First of all, I apologize for all of the lack of posting and cryptic news that I've been putting up in the last couple months. As I've come to discover, this whole process of finding/negotiating/receiving & finalizing a call is both long and tricky. Since the first interview it has been a 10 week process - and that is short. But yesterday, June 3, after preaching at the church for the first time, the congregation voted 172-3 to extend me a call as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship of Liberty Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio. GO BLUE!
First, an aside about those 3. At first, I was hoping for that wonderful "unanimous" stamp of approval on the thing. And when I heard the official vote read, I was a little disappointed. "You mean, there are at least three people who DON'T want me here? Who AREN'T happy with me, with my sermon, with the brief moment we shared yesterday morning at the meet and greet?" And then I was reminded of a very simple fact - 3 was the perfect number to keep me humble. Every time I think I'm cruising along, and everything is turning up daisies - or is it roses - who knows... I can look back at those 3 and remind myself - I'm not perfect. It's not about me. There are always going to be people who aren't going to appreciate what I do, or me as a person. There's always going to be people who don't like my style, my sense of humour, the fact that I'm Canadian or a Wolverines fan... So, I think those 3 no votes were perfect. It's no secret I need to be kept humble.
Anyway, by Wednesday we should be able to decide on a moving company and it looks as though we'll be heading out somewhere between June 22-27, the dates we close & take possession of our new house. I'll blog more on that later. We're REALLY going to miss our friends here at Princeton, but we also recognize what an amazing opportunity this is. We're actually moving CLOSER to my family in Cambridge, ON, Canada. We'll only be about 6 hours away - you can only imagine how excited my mom is to see Brennan more. The church itself, is pretty neat. Their sanctuary is an enormous Amish-built Barn. It's gorgeous - all the beautifully stained wood, the tree-stump pulpit... The Senior pastor - or should I say Senior PastorS - because they're a married couple who share, so co-pastor - are wonderful. It's going to be a really neat experience working in that kind of context. Ever since the news has been leaking out that this was looking like a serious possibility, once being extended the call from the nominating committee and on through, everyone I've talked to about this church and these pastors have been so excited for us. It just seemed like confirmation upon confirmation that this was a good place - a good call. And with Sunday's vote, it's confirmed.
The next steps for me look like this - for those of you keeping score at home: July 1 is my start date. I'll go to the floor of the Scioto Valley Presbytery for examination June 19. And I'm currently floating July 22 & September 9 as possible ordination dates back in Los Angeles at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Then, we'd probably be looking at a service of Installation at Liberty In September or October. The sooner the better because John & Becky (co-pastors) want someone else who can perform the myriad of weddings that they have at Liberty - you know, with such a beautiful sanctuary, they're literally coming out of the woodwork to be married there.
So, I promise to keep you all more abreast of developments. The big reason that I haven't been posting a lot recently is simply that this stuff has been on my mind mostly, and I wanted to be careful about how much I put online without things being official. That's always tricky. Because once you hit "send" or "post" it's GONE. And you can't take it back. That's that but keep checking back in - as soon as I have the revisions made to my sermon digitally that I did by hand, I'll post that and I have at least one post to make about our HORRID experience traveling home yesterday/today. Aggrrhhh! And of course, we'll post info about our new house & all that fun stuff too...