A highlight for me in 2017 has been that I have been given the privilege of serving the Anglican Church in Arnhem and Nijmegen (Netherlands). I was appointed as a ‘locum tenens’, which means a ‘placeholder’ for the eventual priest. So I am temporary hire.
This eventual priest will have to fit in the profile of the congregation (which still has to be developed) and he has to please the Anglican Bishop of Europe, the Right Reverend Robert Innes. I have made very clear to the church council that I serve; I am glad to help them develop a profile of the priest they need, and that I will be quite okay with the idea that this might not be me.
I admit, this year 2017 has not been so easy, as we returned in January from Egypt where we have lived almost all the time since 1988. We were told that we would suffer from Reverse Culture Shock. This entails a nasty feeling of being our of place. My weekly service in Arnhem and Nijmegen felt very good, though!
The congregation is small, very accepting, and mainly elderly. But this year we have seen a handful of younger people join the bandwagon, and that has been a great encouragement for me and for the congregation.
Information about the church in Arnhem and Nijmegen can always be found on our Facebook page.
Where will this end for me? 2018 will tell. We trust that our Lord God will keep us and guide us. A better life I cannot think of.
In the meantime, I also traveled to Egypt regularly in 2017. The photo herewith was taken in November 2017 during a visit to the Anafora Retreat Center. I have known the Coptic-Orthodox Bishop Thomas who leads that center for 25 years or so and I am always glad to see him again.
Jos M Strengholt