As the watchmaker becomes a cog, the lover becomes a kiss and the artist becomes a brushstroke, so God became a man. No wonder Christmas never ceases to provoke our awe as we recall what He became in Christ.
Our granddaughter April is now 5¾ (one must not omit the ¾) and started year 1 in September. However, this image of Chris, Polly and April on the Thames no longer tells the whole story. In November they adopted a two year old boy whom we met for the first time a few weeks ago. He is settling in very well and for Chris and Polly to take such a brave step makes us very proud.
Having retired from full time church leadership Ian is now using his skills in a variety of other places. He is a Field Placement Tutor for several students studying at Spurgeon’s College. His role is to make sure their placements are achieving their purpose both in spiritual formation and ministry skills. He still mentors other ministers and greatly enjoys this challenge.
More recently he has been acting as moderator of Maybridge Community church in Worthing. Their previous senior minister has moved on and Ian is steering them through the process of seeking God’s will for a new key leader. This has been intriguing and challenging work and he hopes soon to have completed this project.
We have now been living in Chichester nearly two years and greatly enjoy the opportunists it presents. Rosi has a role in Acorns (a thriving parent and toddler group in the church) and also in Wellspring (a group for women) We recently did a seminar for them on loss and bereavement, drawing on our experience of losing Esther and other people close to us. This was really well received and we have been asked to do a Sunday morning on the same topic area early in 2020.
We are both active on the church’s pastoral care team, helping people in crisis and through difficulty. For Rosi this involves the difficult task of sampling the variety of coffee shops in Chichester … you can join her any time!
In July of this year we celebrated our ruby wedding anniversary! Our celebration was a moment we will never forget as many family and friends joined us for a party in a local church hall.
Two visits to rural Transylvania saw us training pastors in how to preach. Ian took the advanced group while Rosi assisted our team leader with people new to the methods. They are a wonderfully committed and warm-hearted people with a faith that is amazingly vibrant in spite of tough lifestyles. Ian may return there to continue during 2020.
Teaching through a translator always carries risks of its own. But onone occasion the translator helped Ian out of a cultural gaffe! You can read about it here
We’ve got back into cycling and been on our bikes more here as the terrain is flatter. Ian been getting back into music and has been invited to join a monthly piano group. Each month the members of the group meet and each bring something to play. A professional pianist is also on hand to provide coaching and advice. This is both enjoyable and challenging as Ian has to find something new to play each month!