I was well-welcomed into my new circuit last night. So many came that there were insufficient chairs and there was a very happy atmosphere in the church. Our District Chair, John Howard, preached a sermon around the meaning of ministry as service. We sang 6 hymns — one of them, we sang through twice. All 4 verses. And there was a decent feed afterwards I believe, though I was too busy chatting to get more than a cup of tea and a slice of excellent sponge cake.
Then this morning I read Kim’s latest doodlings over at Faith and Theology and I wished I’d had its concluding paragraph at the service. It would have made a very suitable addition and it gets a loud Amen from me as I return gratefully to pastoral ministry.
What shall I miss most when I retire from ministry? Being pastorally and liturgically with the sad and the struggling, the sick and the suffering, the dying and the bereaved. Because these spaces are bullshit-free zones, and because there, for faith, the tire hits the road and we discover whether we are travelling on Pirellis or budgets.