Today I led worship for our presbytery eLM ministers network (equipping leadership for mission). It was Ascension Day, and one of our colleagues is about to finish her role. So it was a time of thinking about leaving, and change. I used the text that follows in Acts 1, about the apostles choosing the successor to Judas.
The theme was "Falling Up". I had a pile of autumn leaves in the centre of the circle. I played a video loop of leaves falling from Pexels and two instrumental pieces - "Falling Asleep" by Tindersticks (from the Claire Denis original motion picture L'Intrus / Vendredi Soir) and "Falling" by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis from the soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
The call to worship was a piece from my book Deeper Water - "We bring who we truly are".
Acts 1 - Jesus ascends and the disciples wonder what to do next. There's a Jesus-shaped gap to fill. There's also a gap left by Judas in their company.
So we reflected on leaving places of ministry, or significant ministry tasks, and how we would love it to be as if Jesus has left the building but it's also as if Judas has left - the good and not-so-good of ministry left behind us. What feelings do we have about leaving, and who and what are left behind?