The organised of my friends have started with the business of Christmas letters already. Perhaps if I were organised I too might write a letter summising my year for friends to reflect on, some form of expository “show and tell” of my life.
If I were to write one I might reflect on the difference of starting a second year at St Johns compared to my first year. Gone was the deep grief I felt in 2010 for all the good friends, opportunities, resources and ministry I had left behind in Karori. Somehow 2011 felt different.
And I might mention that I got to attend not one but all three New Wine camps, do wave my hands in the air and host sessions, representing the national leadership team. It was fun and scary.
I might mention in a christmas letter that a crucial point in my year came in May when I received a letter from Bishop Tom saying that I would be ordained as a deacon in November. Immediately, at the half way point of my time at St Johns I was being reoriented outwards again, to start thinking of the path ahead.
I would be amiss if I didn’t make mention of the extent to which the Christ Church Cathedral family have been in my mind all year since the February earthquake. The five weeks I spent there leading up to Christmas 2010 were very special for me, and even more so given the events of this year.
Mention must also be given in a Christmas letter to all my dear friends, for and to whom I am very grateful. The community at St Johns (a superb bunch), those connections from Karori, Tawa, Alpha, New Wine, Soul Survivor, Alpha, or elsewhere (many of whom I keep contact with online) and newer friends in Auckland all mean much to me.
And I would probably make mention of the events of November 19 when Bishop Tom Brown laid his hands on my head and, somehow, I emerged changed. How or what changed remains a mystery to me, but I know in my bones that it was significant.
Closing a fictitious Christmas Letter would be a reflection on the CPE work I am doing at Middlemore Hospital at the moment as a Chaplain on Ward 34, the conversations I am having with people, and the self I am discovering along the way.
I would then proceed to, with a lump in my metaphorical throat, to wish all my friends my prayers, blessings and hopes for 2012. May the year ahead be your best year yet.