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 ...