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So…..now what?

Well it is finished. My time at St. James’ concluded Sunday, June 30. Although only being here 13 months, leaving was very hard. I love this place and these folks. They threw a wonderful party for us Thursday night and sweet reception on Sunday. With all that, including 4 services, that’s a lot of good bye hugs! The love displayed for us was amazing and I won’t forget it. It’s been a wonderful time.
I am in the “discernment” business. I often help people discern God’s call, what’s next for them, where are they being led. I am involved in various discernment groups and really enjoy that quite difficult and challenging and oh-so-rewarding work. The problem is, I am really bad at it for myself and my own family. So here we are. It is very hard to believe I have been here now 13 months. It has been a truly amazing and rewarding experience. I love this place and the people, I have been blessed to work with an incredible staff of lay and clergy superstars, and I get to hang out with some fascinating and inspiring folks. As Interim, I’ve tried my best to be the best I can be in that capacity and I know I have stumbled in that role at times. But I’ve had a blast and what an honor to have my oldest daughter’s wedding right here in this special place. It’s been that kind of year. The last 13 months my son graduated high school and started college, both daughters got married, we moved from the coast and moved THREE times in Jackson, ending up in our very cool downtown apartment. Jennifer started two new jobs and has found such joy working with children at Blair Batson. We knew it was a perfect “season” in our lives to be in Jackson and that has proven to be true. But that part of our journey has now ended.
It’s so much easier to give people, other people, sage advice isn’t it? Just Let Go and Let God! Trust in The Lord. Do not be anxious. God will open a door. All true, all worthy, all very very hard. At least for me, I confess.
It’s different this time around, as we don’t have to worry about such things as school districts. But other family considerations creep that were not present in the past. We have options. We have preferences. But we have VERY little control over how it all shakes out. As it should be, I suppose.

Discerning with parishes who are in search processes is about finding the right fit. These are not competitions with winners and losers. It’s a parish doing its best to discover and affirm, it’s a clergy person doing EXACTLY the same. The common phrase is “finding the right fit”, but how? A very wise clergy friend of mine once said “it takes about a year after a call is issued to find out who lied the most, the search committee or the Priest”. Blunt and true – we all put our best foot forward, right? Yet that allusive “fit” beckons both church and Priest so we search and pray and talk and pray and visit and pray and ask and answer and pray.
My prayer time this time around abounds with silence. I am trying my best to listen. Will you listen with me? Will you pray and dream, vision and wonder with the Knights? For some reason I feel the answer to all this may be surprising, but I can honestly say at this point I have absolutely no idea where we will end up. Earlier today someone said that would drive them crazy, to which all I could reply was “yep”.
So I go back and try, let go, let God, trust, listen. It’s all against my nature and it’s all vitally important.
Just writing this helps with the anxiety. Come Holy Spirit!
SO….here we go again. Pray with us?

Categories: Episcopal Church
  1. Bill
    July 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I feel your challenge, for lack of a better word, my Brother! We too are moving on and have no idea whatsoever what God has for us, what that next ministry will be. God bless you both as you step out in faith. I will keep you in my prayers.


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