy from the knowledge that this is perfect in God’s eyes.  It is good that we trust in God and in the ways of Christ, in all the journeys of life.  For we are not alone.  God is with us.  Thanks be to God.

And so I end with the blessing I began with. They are not words of my creating, but instead come from the leave taking liturgy of the United Church of Canada, used when we mark the end of a pastoral relationship.  It has been a part of me through many years now, in all the leave takings when God knew that my ministry with a group of sisters and brothers was full and complete and was calling me elsewhere.  The mission never ends, however, and we are daily called to live it with grace and faith and hope.

Thank you for the seven years in your midst.  John and I leave you with full and fulsome memories and pray that God will continue to bless you and all who minister here.  For as the prayer goes, we are no longer our own, we are God’s.

May you know God’s richest blessings, this day and always.  Amen

Go forth from here.  Continue walking with Christ in love and service.  Take with you all we have shared.  May our memories be springs of water when we are thirsty; rays of light when we are in darkness; and reason for rejoicing always.

May God bless and keep us all.

Amen.



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