On Sunday afternoon people from the four congregations that make up NPEM gathered. It was a gathering of caring, loving people who took time from their busy summer schedules to spend time with us to thank us for being part of their journey for two years. (Though truth be told it is as if I have known them far longer…)
The committee planning this gathering decided to have it at the Sodus Heights Golf Club overlooking Sodus Bay. It was a lovely setting and a neat way to say goodbye to brothers and sisters in the faith.
What was most surprising was the gifts they gave us. I was given a new prayer book/ hymnal. (My old one has red duct tape holding the binding together. And Nancy was presented with a communion kit with which to take communion to people at home and in health care settings.
Taking one’s leave of loving, caring people is difficult – even when at the same time one is being welcomed by other loving caring people in a new faith community. It is a reminder that we are on a journey and while we have companions on this journey, we usually do not travel the whole way with the same people. And from each traveling companion we can receive strength and knowledge to help us on our way.
As I told them on Sunday – we are leaving but we are also taking you with us in ur hearts and memories and in the various ways you have helped shape us for this new ministry to which God’s people have called us.
We say to them even as they say to us “Vaya con dios”…. “Go with God…”