The End is Near!

Last Summer was my first as minister for the English-speaking congregation in the Cathedral. As Summer drew close I realized with horror that lots of people were leaving the congregation for good. Students who had finished their courses were returning home. Others left because their Visas had run out or they had been employed somewhere else. Only a handful of people would still be there come autumn. In August I was filled with dread as only a couple of people attended our Services. But then it happened. Every Sunday new people would turn up, until in September the congregation had grown to be bigger than ever. Our congregation is special – it goes away in June but return to life in September. A few remain from year to year (Thank God!), but there is always a majority of “new” people in our congregation. The hardest part with being a minister is to say goodbye to all the wonderful people one has gotten to know during the year. The best part is welcoming new people all the time. As Summer draws near this year I am not filled with dread, but with hope. People will leave and we will miss them, but this time I also know that our congregation, by the grace of God, will return to life in the fall. It is like watching autumn leaves falling and knowing that they will be back when Spring is here. Or to see the migrating birds leave and welcome them back early next year. Now, a few weeks after celebrating Easter, we are also reminded of the Gospel – that in Christ, death is not the end, but a new beginning. Knowing this in our heart we can approach life’s changes with hope in our heart.This year the Holy Communion Services will also continue all through Summer. I will write more about this later.
This Sunday at 5 pm we are visited by a congregation from England. The Holy Communion Service will be held at the High Altar. Our guest John Toy will hold the sermon. Readings: Genesis 18:26-32, Ephesians 3:14-21, Luke 18:1-8. Welcome!