Welcome to everyone reading this on paper or online – Hey! Have you noticed the new icons for our app and website? (They match our lovely new signs above the door, on the flags and at our driveway entrances.)
At Emmanuel we try to be Real People with Relevant Faith for Our Community and that means that there are times when we are happy, sad, excited, distressed and all the other emotions as well. In other words what we feel is very much a part of what we model to others in helping them understandJesus and how he makes a difference in our lives.
Two weeks ago we were all somewhat shocked by the news the Paddi & Glenys had decided not to accept our offer to extend Paddi’s contract. Paddi and I had been discussing the future for some time and so in the end I suppose I was less surprised than most that after much prayer and discussion they had decided to move on – although the timing definitely took me by surprise!
Whenever there’s change, there’s grief over what was lost. Grief sometimes gives over to anger, sometimes guilt, sometimes regret and of course sometimes also relief and expectation. But let’s be real – some of us are hurting that they are leaving us. The most important thing about grief is that we mustn’t push it aside.
As a staff this week we took time together to remember the good things about working with Paddi and also to name the things we would miss without him. It was good to take note that as we were all feeling a bit bereft that we should take care of each other and try to recognise when our grief was impacting thoughts, feelings and decisions. Then we turned it all into prayer and thanked God for Paddi’s time amongst us, the things we had learned from him and asking God’s blessing for Paddi & Glenys and to watch over us as we make adjustments around the office and in our ministry.
You may also find yourself experiencing a variety of feelings – especially if you have been the beneficiary of Paddi’s excellent pastoral care, Glenys’s thoughtfulness and both of their seemingly boundless enthusiasm. Please do take time to work through these things in your own thoughts, in your groups and especially in your prayers. After all, the one person who was not surprised at all by this, was God.
In His grace and wisdom and by the leading of His Spirit, it is God who has called them on and we must trust Him to work out His good purposes for them and for us.
And so, we must get about the business of being Emmanuel without them, but not Him. Jesus stills leads us and calls all of us on.
Nonetheless- we will be formally farewelling Paddi & Glenys Mullan at a combined service on Sunday 8th April at 9:30 – to be followed by a “bring and share lunch”. We would love to send them off with a monetary gift and so the Church Council invites you to make a contribution. You can do this in two ways: firstly, by placing your contribution in a clearly marked envelope and placing it in the offering bags over the next few weeks, or secondly, by making a direct deposit via online banking to the church account – again, clearly making a note in the reference section of your deposit.
God bless, Ian.