We've finally made it to the Christmas break. We're slowing down as a family and hope to take a solid rest in the next two weeks. It was a flurry of activity as things came to a close for this season and we want to share a little about the journey with you. Here it is from school breaking up, a few parties, and our Christmas plans...
School Broke Up
Yes, that's a different phrase for our American readership. School "breaks up" at the end of each term until it assembles again at the end of holiday break. School broke on Wednesday at half day and the kiddos eased into a very welcome two week break. Just last week, Perry and Shepherd had their respective nativity musical and singalong, respectively...well, that is if you can actually call Shepherd and his little mates looking incredibly cute and barely singing along. It was a good finish to the year.
God has been kind to us over this first full school term. We are grateful for the friends our children have been able to make and the friends we've been able to make around the school as well. Being involved in the school PTA has been the most unexpected and most enjoyable part of school for us. We really like the school and are glad to be getting stuck in.
A Few Parties
This week was not without a few final parties to turn up at. On Monday Thomas went to the Co-Mission Network Christmas Party where staff members from across the Network gathered at St. Peter's Fulham to eat, pray, and celebrate together.
On Tuesday night we skipped Community Group to host our friends for a catchup before they headed to the States for Christmas with family on the West coast. Then on Thursday the guys went over to Hackney to have dinner with our friend James before he headed off for his Christmas break.
Finally, we gathered with most of our launch team on Friday for our first Redeemer Christmas party. We met at a pub in Kensal Green called Paradise - actually named after the last few lines of a really good GK Chesterton poem (check it out!).
We are especially grateful for the launch team. Less than a year ago we were trying to figure out how we could all make it to London and get busy with starting a new Church community. Now, less than a year later, we're here and we're into it. This last year has probably been tougher on all of us - mums and dads and children too - than we can really realise or articulate. Through it all, God has been good to us. He has provided for us. He has shown up in our lives in tangible ways. He has in fact been with us. We remember His provision, His goodness to us, and His desire to make Himself known. All of that is evident in the fact that we're here, together.
Our Christmas Plans
We're taking two weeks off from ministry. It has been a long, and at times a very difficult, year for our family. We've changed jobs, sold valuable possessions, moved internationally, started life in a new community, and now are starting a new Church community. It's been a lot. We need to rest. We're stepping back to enjoy the holidays and enjoy each other.
We've already made a few memories to get things going. Earlier today, Elizabeth took Perry in to central for tea while Thomas and Shepherd went to a pub for a Sunday roast. In the next couple of days we will visit with a few friends but most importantly we are slowing down - it's amazing how it takes a few days to actually slow down, untangle yourself from ministry and worries, and get to a place where you can actually rest. We're headed to St. Peter's Fulham with our friends - the Whites - on Tuesday and then keeping a family tradition alive of having Asian food on Christmas Eve.
We're in London for the week before heading to the Cotswolds on Friday. We've been coached, told, and warned that the key to enjoying (and actually staying) in London is to get out. So, we're getting out. We're headed to the countryside to rest as a family.
When we return, we will move right into Launch Team meeting on Saturday, Thomas preaching at a church on Sunday, the beginning of Spring Term on Tuesday, resuming Community Group and Pub Chats on Tuesday, and spending the rest of the week in preparations for the first instalment of: The Redeemer Sessions on Saturday. More to come on all of that, later. Now, we slow down to recover from a busy season and to gain strength for the work ahead.
Financial Support - We are grateful to have so many of you committed to being on our long-term financial support team. Whether you'd like to make a one-time gift or are interested in joining our team - we would be most grateful for your support.
"Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."