Fiona's Final Installment

posted Jun 5, 2013, 9:07 AM by Amelia Fannin   [ updated Jun 5, 2013, 9:07 AM by in apropos ]

It is time to write my last newsletter.  It's a strange feeling, because my plan (and who knows if it's God's plan) is that from now on, I will not work in church, but attend church, like a normal person (no offence intended to all those crazy people I know who work in churches, including my parents), and not write newsletters and emails and pageants and reminders, but just sit in the pew, worship, and try my darndest not to interfere any more.  I've been working in churches, as a musician or Christian educator, since about 1984, with only a couple of gaps, and now it's time to take a sabbatical, and to focus on the creation and running of Construct Learning, the learning center for home schooled teenagers that I will be opening in September. 
I have worked in churches all these years because I love the families that churches create.  From the moment that I arrived at Grace Church, those of you who remembered me from my last time greeted me as a long-lost daughter, and those of you meeting me for the first time did all you could to help me hit the ground running.  Grace is a community of loving, warm, talented and diverse Christians, and it has been a pleasure to be a part of it.  But of course my real joy has been working with your children.  As I leave, I take away so much wisdom that I have learned from them - their capacity to learn, their capacity to love and forgive, and their willingness to be a part of the Episcopal tradition, including aspects that are fast dying out in the wider world - mixing with old and young, discussing matters of belief and faith, doing without cell-phones, TV's and computers, attending worship quietly and thoughtfully, eating at table with many people, taking time for silence, and participating in Communion with all people, wherever they are in their faith journey.
I want to thank a number of people who added so much to my work and life at Grace Church.  Firstly, it has been a pleasure to work with  Rev. Margaret, who truly appreciates the value of Christian education.  I am so grateful to Andree Saulnier and David Barbrow, who have been faithful leaders in the church for many years, and welcomed me and clued me in from the start.  I am delighted that Margaret Crook is our Chair of the new Christian Education Committee, and I am thankful to each one of the parents who has volunteered in the classroom, and served on the committee.  It was a pleasure to be able to work with Linda Clark again, and I am also grateful to Jeffrey Mills, who has been such a gracious colleague to work with.  And last but by no means least, I thank Susan Clancy, whose wonderful administrational and spiritual gifts have held us together week after week. 
Whilst this is my last Sunday "on duty", I hope to attend on a few Sundays in June before going to Paris with the family for July, and then throwing myself into Construct Learning in August.  I am however continuing to work until the end of June, so if you would like to visit over a cup of tea, just email me or phone me. 
Be assured that I will miss you, but also that I will keep with me so many moments, some large, some minute but just as precious, when each of you, adult and child alike, made the presence of the Holy Spirit so real in my life.
Peace and Joy,
Fiona Vidal-White