Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Back in the blogging saddle again...

Where the heck has May gone?!?!?!

It's been too long in coming, but here's reason #2 for my extended absence from the blogosphere:

This last month has been a real whirlwind in the LutheranHusker household, and a lot of it has had to do with the fact that as of June 1, I'll be leaving my position as Director of Christian Education and Music at Church #1 and taking a position at Church #2 as Director of Youth Discipleship.

I haven't been at Church #1 for very long, but it became pretty clear early on that although I liked the congregation and they liked me, they saw me as primarily a music guy...whereas I saw myself primarily as a Christian Ed guy who also did music.When the position opened at Church #2, I figured I at least ought to check it out. Church #2 is a congregation I've thought very highly of for quite some time, and their senior pastor and I have worked together on a number of things in the past...I have a lot of respect for him.

The more I found out, the more obvious it was where I needed to be. I love working with youth and young adults, and this was a perfect opportunity in a great place with great leadership to do exactly that. In addition, since I won't have worship music responsibilities anymore, I can sit with Sweetie and Kiddo on Sunday mornings and help Sweetie keep the peace in the pews...and with only having one focus (youth) instead of two (education AND music) there will be a lot less need for me to be in sixteen places at once. =)

The process happened pretty quickly at the end of April--I had my interview on April 29, the council approved my hire the next week, and I start on June 1. In the meantime I've been trying to get as much as possible wrapped up at Church #1 and get at least a little legwork done on stuff for Church #2. So my time, energy, and focus have all been...well, other places than here.

At any rate, that's where I'm at. I'm excited--really looking forward to the start of things. And I jump right in--I'll be taking 17 7th graders to confirmation camp from June 10-15. Woo hoo!!!

For what it's worth, here's a copy of my letter of resignation to Church #1. I think it explains things pretty well:

Dear Friends,

It is with mixed feelings that I write to announce my intent to resign my position as Director of Christian Education and Music effective June 1, 2007.

As many of you know, for some years now I have discerned a deep call toward ministry with youth and young adults—empowering a new generation of disciples for Christ. It was a ministry that I grew to love during my time with the Lutheran Student Center, one that I have missed incredibly, and now an opportunity has arisen for me at another church to pursue that calling on a full-time basis again.

I was candid with the Congregational Council when I was hired that my sense of call was leading me toward educational ministry, and that while music has always been something I’ve enjoyed, I didn’t see it as my main vocation. In the time I’ve been here, my responsibilities for music have grown, while the time I’ve devoted to Christian education by and large has not borne much fruit. From a stewardship standpoint, I’ve struggled with the idea that the church is using its resources to pay me for two positions, and in many ways only reaping the benefits of one of those positions.

I am sensitive to the short amount of time I have served here, and wish that the timing could have been other than what it was. As I have learned, however, my timetable is not necessarily God’s timetable, especially when it comes to where and in what capacity God is calling me. I also feel it important to mention that this was completely my decision. I was never approached by anyone at the other church to come and interview. I first saw the position posted in a general email sent to Lincoln area clergy and lay professionals, and I contacted the church on my own. Finally, this is not a reflection of any feelings I may have about the congregation at Church #1—I have been treated extremely well, and have built many friendships that I’ll cherish for a long time. Rather, my decision is a reflection of my personal sense of call, and a realization that I need to follow where God is leading me.

I pray that the Christian Education program at Church #1 continues to grow, and that you all see yourselves as lifelong students of faith. No matter whether you’re 3 or 93, may you embrace opportunities to study and immerse yourselves in God’s word, discovering anew each day how God has called you through your baptism to live as His child. I pray also that you continue to celebrate the incredible musical gifts God has given this congregation, and that music may always be a way by which Christ crucified is proclaimed.

In Christ,


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Welcome Back, Kotter

It's been a busy couple of weeks, hence my absence from the blogosphere as of late. I apologize for my lack of posting...things should slow down soon. For now though, I leave you with a link to RevScott's blog, which helps explain at least a small part of my recent busyness:

The Rev and Family Visit Nebraska

Thanks RevScott for posting the synopsis complete with pictures, so I didn't have to!!! =)

More to come later.