It just means that after a number of years in service the Church gives its personnel a little extra time out for rest and refreshment. Some take trips, some do courses, we hopefully all come back with some fresh insight and motivation!
I haven’t gone too far, just taken the opportunity to visit where I was born and catch up with some friends from former parishes, some of whom I’ve known a long time.
It’s been good to talk about life and change and how we practice faith in this 21st century with its increasingly aggressive secular culture. That’s the theme of this short break and it does involve reading some weighty books, Newbiggin, Carson, Volf.
There’s a lot to grapple with but hey - so far, so good. Here’s a wee prayer that draws on some of this week’s reading. It tries simply to sum up a lot of Christian principle from the Bible for any place and any age. Written here as a blessing, these are things we can and should be praying regularly for ourselves, those we love and everyone around us.
May we know the goodness of the Lord today:
His blessing, crowning our work with success,
His restoring, bringing us back from failure,
His wisdom, guiding us in right choices,
And His joy in serving, for the common good.