For my wife and me, 2010 was a year of exceptional, memorable and satisfying change.
At the church where I’ve worked with much productive harmony over 13½ years, nearly two years of “succession planning” came to a wonderfully smooth and happy end, as we welcomed a new minister and his family (all the way from London) and supported them in the settling-in process.
Our years at Campbelltown Church have been richly blessed by God. The church’s doubling in size and harmonious dealing with change over the past 13½ years, the 4½ years of work with a youth pastor, and the emergence of a church plant in Adelaide’s southern suburbs – all these were clearly God’s doing and yet it was a privilege to recognise that we were part of it all. Helen and I feel welcome to stay on as members of Campbelltown but at age 65 it was time for me to make way for somebody who can lead the work during the next stages of its development.
Retirement is taking some adjustment, not so much from feeling lost as from working out what to do and leave from our long wish-list! We have also relished our new freedom after being rather tied down by my work, especially during the past year. Since 1st October we have been to Melbourne three times and Sydney once, with another trip for our whole family week in Torquay planned for soon!
We were also able to spend time with our eldest daughter, her man, and their delightful but busy trio twice during the year, and here in Adelaide continue to enjoy lots of contact with the family of our second daughter, as well as with our youngest and his wife.
My delightfully energetic wife has emailed out her last K&F, a weekly insert for church newsletters to guide and encourage parents and extend church-attending kids in our national family of churches. After almost 6 years she’s decided to clear the decks for something(s) different. It’s probably a sign of the changing communications landscape that December 2010 has also seen the last issues of New Life (Australia’s evangelical newspaper) and Trowel & Sword (the CRCA’s monthly magazine and published since 1953).
Plans for retirement? The house needs attention: painting, maintenance, the garden and the effects of climate change on our garden and house’s foundations. We have several family reunions planned and being planned, all in 2011. Both of us may get into blogging – Helen has been encouraged to give K&F a home on the web, and I may build on my Flickr photo archive… and there’s so much else to write about. Helen is part of a Bible correspondence ministry to prisoners, and we both now give some time to the elderly at Warrina Homes – and may also do some work in the church if it’s needed. Helen continues to enjoy involvement in the local Christian school at Board level and the Education Support area. Is it any wonder we sometimes feel tired? So we’ve changed from a 4 cylinder Camry to a 6 cylinder Aurion, and may buy a small A-van to make it easier to get away.
Retiring is a big change, which we’re both enjoying – although it has its moments. Unlike so many in our age group, we are both still very healthy and quite fit: this summer we’ve started swimming and/or power walking daily (well, almost daily). At heart we are deeply grateful to God and Oz for the great year(s) behind us and confident about whatever may lie ahead in 2011.