PARISHES OF KILLANEY & CARRYDUFF
Welcome Stephen's Letter - May

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Dear Friends

When we first went to France as a family I was getting ready for months: I tried to rehearse what I could remember of schoolboy French, I insisted on a corny french accent when talking about 'les vacances'. And we pored over the Michelin Map to discover how we were going to drive from the Channel to the coast! I had almost experienced the holiday before I got there! It was great.

Even spending two weeks in a caravan (I am not "made" for caravans) did nothing to ruin that holiday.

That trip was rounded off with a few days in London. This was a great experience for our young family.

Other times it has all been a rush: late nights putting final lists together for visiting preachers, contacting clergy to confirm cover for the absence, and those final calls in the hope the people I see will be there to greet me on my return, alive and well.

Yet still the plane taking off or the parish fading in the rear view mirror or the shudder of the boat as it edges away from the dock: all say "This is it! The holidays have started."

When Jesus said to his disciples, "Come apart and rest awhile", he was speaking to people who spent a considerable amount of their days walking, slowly taking in the sights, conversing together about what they had learnt during their day together. No fast travel, no high tech instant communication, no wall to wall entertainment by light and sound for them.

While the physical labours of life now are much easier for many people, the mental stress is perhaps considerably harder for many too. Just setting down the mobile phone and switching it off for a few days seems courageous.

Whether you need a holiday to renew the batteries, switch the pace from slow to fast or from fast to slow, or just to spend relaxed time with people you love, I hope you have had or will enjoy the opportunity of spending a relaxing day or two or more over the summer. And don't forget to spend some of that precious time with Jesus as you meditate, pray and worship.

Bring our greetings from St Andrew's and St Ignatius' to the people you meet while you are away.

And come back safely.

Stephen

PS Worship continues here while the sun is out! We miss you!