Sunday, August 23, 2009

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

One of the worst things about pastoral ministry is when the time comes to say goodbye, either when friends and colleagues are moving on, or when you're doing the moving yourself. Just think of Paul's tearful goodbye to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20.

Sadly, today is one of those days, when St Elizabeth's says 'so long, farewell' to our Ministry Apprentice, Mark Smith, after almost three years of service in the parish.

His final word will come later on, when he preaches at the evening service, but this afternoon, after the morning service we enjoyed a bring and share lunch together in the hall. As part of the proceedings, Tim asked us to suggest words to describe Mark using the letters of his name: M A R K. We also heard from Clive West, who encouraged Mark to stay close to Jesus, stay close to his word, and stay close to people both through his three years in college, and also as he moves into ministry afterwards. SET (St Elizabeth's Teens) performed a poem written by Stewart Balmer.

I've enjoyed this past year, in getting to know Mark while serving alongside him in Dundonald, and will miss his wit, banter, and all the rest. Our prayers will be with him as he moves across, and hopefully I'll get a wee trip to London to see him before too long!

I've uploaded some photos from the lunch on Facebook, if you want to have a look.

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