“Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.” (Tennessee Williams)
May 4, 2015
It is Monday night and I have just returned from a most stimulating conversation. It was the “Monday Night Mash-Up” at the Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail. This high-energy group of adults meets weekly to discuss a wide range of topics with the Reverend Wayne Parsons. Tonight they wanted to meet with me to chat about a Moments of Grace I wrote some weeks ago (March 28) on the Parish of the Good Shepherd in Mount Pearl. I was intrigued that they had been discussing that particular message from me and wanted to explore it in person. Tonight I discovered they really identified with what I had said about turning brokenness into blessing and how a community can be transformed by pain and uncertainty. What really stimulated me was their interest in the transformation of Christian community. It was so inspiring to spend time with a group whose main concern was about new life and renewal rather than maintenance and survival.
It was also good for me to see Wayne again. My relationship with him goes back a long way to our 10 years together at the Parish of the Ascension in Mount Pearl when I was rector and he became a deacon. I also married him and Annette and so my relationship with Wayne is a deep and abiding one formed over two decades now.
Coincidentally, this day began with another old friend from the Parish of the Ascension, the Reverend Frank King. Last night Kathy and I went to Coley’s Point for Confirmation and then stayed over with Frank and Georgina in Bay Roberts. It was a late night of remembering old times for the four of us. We don’t get together often these days but when we do it’s as if Frank and I have never been apart. We reminisce about some of the same old people, we debate some of the same old questions, we laugh at some of the same old jokes. The time and distance between our meetings evaporates in an instant every time. A good friendship is like that. Time and distance will never destroy it and it always awaits the right opportunity to spring to life again. A good friendship has a quality about it that never changes.
Beginning and ending this day with Wayne and Frank reminds me tonight of just how blessed my life has been by friends. For many years at the Church of the Ascension Frank and Wayne worked with me as we grew that parish and ministered together to the people of Mount Pearl and the surrounding area. In that shared ministry a deep friendship was formed that continues to this day. We worked together so well that I still remember being asked by a visitor to the church which one of us was in charge because they just could not tell from the way we interacted with each other. In 2005 I was the first to leave the parish (followed by Wayne and then by Frank) and I was proud at my farewell dinner to request both of them to stand with me and to ask our gathered friends that when they remembered one of us to remember all three of us. We were just that close. (I include an old picture from 2005 of the three of us and one from last night with Frank)
Years have passed since those days in Mount Pearl. All three of us have changed ministries numerous times and yet we have always kept in touch. Many other changes have come and we have all experienced joys and sorrows along the way. Once in a while all three of us get together with Kathy and Georgina and Annette to remember old times and share a meal.
Tonight I give thanks for friends like Frank and Wayne I have made along the way in my journey through this great church. They have all made the journey worthwhile in so many ways. Tonight Wayne and Frank remind me of Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote: "I didn't find my friends; the good God gave them to me."
With my every blessing,