- Saying Goodbye
Saying good bye is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when you’ve made friends. There’s so much of MCC Brighton that has brought me joy over the last 18 months. I’ll remember playing Rummikub – and getting thrashed; again, and again, and again. I’ll remember playing upwords – and losing at that too. Simon’s cakes – wonderfully crumbly banana loaf and moist, rich, coffee and walnut cake. Laurence and Keith’s sausage rolls. Elaine’s chocolate crunch. Gabrielle’s delicious cupcakes. There’s a reason I’m the size I am!
I’ll remember lighting paper lanterns and watching them float away on the breeze – worried that we might set a fire somewhere. I’ll remember Pentecost – Sitting on the floor with a singing bowl sharing in the sounds of the Holy Spirit.
Tuesday’s – talking theology and Christology, embodiment and Grace. The Artist’s way, a journey that touched me deeply and helped me heal. – Because I also remember losing my mum this time last year and how dreadfully lost I felt. I remember your kind words of sympathy and gentle support.
I’ll remember the Community Pride service and the parade of flags. The Choirs singing and the communion celebration where so many came for words of affirmation and prayer. I’ll remember the Mayor and his wife coming forward with arms crossed and the kind words of support they gave to us afterwards.
I’ll remember the Easter morning celebration on the beach, especially the first one when Suzy came in high heels and, unable to walk on the pebble beach, we had to wrap her feet in a blanket to keep them warm. It sounds silly, but that one single act of need on our part sponsored generosity on the part of the One Church members and a relationship was born. We shared hot cross buns and tea on the beach. Wonderful.
I’ll remember walking in the pride parade – and how exhausted I was at the end! I remember walking hand in hand with Chris and all the folks that cheered and stopped us to take pictures or shake our hands. I’ll remember working with Sarah at Pride as ‘active listeners’ in the access tent after we’d spent ten weeks training for it. I’ll remember the guy that spent ten minutes complaining about the event and then asked me on a date! I flashed the wedding ring.
I’ll remember volunteering at the Terrence Higgins Trust and how much fun we had there. Such a little effort to make a huge difference in the community. There’s so much good that I’ll take with me – Thank you for that.
Of course there have been challenges and difficulties – but it’s not any of them I choose to remember. This journey with you has taught me so much about myself, and my calling, and of course it’s taken me this long just to become acclimatised to British culture again – it’s changed a lot in 12 years.
So – what’s next? Well, Chris and I are looking at a number of options and will be staying in the Brighton area for the time being. I hope to be working with the local LGBT community in one way or another, and of course Chris will continue to work for the denomination and sing with the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus.
I pray that however you decide to move ahead, whatever vision you find God is calling you to, whoever you choose to call as your new pastor, that you are blessed.
With much love,
The Youngish Adult’s group is not meeting (except for socials) until September. For more details speak to Pastoral Support team member Andrew Ramage on 07905 537618
Saturday September 13th 3-5pm. Meditation and Prayer afternoon (arranged by Andrew at Andrew and Sj’s home)