A significant part of the life of parish clergy is spent dealing with death. We are asked to talk to those who are terminally ill. We are asked to take funerals, so spend time talking to those who have been bereaved. We are asked to talk with those who have felt a death so hard that they have been unable to move on with life.
Dealing with death does indeed play a significant part in the life of parish clergy, & its a privilege to be involved with people at a time of such need.
But dealing with birth is also a part of clergy life. We are frequently asked to take baptism services for young children. And, once in a while, we get to meet a newborn child and welcome them into the world.
At Holy Trinity we have a few young families, so the occasional newborn baby in the congregation isn't unheard of - evenso its always a time of excitement. Last weekend we had such a birth - a new congregation member! And on Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting him before he'd even left hospital - a wonderful half hour!
Parish life is filled with sadness as we see people grow frail, and die. But it's also filled with joy as we watch a new generation come into the world, and prepare to take their rightful place in God's creation. Truly, Christianity is about suffering and joy, death and birth.