Merry Christmas from Kelly and Tait! - Tait Berge
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Merry Christmas from Kelly and Tait!

Merry Christmas friends,

Well, it’s time for the annual tradition of writing the Christmas /end-of-the-year ministry update letter. I, Tait, looked up the last update that I sent out in June and noted that my highlights came early in the year. No wonder I haven’t written! Then I remembered that the ministry had a loss and is slowly rediscovering its purpose. Whoops, forgot to put that update out. Then I realized that classes took a lot of the time, and most of the year was spent in study. Nevertheless, the Lord continues to be good.

These are just a few highlights of our year.

The year began with a baclofen pump replacement turned into a medical adventure. About a month after surgery, I found myself in the ER with an infected pump. It had to come out immediately, and I spent two months heading from the infection and maintaining my tone the best I can. Life slowed down, but it was not as bad as it could have been. I was able get a medical extension for my classes which I finished over the summer. The pump went back in on June first, and I haven’t had any problems since.

During my hospital stay to deal with the infection, the Lord told me that my time at International Anglican Church was over. The full story can be found here. Kelly had already left the church, and I thought I’d follow her once she found something she liked. It turned out to be that I had to take the lead.

I told myself that I’d never go to New Life, but guess what? We are going to New Life Downtown! Its first pastor was an Anglican priest and put in some Anglican elements into the service. Confession and the Eucharist being two of them. That’s what attracted me to the church.

We started attending the church just when the founding pastor moved on. His replacement, though, is an Asbury grad! I like him. Not only that, but some of my classmates go to New Life. Plus it has better access to small groups and fresh opportunities for ministry.  Kelly and I haven’t even begun to touched what is possible at New Life, and I suspect that 2023 will open more opportunities!

Most of my time is spent on my seminary classes. They’re challenging, but I believe I’m in the right place at the right time. I enjoy the work, although this last semester was difficult. I’m told that the two classes I took were some of the hardest in seminary. We’ll see. I’m looking forward to taking some this spring that are more my style including ethics and missions! We’ll see how things goes.

We loss our friend, mentor and Founder of Mephibosheth Ministry when Mary Jane went to Jesus in July. My thoughts on MJ’s passing can be found here. Because of her dementia the last few years, we had already begun looking towards the future without her. The ministry is blessed to have the leadership of Greg Brown, and I believe it’s heading in a good direction. We will be more focused on local missions which will give me more opportunities to participate in ministry including helping New Life Downtown build up an outreach to people who have disabilities.

Our families are well. Kelly’s mom and dad moved into a senior living facility in South Florida and are looking forward to more ministry. My mom is good. She’s active with her church, golf, bridge, president of her HOA, and spends time with her friend, John.

Kelly and I are doing good. This might be the first time in our marriage that we have really experienced life separate from each other. Kelly does respite care for another family three times a week while I do school and ministry work. She’s such a gift to me as I wonder how I’d handle my medical needs on my own. I’m proud that Kelly is making strides with her struggles. We continue to enjoy each other and get out to concerts, live theater, and, of course, the zoo.

I’m trying to remember our hopes and dreams last year at this time. Did we meet our goals? Go beyond them?

I pasted this prayer of St Brendan the Navigator at midnight last January first.

Help me to journey beyond the familiar

and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You

to be stronger than each storm within me.

I will trust in the darkness and know

that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,

and somehow, make my obedience count for You.

It’s a dangerous prayer and I’m shaking now knowing that Kelly and I lived this prayer all the way through this year. I invite you to join us in praising Jesus for his blessings and guidance as we look towards the new year.

Happy New Year, friends!

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