I cannot believe that it is 2011, time has flown.
When I look back at 2010, one word comes to mind to describe it: CRAZY.
We lived in Ohio for the first 6 months and we lived in Indiana the last 6 months.
While in Ohio, live was relatively calmed. I was working two jobs. My main job was working at Zion Lutheran as their children/youth/family pastor. My second job was working as the Transportation Coordinator at Goodwill industries. My wife would content that I had "three" jobs as I was doing the children's position at Zion.
there were so many great things about Wooster and our lives there. I had a very hard time making the decision to leave. When it came down to it, there were three main reasons for the transition:
1. I wanted to "solely" focus on youth and family ministry. I did not feel like that I could do that at Zion because of the children role and that seemed to take up more of my time than "youth". That may be because I dreamed of the possibility of Sunday Night Live and what it could have become.
2. I was not having the "right" attitude at Zion. The perception that I had was one of them (the church) caring more (making the switch) about the building then about the people that lived in the community surrounding the building. I also felt that I was living in uncertainty with the future retirement of the senior pastor and the finances of the church.
3. I was "running" to a challenging ministry. The church that I was going to CTS, was a church where I could focus on 5-12 grade ministry and also "hopefully" help them in some transitional points in ministry.
The six months that we have been In Indiana have been very challenging both from a professional standpoint and a family standpoint.
In the church, we were wrestling with whether we would remain in the ELCA or the NALC. We have also been wrestling with "what is our end in mind". We have made some subtle shifts in each of the three ministries that i oversee as well.
In the family, we have been gearing up for Bethany's surgery (which has occurred), going through foster-to-adopt classes (possibility of adopting a sibling group0 and then adjusting to a new neighborhood and school system.
However, we are still standing. One of the reasons that we are standing firm and strong is that the love and support that we are receiving from our church family is IMMENSE. We are blessed to serve a church community that cares so deeply for us and we have only been here a short time.
The school community has been very supportive to Bee as well. It is amazing to see the principal writing letters to her, teachers stopping by the hospital and house. Them asking for prayers at school for Bee and more.
There are many things that we miss about Wooster. We have left some tremendous friends. I miss the community that we ministered to in Wooster. I miss DZ, movie nights, Sunday Night Live and Starbucks with the youth. I miss my work/partnership with Goodwill. The job was simple - picking up people at their house and getting them into Goodwill and getting them to training, doctors appointments and taking them on job interviews. But, in the simplicity, it was getting to know people and trying to help them get to the next level.
I am looking forward to 2011. I am hoping and praying that our friendships will continue to grow. I hope and pray that my own personal connections and the churches connections will continue to grow that help people.
I am looking forward to helping students connect to God and connect to others by serving. It will start tonight as I take 2 teenage guys down to the Men's shelter. We simply will be there to help in the kitchen. But, in that simplicity, men will have a meal and know that they are loved.