Trinity with Palm Grove United Reformed & Methodist Church previous next Home Worship More about TPG Minister's Message (June/July) Work with Children Church Activities Services & Preachers Other Notices Community Choir Mission Who We Are Friends Remembered Contact Us Need a Venue? Click Here Photo Gallery Updated on 13th October  2017 Trinity with Palm Grove United Reformed and Methodist Church                    Alton Road, Oxton, Birkehead.  CH43 1UZ Minister's Message (June/July)
Minister’s Message We never begin anything. We never end anything. We take over where someone else left off, finish where someone else will take over, and across all of our lives are written the words, “move on.” D.T. Niles             How to say goodbye? I understand that Cilla Black used to say it at the end of her show with, “Tera love,” the two Ronnies used to say it with, “It’s goodnight from me, and it’s goodnight from him,”  Dolly Parton used to end her show with a certain song, and Strictly Come Dancing always finishes with Tess Daly  and Claudia Winkleman saying, “Keep dancing!” All things must end, and so again and again in life, we are faced with the discomforting problem of figuring out how to say goodbye. In March 2003, I flew from Alberta to England to check out the Wirral and Trinity with Palm Grove Church. I didn’t really want to move to England at the time, so I was hoping that it was going to be dour here. I was, of course, in for a wonderful surprise. The people and the place turned out to be so good that fourteen years later I would be struggling to find a way to say that parting word to which I have already referred.  This being my last newsletter message to you, I mostly want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve Christ with you these last fourteen years. It has been a great privilege to preach in your pulpit, minister at your funerals, lead at your Bible studies, chair your meetings, and visit in your homes. My time with you has been filled with blessings. It hasn’t always been easy, there have been and still are some considerable challenges, but you have been resilient and faithful. In my time here, you have done a great deal to refurbish the building, reach out to the community, and try different services and events. With particular warmth, I will always remember the car park events and how a donkey can attract a multitude of children, the Christmas Day services with their informal joy, the holiday clubs (which were as much fun for the leaders as the children), and the nursing home services where we often elicited a kind of hand-clapping, fully- engaged response from some very elderly people - add to all of this the Hope Journey mornings, the after school club gatherings, the early bird services, the evening services, the church away weekends, the barn dances, the Toy Boys evenings, the bread and soup fellowship, the 150th  anniversary year, and a certain ladder on which I nearly lost my life, whilst trying to put up a banner on the front of the church. There have, of course, been some mistakes, regrets, and absolute mess-ups by myself. At one time or another I have missed meetings, forgotten appointments, and preached less than inspiring sermons, but you have been supportive throughout and during a time when church attendance has been on the wane, your support has been greatly appreciated. We have loved our time with you and this, of course, makes the problem of how to say that parting word even harder, but did you know that the English word, “goodbye” is actually a conflation of the old English, “God be with ye”? So, whether we know it or not, each time we say it, the sentiment behind it is not, “so long, nice knowing you,” but, "God be with you, God be for you, and God go with you wherever you go." That word represents a kind of holy, parting blessing for companions who have, for a time, shared life’s journey. It is with this deeper meaning then that, come the end of July, we will say it, and mean it, with thanks to God for all that has been, and trust in that same God for all that will be.                                                       With so much love from Ann and me, Blair