Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mid-October Check-in

The last few days have been filled with several intentional and chance encounters with friends, and it has been a joy and filled a need we all too often forget we have. Going back to the parish where I just served to help with their festival which helps a vital ministry of the church, their extensive food pantry, was wonderful/weird/exhausting. Wonderful because for just a little bit I was not in the limbo I have been in since August 1. Weird because I have been in that limbo long enough that it is the new norm so the old norm was like a dream in which I knew I was dreaming. Exhausting because I do not normally stand at a fryer for four hours making hush puppies and fries. (I smelled wonderful Saturday night!) But the best part was seeing so many old and dear friends from so many parts of my life.

Sunday morning I was off to the Church where I am have been preaching,  supply fill-in only, since Labor Day for the most part, then I ran to Shrine Mont, our Diocesan retreat center where I facilitated a small group for Fresh Start, a new position training program our diocese does. This is where I do summer camp, so I know almost as many people as I do not. It is wonderful, as well.

The second, and I do mean second, that it was done, I ran to Richmond to my seminary's 25th celebration of its founding. I was in the second class. Wonderful does not even describe seeing my professors and classmates. Also, lots of friends from Baptist life along the way. The last three days has been a nostalgia overload.

Today, I leave for a week of reflection, planning and preparation as I continue on my journey as an Episcopal priest. The last few days have had repeated confirmations from that still small voice: ...you will be okay... you are on the right path... the gifts of the past stay with you while you follow...

One of the workshops over the weekend was on grief and loss in transitions. I found it ironic that I probably needed it more than the attendees I was facilitating. But one point, the speaker talked about shame in losing a job. I have not felt shame. Loss, yes. Shame, no. It is awkward bringing it up, but it is not shameful. I hesitate because other people cock their head, and say, "How are you... really?" Yeah, I have had enough of that. I am doing as well as can be expected.

I finished a book (1st draft) that I have been working on this year, and I am hot and heavy in editing. I lost about 30 pounds since Easter, and working hard to stay on that train. I have had a place to preach and celebrate weekly since September began. I am back on the vegetarian train, and am feeling great. I have picked up (actually I have been given) several side gigs that have paid well for what I was asked to do. (Thank you friends looking out for me!) The only thing missing in my days is a full-time job, and God is preparing a place for me and me for a place. I believe that.

So, all in all, we are doing as well as we can in the circumstances. And MUCH BETTER than we expected. The next week finds me in Florida at CREDO, a training conference run by the Church Pension Group. I did part one last year, and it changed my life. I cannot wait for this year! And then at the end of the month I fly to Liverpool to coordinate the joint youth pilgrimage for next summer. So much to be thankful for, some much that could happen. I could not be more excited in an undesirable situation. The lemons may be sour, but that makes for the best lemonade. All in how one sees it. Blessings!


  1. Rock - I meant, several times to walk over and give you a hug and thank you for helping out at the event. Fry side is no easy task, so thank you, thank you. I love this post and glad to have this update. Steve C.

    1. Thanks, Steve! Great seeing you! You were a busy man. Inspiring to watch and a great job. I actually love working the fryer, and Mac was great on the oysters. I used to work the fryer in college and enjoy it! All the best!

  2. beautifully written and shared! Thank you for allowing us to accompany you through this time of transition - organic and real.

  3. This is refreshing to read. It's honest and uplifting! Thanks for posting it!!

  4. Love reading this post. It's a journey indeed, and you are navigating it with wisdom and grace.

  5. Great update! I loved reading this.

  6. Beautifully written, Rock. Thank you for sharing. *hugs*


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Blessings, Rock