Foregoing the Roundup this week since these types of questions have been on my mind lately...
1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith. During my first year of college when the notions and theories of mainline Bible scholarship started to raise serious questions and doubts within me, the UCC campus ministry really helped me work through some of those questions and doubts. I point to that whole second semester, but I'll focus in on a trip that some of us took that May down to Atlanta for a young adult ministry event called Come to the Feast (my first experience of Christopher Grundy's music). I really felt in my element there, and began to see the richness of faith within my own tradition and those of a similar spirit. It's also when I started drinking coffee.
2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry? I've been thinking a lot about the prospect of intentionally serving smaller churches. I don't look at it from a financial standpoint as much as a family standpoint...it's to free me up to raise my kids. I've even thought about a part-time, "tentmaking" model of ministry, but I'm not totally sold on that idea. And even so, aspects of the small church culture might send me to the belltower with a rifle. I would want to be intentional about my calling and not "settle" for a place of less responsibility...that wouldn't be good stewardship. It's very complicated. I'll write more about this eventually.
3. Money is no object and so you will.....Man, this is open-ended. But I suppose that this has to do with future plans. So I will start a church up near Houghton Lake, Michigan, where I'll baptize people right in the lake. We'll have a blended service that pulls from the best of the entire Christian spectrum. We'll minister out in the community, have Bible studies in coffeeshops and bars, and rent space so we can actually do ministry instead of obsess over a building.
4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going? Lately, it's been music. I've been a little concerned/frustrated about the amount of creativity that I'm allowed, and even if something hasn't caught on, I can go to the basement and noodle around on my guitar or bass, creating to my heart's content. Knowing that I can come home, strap on a guitar, and do what I want to do has really pulled me through more than once.
5. How important are your roots? Now, this is an interesting question. I lived in five different communities before I graduated high school. So I'm not sure what is meant by "roots." There are a few places that I was more rooted in than others. I consider Michigan to be roots, though I haven't lived there in 20 years. I consider the town of my high school alma mater to be roots because it's been the long-running constant before and since graduation. These roots are both important in different ways. There's something very comfortable about the thought of moving back north, mostly because then us Wolverine types would be the majority. I make regular stops to my "hometown." My parents live there still, and the faith community that nurtured me is there. I don't know how well that answers the question.
6. Bonus= what would you like to add ? At the end of this month, I'm using a couple of my Continuing Education days to take a retreat of my own design. It'll focus on these same types of questions, and I think that this was a good lead-in. I guess now I'll have to share what I'm doing with you people (which I was probably going to do anyway).