Klaas Meijer neemt na negentien jaar afscheid

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Klaas Meijer

De dominee stopt ermee

GROOTEGAST – Na bijna negentien jaar dominee te zijn geweest bij de PKN gemeente in Grootegast/Sebaldeburen, neemt Klaas Meijer afscheid. In totaal heeft Meijer 38 jaar als dominee gediend, nu wordt het tijd om met emeritaat te gaan. Alhoewel, helemaal stoppen doet hij niet. “Ik heb nog een aanstelling voor twaalf uur in de week in Sellingen. Mijn vrouw en ik komen beide uit Westerwolde. We vinden het fijn om terug te gaan naar de plek waar we geboren en getogen zijn.” Uiteraard houdt Grootegast altijd een bijzonder plekje in het hart van de predikant. Aan de Streekkrant vertelt hij over zijn tijd in Grootegast en over zijn naderende afscheid.
Veel mensen zijn hem waarschijnlijk wel eens lopend of fietsend tegen gekomen in Grootegast. Of gewoon in de kerk natuurlijk. Want in Grootegast gaat het goed met de kerk.
“Natuurlijk hebben wij ook wel wat verloop, maar ik denk dat het in verhouding wel meevalt. Maar ook hier is het zo dat er minder mensen naar de kerk gaan dan achttien jaar geleden, toen ik hier kwam. Die trend is niet te stoppen. Ik denk niet dat mensen minder religieus zijn dan toen, maar men heeft niet meer zoveel met een instituut. Dat geldt overigens niet alleen voor de kerk, maar ook voor koren en verenigingen. Mensen willen zich steeds minder binden.”
Meijer heeft het in de loop der jaren allemaal zien veranderen, maar hij loopt dan ook al een tijdje mee. In 1968 behaalde hij zijn HBS-diploma in Stadskanaal. In die jaren ontstond bij em het plan om theologie te gaan studeren. “Ik ben altijd geïnteresseerd geweest in wat mensen zouden kunnen denken en geloven. Wat stelt het geloof eigenlijk voor? En wat zoek je eigenlijk in de kerk? Dat soort vragen.” Hij besloot theologie te gaan studeren. “Ik heb niet een roepstem uit de hemel gehad of zoiets. Het was iets me niet meer losliet.” En zo werd Meijer in 1976 predikant en was hij werkzaam op verschillende plekken, de laatste negentien jaar dus in Grootegast.
“Ik heb hier een hele fijne tijd gehad. Ik kan niet zeggen dat ik het hier mooier of fijner vindt dan in andere gemeenten.” Afgelopen weekend kon Meijer zich bezighouden met één van de hoogtepunten van het jaar: Pasen. “Ik houd van de Paasprojecten. De Witte donderdagviering, de Goede vrijdagviering, de paaswake en eerste paasdag. Dat zijn voor mij de hoogtepunten van het kerkelijk jaar.” The Passion echter volgde hij niet. “Ik houd meer van het gewone dan van het spektakel. Zo ben ik ook altijd predikant geweest: gewoon. Ik heb het nooit in het spektakel gezocht, ik hou me liever op de achtergrond en werk sturend of stimulerend.”
Er is nog geen officiële opvolger voor Meijer in Grootegast. “Maar er is wel een voorziening in de tussentijd hoor, ik laat de gemeente niet herderloos achter.” Er is gelegenheid om afscheid te nemen van Klaas en zijn vrouw Janny op 25 april om 17.00 uur in De Schaapskooi achter de Goede Herderkerk in Grootegast. Op de daaropvolgende zondag is er een afscheidsdienst met het thema: ‘van kracht tot kracht, de toekomst tegemoet.’ 

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