Friday, December 31, 2010

Fare Thee Well, 2010

And so another year comes to a close. I thought I'd take a couple minutes to look back on 2010 went. Here are the highlights:

~SLAPPIN' DA BASS! - I resolved to start taking bass guitar lessons this year, which I started pretty much the first week of the year. After at least a month or so of tremendously awkward and stunted playing, I started to get the hang of it. Now after almost a full year of lessons, I've been able to build upon my modest and scattershot musical knowledge and can at least technically call myself something other than a pure garage musician. I love that feeling, and I love the creative focus that doing this has given me.

~Five Years Ordained - I celebrated five years of ordination this past year, way back in January. I've made it a point to listen to or watch that service every year, though I don't think I'll always need to do that. One thing that I've always thought about regarding that service has been the imperfections of it: the altar candles hadn't been lit, for crying out loud! And yet, there was something metaphorical about stuff like that, as if it foreshadowed what the nature of ordained ministry is in actuality.

~Back to St. Louis - I went back to Eden Seminary to hear Phyllis Tickle and Diana Butler Bass speak at spring convocation, see good friends, eat Ted Drewe's frozen custard and Racanelli's pizza, drink Schlafly's beer and Kaldi's coffee, wander around the Loop, and just recharge batteries. It's a familiar story, but it doesn't get old.

~Sabbatical - I suppose that I could break this down into its component parts, but the only thing that'd really warrant that is the Festival of Homiletics, where I heard a lot of great speakers, met up with friends and made new ones, and experienced Nashville for the first time. I also attended a workshop on health and excellence in ministry, spent some days in retreat, read some books, and all with the goal of figuring out how to sustain creativity in one pastorate over a longer time period. It was a great five weeks of rest and learning, even if I didn't come up with a magic bullet.

~The Freakout - Wait, you missed it? How long have you been reading the blog? I had kind of an existential crisis this year as my current area of residence became the longest I've lived anywhere. Since I'm not used to that, I freaked out. This year became about learning how to stay in one place and be glad for that, and I think I'm doing well, all things considered. In fact, if I'm really being honest with myself, moving on would make me very upset. So that's progress, right? If you want to hear more, go back and read this.

~Closure of a Cathartic Nature - This year, the building where I went to junior high school came down. As I'm fairly certain it was located over The Hellmouth, I watched it happen with glee. But really, it represented a crappy period in my life, and so being able to see this happen was quite cathartic for me. Hey look, I've got a post about that, too.

2011 at a glance: 6 years ordained, my 32nd birthday, Coffeewife's 31st birthday, Coffeeson's 3rd birthday, back to St. Louis again (?), back to the Festival of Homiletics, Daytona, Ann Arbor (we're gonna shoot for the night game vs. Notre Dame).

And Something New. I don't know what yet. But this year I wanna do Something New.