This is a strange week. Yesterday was my last Sunday at Colchester Baptist Church until December, with Sabbatical Leave about to kick in. So this week there are no sermons or services to prepare for. I need to tie up some loose ends and ensure that I have downloaded as much information as will be helpful for people to have in my absence without overloading them or failing to delegate appropriately.

I don’t think I am ‘demob happy’ but I am feeling a bit lost. The only other Sabbatical Leave I have had was while I worked for the Baptist Union of Great Britain. I missed my colleagues and the work that I was doing, but it is nit the same as taking your hands off a church that you have been pastoring and leading (with colleagues) for the past four years. Relationships are not easy to put on hold. Pastoral needs won’t go away. Vision, direction and leadership are still needed.

It’s not that I am struggling with my inner control freak. I am entirely confident in God to keep doing what he wants (he doesn’t need me for that) and in my colleague Lynsey who is a brilliant minister and will be awesome in my absence. But I think it may be a bit like when a child goes away to University or leaves home for the first time. You still feel responsible for people, you still love them, but for a season they are beyond your influence and remote from you.

So forgive me if I am a bit melancholy this week. And don’t take this to mean that I’m not looking forward to the Sabbatical Leave. It is a wonderful privilege and I am excited by what it may hold for me.

And if you are wondering about first offspring’s A Level results I mentioned at the end of last week, read the Twitter feed on this page…

Be blessed, be a blessing.

A propos of nothing…

A dry-roasted peanut was in police custody today after his peanut friend was a salted.

(Groans optional but anticipated)

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