Those of you who follow this blog regularly, know that my wife Allison is currently serving a pastoral internship. While she is doing that, I am working for the same congregation as its mission developer for its north campus, as well as working for the local synod around social media and the possibility of a lay school of theology.
About a year ago, I shared the exciting and unexpected news that we would be returning to the Pacific Northwest for this experience. We knew that this would come to an end in the middle of August 2016, and didn’t have an idea as to where we would be led and called next.
Well, now we do.
It’s a funny and surprising thing, watching and discerning where the Holy Spirit might be leading. It’s exciting. It can also sometimes be the cause for some tears, questions, and feelings like we just got back to our “home” region. Well, oh well. God is about calling, gathering, and sending. And often, it’s not to places that might be obvious or necessarily at the top of your list.
I have received, and we have accepted, a call to serve as the new Director for Stewardship of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). After great conversations and much discernment, we both really believe deeply that this is a deep call.
I am excited about this. It is unexpected, partly because we were hoping that by returning to the Northwest for internship after five years in Minnesota we might end up staying somewhere on the west coast. Well, that’s not going to happen for our first calls anyway. And strangely, I think we are both at peace about this.
What does this mean?
I will be in the midst of transitions throughout the summer. I will begin working part-time remotely for the Nebraska Synod, in addition to my work with the Southwestern Washington Synod and Messiah Lutheran Church. When those two roles end in the middle of August, Allison and I will move shortly thereafter to Nebraska, at which time I will go full-time.
This will have an impact on this blog. I will continue to blog, I am sure of that. But, I would not be surprised if the links on Tuesdays end up being shorter or changed somehow.
In terms of calls, as this is a call, I will be commissioned as an Associate in Ministry for this role likely at some point late in the summer or early in the fall. Ideally this will happen on the same weekend as Allison would be ordained to be a pastor in the ELCA. Obviously, this assumes that Allison is approved and receives a call to serve as a pastor in Nebraska, but I believe this will happen.
God is at work, and it’s exciting to watch and wonder about. When these details emerge, trust that I will share them with you. The commissioning and ordination services would be at our home congregations in Washington.
I’m excited and happy to share this news with all of you. Trust, that as the journey and transitions unfold, I will continue to share in the conversation with all of you.
Thank you for being my community, talking partners, and collaborators in life, leadership, ministry, and service.