Sunday, 2 October 2016

Friendship, retirement and the joy of connecting.

On of the chief joys of retirement is that it affords time and space to connect with dear and long time friends.

Thus it was that this afternoon I 'phoned my dear and trusty friend the Revd,. Gwen W. Sears.

I first met Gwen   back in 1975 when she was one of the trainers for my summer ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

(I was in between my junior and senior years at St. John's College, Nottingham, UK.)

Soon after I returned from the U.K. to Western Mass in 1976 (as a newly minted Deacon) [there's  a long story here!]  Gwen and I were both members of the Christian Education Committee of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

We were both Deputies to the Episcopal Church General Convention in New Orleans (1982), by which time Gwen had been ordained as Deacon.

We took time out to have dinner at the "Spaghetti Factory", and I remember saying "Gwen, I'd love to know you better".

Little did we know that by 1984 I would become the Rector at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, MA, where Gwen was the Deacon.

There followed sixteen years of shared ministry at St. Stephens's, during which time I learned so much from Gwen.

BESIDES which my dear Gwen got to know many of my family members in her visits to the U.K., and they got to know her when they visited me in the U.S.A,

Such a transatlantic blessing!


Gwen and I chatted on the 'phone for 68 minutes this afternoon.

Our conversation was deep and loving:  a great experience  of  friendship, retirement and the joy of connecting.

It has been put this way:

“Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

Not by George Elliott as often claimed, but  by Dinah Maria Mulock CraikA Life for a Life.

The Revd. Gwen Sears has that faithful hand.  Thanks be to God.

1 comment:

  1. Gwen Sears is one of God's special people on earth. So glad that my minister daughter got to be her guest for tea at Iona last summer.