Life in boxes?
We often talk about living our life in compartments, well this week it has been boxes. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, apart from dealing with emails and telephone calls, and preparing for Sunday, I spent most of the time packing boxes ready for the move. However, I had to ensure that the things that were necessary before the move and after were accessible and not packed away!
In readiness for the meeting at Bardon Park on Sunday I had emails and papers to read, prayers of intercession to prepare, and I had to think through what would be a helpful process for our conversation with the members of the URC and the Christian Fellowship. Ray Sowersby, one of the Pastoral Consultants for Leicestershire, led the service. This was his first visit, and Geoff Townsend, Convener of the Synod Pastoral Group, accompanied us. There were about twenty of us and after the service we shared tea and biscuits as we began to talk about the future of the URC in Bardon Park. The good news was that seven new members had been made earlier in the month and this represented a significant commitment to the future of the Church there. We were delighted to be able to offer to work together with the new members and the Christian Fellowship who worship alongside the URC members.
I stayed in the area for lunch then went on to Evington Road URC for the Induction Service for David Dean. David is a URC member of staff atf the St Philip’s Centre, which helps Christians to be more effective in a multi-faith society, and also a member of the Training Team and Associate minister of Evington Road. David has returned to Britain after serving in the USA, with Martha, his wife, who is also a minister, and their two daughters. Present to give greetings were representatives of different Christian traditions and members of other faith communities.
On Monday and Tuesday it was back to packing boxes, and moving personal files from the laptop to the home computer. It was also time to send out change of address messages to my contacts list. This produced a host of lovely messages wishing us well for the move as well as many ‘Message undelivered’ responses.
On Wednesday, I delivered my car to the garage for a routine service and was in the office early ready to hand over the laptop to Peter, with the assistance of our resident computer expert – David. We changed passwords, deleted unwanted emails, and changed the email accounts. Then I handed the computer over along with the office keys, as this was my last day to be in the office – for the rest of the month I will be working from home!
The most difficult part of the day was saying goodbye to Hannah – I knew that I would probably not see her again, though we will be in touch via phone and email. But after eight years of working closely together it was a moment full of emotion.
Boxes contain the bits of our life but the most important elements cannot be contained in boxes. One of the removal team said, as the van was about to drive away, “The whole of your life is there.” However, my life is not contained in the boxes, but in the relationships I have. God is not in a box and cannot be contained.