Minister's Letter - June
Learning to lay down – Part 2
With my sabbatical looming (July to September, just in case you missed the memo!) I’ve been starting to think about some of the practicalities I will face during this period when I will be laying down my formal ministry alongside you. For example, how will it affect my relationship with the church? Will I still be allowed to worship with you or have coffee in the coffee bar or attend church events? If so, how do I set appropriate boundaries so that I can have fellowship with you as a person in my own right without being drawn back into ‘the role’? And of huge importance to me, how can I make sure that Tom and Eddie who, like me, have found a spiritual home among you, are still able to participate fully in the life of the church?
Such questions raise a variety of complex issues which Ministers invariably deal with in different ways. Whilst some find that they have to completely distance themselves from their churches, others are able to maintain a balance between the duties of the role and the fact that they are also human beings who need care, nourishment and friendship. Whilst I am on sabbatical I will still be a Dad and a Christian and a person with identity: and I will still be your friend. I am also a member of this church, as well as being its Minister. For me that membership is not merely a necessity of my role but a reflection of my desire to find belonging among you.
So, you may yet see me during the months of July, August and September. Don’t expect me to be at September’s Church Meeting (I get that one off for good behaviour!) but do expect to see me worshipping with you from time to time. Perhaps it will be a chance for me to find out what it’s like to worship with my sons as a Dad, and to worship with my friends as a fellow wanderer along the way.
In Christ, Tim