one day I'll leave this congregation ... one day very soon

Today was the last time I will play in the band at the church that has been home for more than 10 years. Another in a series of lasts I've been noting over the past 6–8 months. Knowing I was going to be moving to go into my supervised field education placement, I've been aware of the goodbye that is looming between my and my church family. Because of the nature of my placement, starting a theatre company and associated Christian community, which we hope will continue, and therefore with which I may stay involved in one capacity or another, I may not return to Blackwood UC. So I'm saying goodbye as if it's for good, whereas an ordinary sfe placement might have seen me come back 'home' for a while before leaving for good. You see, I've known for years this day would come - it inevitably does if you answer a call to ordained ministry. That's just the first in a series of calls, and one day you'll be called to your first placement, then there will be other calls to other faith communities and placements. 
The thing is, I'm not sure how I feel about this goodbye. I'm terribly good at leaving things behind, not staying in touch with people from previous places of employment, old neighbours, etc. I move on well. Perhaps too well. 
But these people are family, and there's a part of me that doesn't want to leave them behind. Perhaps I'm worried I will, from past experience? 
And there's a part of me that is ready to go, raring to get into this Esther project and see what might become in terms of Christian community gathering around a theatre company. 
I suppose I feel sad, and I feel happy; I feel fear, and I feel courage; I feel loss and I feel gain. 
Of course the connection won't be entirely severed, as my parents and sisters still worship at Blackwood, and there are friends I'm sure I won't leave behind. 
This is the nature of ministry, and I know I'm good at moving on, though I'm afraid of being too good, and leaving too much behind. 
I've still got six weeks at Blackwood, a few more 'lasts', and the final goodbye, as the 'one day' approaches faster and faster ... 


Michelle Coram said…
Your words remind me of a song by Sara Groves called Painting Pictures of Egypt:

I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacked
The future seems so hard
And I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I've learned
And those roads closed off to me
While my back was turned

The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy to discard
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
Caught between the promise
And the things I know

Good luck with the onward journey ...
Heather said…
We are still gonna sing Gods' song together some more, one day...
Thank goodness for various forms of electronic communication.
Thank you for your words of grace and we'll keep in touch for the journey.

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