Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Back!

Hello Friends,

I can't even fathom wrapping up the last year's happenings in a few short paragraphs.  Some highlights:

- First year in solo ministry at First on Fourth has been beautiful, shocking, wonderful, and strange.  The job of the pastor is full of the random and the mundane, life and death, perceived crises, so many meetings, but mostly reading, writing, listening, and, above all, loving as best we can.  I've learned to appreciate my role as a spiritual leader and confidante, and gained tremendous respect for people who've been at this for decades.  It's about living in community, even when that feels a little impossible.

- I bought a house!  It's 120 years old and quirky and tiny and gorgeous.  It suits me well and my puppy (Dr. Rufus T Barleysheath) is enjoying having his own yard very much.

- I'll be starting a PhD in fall 2013.  I'll be studying at CSU, in the school of education.  The professor who will be my primary adviser is an incredible woman who works primarily with multiculturalism in education, specifically with vulnerable and oppressed populations.  My own research will be focusing on the ways we teach the "terror texts" of the Bible at a seminary / theological training level, and how we speak of / remain silent about violence against women in a preaching and pastoral context. 

- My first half marathon is next weekend - the Slacker Half which is entirely downhill from Loveland Pass.  I would not have survived the training for this without the support and love of family, friends, and an incredibly supportive congregation.  Come to think of it, most everything I do comes to fruition from such encouragement, care, and grace.  Not entirely sure how I got so lucky, but I'm grateful.

Part of my sense of call in the world is continuing to respond (in writing, preaching, and activism) to injustice.  I've come to appreciate that having first hand encounters with the people who live in such places gives me the courage to keep speaking out.

I would not have traveled to Calcutta or London to do anti-trafficking work without your help.  So it is with hat entirely in hand that I ask for sponsors as I attempt a trip to Palestine.  The opportunity I'm hoping to pursue is with a peacemaking organization (Pilgrims of Ibillin) which promotes understanding of life in Palestine and connection amongst Christians, Muslims, and Jewish people in the Holy Land.  I've got tremendous respect for this organization and am very keen to travel with them.

I would be delighted to speak with any organization interested in having me about my travels and present what I learn.  Thank you in advance for considering sponsoring on my next adventure.

With many thanks for your support and prayers,