Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breaking Away

I guess everyone else has had their go at "it"..."it" being their chance to wig away for some rest and recuperation from the toils of life, love and ministry.

So it's my turn now I 'spose. Cathy and I are taking a mini-sabbatical of sorts starting in October. I am cutting out some things by necessity and staying put on others that I don't feel like God has released me from yet. We've been on "go" from day one here in Oxford and that was 7 years ago. Actually, rewind to 1998, and we've been in "church planter" mode since then without a real break. And I don't mean the occasional vacation, but a break from the mind running full speed ahead, always processing, always analyzing, always on "available" mode. A paring away of the regular routines of doing things.

In the presence of frustration (there's always that), futility, joy (even), weariness and smidgens of hope, we have decided that we have neglected some things about ourselves that need attention. That includes our marriage. We are solidly in love, devoted to each other and to ministry together.....we just need some time together and alone to find more of what we're to be and where our service to Christ and to our community will take us. We are solidly committed to being here in Oxford we aren't going anywhere but to within, to God and to each other.

This has been a while in coming...about a year and a half actually. I just haven't had the courage to admit it much I don't guess. I tried a mini retreat for a few days in March and that was great, but I knew it was not enough. I just know that I can't remain in some of the places from which I am operating...and that mostly out of my own strength. I don't want that much anymore.

This means:

  • Terminating our suburban community (we have had two other people living with us in intentional community)....we just need the space that is our home to be able to go to where we need to go
  • Ceasing our house church community meeting at our house (other community members are planning on an alternate location)....we also will not be attending our community during this time
  • Laying aside some visible and mostly invisible pastoral duties....I will still be observant and it isn't as if I'm leaving a vacuum...I am going to return in due time
  • Entering into some deliberate personal and corporate accountability during the interim for reflection, healing and wholeness
  • Getting away with my wife so as to just focus on ourselves a few times
  • Getting away personally...each of we can gain a greater clarity of our place in our togetherness
We will be back. We are not sloshing around for an undetermined period of time. I will return to this blog. We will return to our community refreshed, reinvigorated, revitalized and- hopefully and prayerfully- with something of import to say. And an even greater, more empowered platform from which to spring. Yeah, it's scary, it's a risk but and some may not even understand, but everything in our bones tells us it's the right thing.

I won't be back the same as I was upon stepping away. Thanks for holding out for me/us.....keep posted.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills, SD- from our trip out west this summer. Could really stand to be there right now.

Everytime I see this pic, the cirrocumulus cloud deck above the spires there look like they're moving from right to left.