so long and thanks for all the fishing

Da dada da da da daaaah!
Da dada da da da daaaah!

Today’s is my last bloggage!

…while I am working for the wonderful people at Colchester Baptist Church*. To use one of Jesus’ analogies for following him, we have been fishing for people together (see this bloggage to understand the nukelearfishing bit a bit more) but after today I will be in a different boat.

PTWOING! (That’s the sound of an analogy being overstretched and giving way).

I have decided that today’s bloggage is not going to be sad, downcast, weepy or upset. It is a party bloggage – a celebration bloggage.

It is a celebration of lives changed through encountering Jesus through the ministry of the church (aka the people).

It is a celebration of every time I have had an opportunity to use my baptismal towel (which was given to me for that purpose by some friends when I left my previous role to come to Colchester).

It is a celebration of companionship in the gospel – travelling together with the same group of people on the journey of faith is a wonderful privilege.

It is a celebration of emotions – we have laughed together (sometimes even at my jokes), we have cried together, and we have shared lots of other emotions together too.

It’s a celebration of grace. I am by no means a perfect Minister (just ask my family or the church) but when I have made mistakes and asked for forgiveness those in the church who have been hurt have shown amazing grace.

It’s a celebration of events. Weddings, funerals, infant dedications, birthdays, anniversaries… all have marked significant moments in people’s lives and I have been privileged to share in them.

It’s a celebration of sadness. There are few greater privileges than accompanying people as they travel ‘through the darkest valley’.

It’s a celebration of growth. I am not the same Minister who was called to the church in the spring of 2008. I have learnt. I hope I have matured. I have understood more of how much I don’t understand. But I have seen many people grow in their faith and that is brilliant.

It’s a celebration of high fiving. I consider it an immense blessing to have worked alongside the other minister in the church: my colleague, Lynsey. We have not physically high fived much, but there has been such a sense of teamwork, support, encouragement and joy in working with her. That has been based on mutual respect, honesty, laughter, tears and agape.

It’s a celebration of blessing. I sign off most bloggages with ‘be blessed, be a blessing.’ I know that I have been so blessed and if I have been only half that blessing to the church and community I will be content.

But most of all it’s a celebration of Jesus. Churches and Ministers are nothing without him. We’re just social clubs full of do-gooders. But with him, inspired by his Spirit, wow! We can be good free samples…

So celebrate with me!

Be blessed, be a blessing

*The bad news for you is that I will be continuing to unleash bloggages on an unsuspecting world in my new role.

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