Great weekend away last week (a rare and precious treat as a Church minister) especially when followed by a Bank Holiday! What they say about ministers and only working one day a week might be true. Ha!
Then down to earth with a bump. One of our best people sends an email to resign from leadership and membership. It is not unexpected, we had been talking about it. It is, in fact, one of the rare ones. His reasons for leaving are solid - they need to be in a church that the family want to go to and that's not here as far as the kids are concerned. I think he's right to be concerned for their spiritual lives in this way. The leaving is entirely amicable - and that's a rare enough thing!
It was expected. It is for good reasons. We will part as friends. But still, it hurts. I was thinking about why this is so. People have left firms that I have worked for, or sports teams that I was a part of, and you are sad to hear the news but you move on. One of the side effects of trying to build a church that takes biblical family and community seriously (and we aren't nearly as far on in that as we could be) is that you care a lot more when this sort of things happen. It's hard to say goodbye to family.
They leave behind a huge hole in all that they do but it's really about who they are. We can fill (just about) the jobs they did but we can't replace them.
On a personal note he was one of the two that came and recruited me. I've managed to see them both off now. One left because he didn't like the changes, one left because we haven't changed enough. It's little consolation to consider that this could be a sign that I'm steering a reasonable course.
I'm typing this on Thursday and not publishing till Sunday when we will have announced the news. I am not as miserable as I sound and certainly happier than I was on Monday - I promise. But if, on top of all this, Exeter City got relegated on Saturday I may require counselling.