What do you see when you look back on your life and career?
For me the majority of my time and energy has been serving in congregations in mission and ministry. In particular, I've served Trinity on the Hill UMC twice during my career. That, in and of itself, is something that is rather unusual for clergy. For me it has been a great honor as I have been allowed to serve a dynamic congregation, sink roots deep into community life, and see the "ebb and flow" of life in church and community.
From 1994-2000 I had the privilege of serving with David Jones and company as program director at TOTH. Since 2007 I've served Trinity again with primary emphasis in mission, and then "utility player" that I am, with secondary emphasis changing over the years. I've been part time Wesley Foundation director at Augusta State University from 2007- February 2011 which was then shifted with funding and staff changes at Trinity to evangelism through March of this year, and then to adult discipleship most recently in April. All along the way I enjoyed pulling in as many people as possible to do what I could never do by myself. I've always needed a strong team, and many laity, to love God and love neighbor and attempt all sorts of crazy and exciting things as we seek to live in the Kingdom. I imagine the next few weeks will find me reminiscing and swapping stories as we celebrate what has happened, and what will yet occur, as we follow in the way of Jesus.
During my "second tour" at Trinity I've more intentionally worked to wear my UMC clergy hat so that I serve congregation, conference, and Church. Over the years that has meant serving on the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. In the last couple of years that has had me serving as conference coordinator with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), and then rather naturally by extension of this position with NGUMC Bridges as our conference churches partner together with each other to be of greater service to our Methodist and United Methodist family in a few specific countries.
Sometimes it is a very subtle, and somewhat easy thing, to turn a page and realize you've moved from one chapter into another. Of course, while the act itself is small and simple there can still be plenty of emotion and plot in the story!
So, after 13 years, and 2 tours of service, I'll soon move into a new ministry field doing what I've done for years though in different locations and contexts.
This church announcement was shared with my congregation yesterday. Look for more news and story swapping in the day and days ahead.