Friday, January 04, 2008

New year blues

Actually, not so much blues, as still recovering from the tiredness of the Christmas period and various poorlynesses (it is a real word!) which happened to and around me over the past few weeks.

Christmas was in many ways a blast! Our services were all well attended and filled with joy and all the wonder of the Christmas story. I managed to get all my services sorted, albeit some of them at short notice, and even wrote a few new sermons, which I haven't managed to post on New Kid Deep Stuff yet. Unfortunately the flu-ey bug which I caught really hit over the week before Christmas, when I had no chance to stop and recover, so by the time I got to Christmas day itself I was feeling pretty awful. I didn't let it dampen my spirits though, and the worship over Christmas time was pretty special.

The worst thing that happened was in the midst of this - on Christmas Eve - we lost someone in the Parish who died very suddenly, so I had a fair amount of rearranging to do to make sure I could be with the family. The funeral was today and it was a wonderful example of the church pulling together to support and help a member of the community. I was moved not only by the strength of the family dealing with this tragedy but by the warmth and support of the congregation for them. It was as positive a service as it could have been, a proper goodbye and offering the deceased into God's keeping. I've said it before, and don't mind repeating myself, but it is a huge privilege to be able to minister to people in these situations and to be able to offer them care and love in the name of Christ. No matter how many times I am called upon to perform this ministry (and I have two more funerals next week) I never feel that it's just another part of the job, but rather it is an important time to put into action Christian love and proclaim the hope of faith.

So a little catch up on some of what has been going on. More another time.


The Old Fart said...

You did have a busy Christmas, and being sick on top of it, where did you find the energy?

It is nice to see you back on the Blog posting and now count you as a friend on Facebook.

Have a very Joyous 2008 Alastair


quilly said...

Alastair -- you are a blessing to the bereaved. Recently my Aunt passed away. The pastor she has had for the last 20 years -- and worked closely with as a Sunday School teacher, hospice ministry worker and all around volunteer -- gave the eulogy and spoke of all my aunt's volunteer and community service giving only one line of mention to her family, and even that excluded two of her four children -- one of whom still lived with my aunt and often helped with her volunteer works!

Some slack might be granted because the pastor and my aunt had had been friends for years, which means the pastor was grieving, too -- but I have given eulogies for two of my dear friends and, despite crying through the message and not being professionally trained, I made certain their family members were mentioned!

Any way, since the dead cannot thank you, I will. Well done good and faithful servant. Your diligence does lessen the grief of the living.

Naomi said...

Your parishioners are so lucky to have you, especially to offer comfort at times like this Alastair. It must be one of the most difficult aspects of your job, dealing with bereavement. Christmas is such an awful time to lose a loved one too.

P.S. Hope you are recovered from the flu now and your little girl is feeling better now too.