Letter from Stroud - February 2018
After we left Johannesburg in 2008 we had something of a year’s sabbatical in England where Aaron worked firstly at Tablehurst Biodynamic farm in Forest Row and then in the congregation there and also at a local Community for special needs adults called Nutley Hall.
(Aaron then received a sending to the congregation in Stroud in the west of England, near the southern border with Wales – Ed.itor)
We have a wonderful house and home ‘High Spinney’ in the Cotswold hills above Stroud. It is still something of an ongoing project – especially the garden terraces and stonewalls that endlessly need repair and love and care – and of course our beloved compost heaps. We are also surrounded by so many wonderful people in this Stroud area and we count our blessings every day for all the comfort and joy of our lives here, but we equally miss all our dear friends and family (you all!) who we seldom see but think of regularly. We have a beautiful large guest room and gladly receive guests from all corners of the Earth – including Johannesburg. It’s a beautiful area with loads of interesting social and cultural initiatives. So please feel heartily welcome to come and stay anytime.
in Stroud where Aaron continues with his priestly work and Judy does all sorts of related things with music, serving, puppet theatre, parent-and-child group and much more. For both of us the congregation here is a source of great joy, friendship, culture and spiritual substance. The community continues to grow in all respects, outwardly and inwardly, and all the more do we await with eager anticipation the building of our new church due to begin in May 2018. The involvement of many of the members and friends in social, educational, environmental and cultural initiatives and projects in the area is very enriching for us.
An additional growth area has been the children’s and youth work with our largest children’s camp in 2017 with 86 children and two youth conferences this in the spring of 2017. In 2018 we are taking a group of some 25 youth to Southern Spain to enjoy Seville and live and work 10 days at Los Portales ecovillage north of Seville. That is the village that Aaron lived and worked at for some weeks in 2016 as part of a sabbatical time. Another fruit of that sabbatical visit were the 9 children who came to our children’s camp in 2017 from Spain! Sabbaticals are so worth it. For Aaron it was 2½ months in Spain 2016 and especially refreshing and renewing on many levels – not to mention the chance to finally improve his Spanish and build a lot of compost heaps and work with the biodynamic preparations!
Where are they now?
Members of our congregation move away from Johannesburg. Whenever they visit us they feel immediately at home. In part this is through receiving our monthly newsletter. We too would hope to remain connected through these posts and learn something of their lives and where they are now living.