Our daughter soon leaves home to be married.
There’s so much anticipation in the air! I ponder how we best say ‘goodbye’ to this phase of our lives with her, whilst celebrating her marriage to the man of her dreams.
My husband and myself are also saying our ‘goodbyes’ to the many friends we have here, as we prepare to leave Sydney after Christmas.
The big celebrations planned for both occasions are wonderful rites of passage, yet it is the personal conversations I treasure most, which convey deeper meaning.
Reflection and appreciation of what has occurred is important.
Joyful times, learning and growth, disappointments and struggles, all combine to weave the rich tapestry of life we have spent together.
We have changed during our 8+ years of dwelling amongst you.
As we move on, we seek to take with us those insights to helpfully share with others.
We look forward to what is new, while grieving what we leave behind.
Immersing ourselves in the community here, we’ve sought to construct something new, beneficial and sustainable.
It has been rewarding to see others thrive, find new friends, a love for the natural environment and, in some cases, find a deeper faith to enrich their lives.
Many are telling me it is a valuable initiative.
Lane Cove Uniting Church, who undergird the Community Chaplaincy, agree.
They have committed to sustain the wide range of Chaplaincy activities and to continue to care for the participants. They hope to engage a new Chaplain shortly, who will bring their own giftedness to the role. Exciting times!
May the hope and joy of friendship we have found here, be yours also, as you reach out to one another – especially during this Christmas and holiday season.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ The Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
The articles here were written by Rev Karen Paull between 2015 and 2022.