Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Welcoming and sending forth ...

On Monday morning we had one of our occasional services for welcoming newcomers and saying goodbye to those moving to new jobs or into retirement. Our opening responses included this:

Companion God, you travel through life with us.
Alert us to your presence in ecstasy, insight, and devastation.
Transforming God, you make all things new.
Inspire us with discontent with the way things are.

We also sang Sidney Carter's splendid "One more step along the world I go" and the lovely German canon "Ausgang und Eingang".

Simon Oxley preached a good sermon on the importance of leaving - meditating on both Abraham's trusting in God enough to dare to leave and move on and also on the story of the transfiguration and the need to take our important mountain top experiences out into the world. Not just keeping precious experience for ourselves. This is a real challenge for all of us working in internaitonal work - how to share both knowledge and experience in ways in which they can be approproated by others.

As Simon will soon be leaving Geneva and returning to Manchester his words held particular meaning for us.

Click on the links for the full text of Simon's sermon and the service.