So, last night I climbed into bed, grabbed my Kindle to put internet radio on and catch The Westminster Hour on Radio 4. I decided to check my Hotmail for any late emails.
A mail from the church warden. Due to ill-health, Stephen, our chaplain at Christ Church Duesseldorf is retiring in April. Double-take time. I re-read the mail. Yes, I did read correctly. It all makes sense now, and early retirement will be the best thing for Stephen and his longevity.
How do I avoid this article sounding like an obituary?
- Stephen’s caring and encouraging email to me at Christmas 2007, after I’d lost my job. He reminded me of the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his own brothers, yet through his faith, ended up being the Pharoah’s right-hand man.
- December 2011 – telling him joyfully that he was going to have a new member of his congregation – Ginge is back in town!
- His personal finance tips
- His tea, sympathy and listening ear during the hard times of late 2012
What now? The show must go on. It will go on. Anglicanism is resilient.
- We must find a new chaplain. Folks, it’s a great posting, it really is.
- We must find locum chaplains during the interregnum. Let us hope and pray it is less than the eight months that Abingdon had.
- We the laity and church council must apply our wisdom to stay strong and grow stronger.
We will grow stronger.
- We have our church plant in Essen at the Marktkirche. We show the locals what tea and biscuit ministry is all about.
- We have a very healthy young people’s ministry.
Thank you, Stephen, for you have been a real blessing to Christ Church Düsseldorf.