God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

04.10.2009 Farewell Sunday..

It is Sunday morning and in a couple of hours the farewell will take place. A 12,5 year long chapter of my life will come to a formal end. The move of my office on Friday already signaled the radical change in my life. And my thoughts wander a bit around, first to those, who wanted me out of office and will today look satisfied and content, because they removed what was in their eyes a constant tread to the church and the German Bishops Conference. I am sure Mr. P. will be satisfied of his victory. His strategy of coercion and harassment hs worked in that sense.

But I feel in the moment rather far distanced from those people who changed surely my path of life. But I strongly believe that it will all come to a good end. And I am delighted to read all the mementos from sympathetic  people reaching me via email, amongst them one from Hans Kueng, whom I admire a lot. That is indeed balsam for my soul.

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26.09.2009 It hits home….

Saturday evening, and slowly but surely it hits home: This very next morning, it will be the last Sunday service you are conducting as the chaplain of this German speaking community. Since days I can feel, that besides all happy ends and staying in the country and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS it is indeed work to get an emotional grip to that fact. For 12,5 years the Sunday service was always a fixed point to meet the people, to have a chat afterwards, to liaise with those, who attended every Sunday, to welcome the new ones, say farewell to the swallows before winter, joke with the kids and eat some cake or have a coffee.

I will simply miss it. And all supply services of this world will not bring me back that feeling of belonging to this bunch of so diverse people, unified only through their language. Communities abroad are indeed special, they are a melting pot for a whole range on opinions, longings, life designs and desires – it’s a vibe I never found in a German parish. This is said without any judgement.

I guess it will take time to re-adjust and find myself in the new position. And I decided that I take my time to mourn the loss of this community and that I take my time to absorb this farewell so that at the end, a wonderful kaleidoscope of memories will be part of my life. I can sense now how much I loved to be the chaplain, how much it was part of my life. Actually a good feeling, combined with the sadness of leaving…

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