Well, if you haven’t heard yet, Tara and I are moving.
We’re heading to the Northeast coast for my work (I know, it’s cold there too). I’ve accepted a new position, but because of our Presbyterian process, I can’t tell you where until after the congregation of my new church votes on me. So, is it 100% official yet? Not really. But it pretty much is. Once you’re this far along, it would be something big to derail a call.
Here’s what I can tell you:
Leaving Fourth Presbyterian Youth and the people in the church in Chicago sucks. Which, is a good thing. It means it was a good relationship. It has been a good thing in my life and ministry; the people here have allowed me to learn, mess up, grow, and do some experimentation. They have also trusted me a lot and have let me trust them. And for that, and so much more, I am eternally grateful.
I can also tell you that looking for housing has not been the greatest experience. If you’ve ever made a move to a new city you know this feeling. Especially with pets. Not only do most landlords not want your pets there, your pets probably don’t want to move, as is evident by Penny’s demeanor and incessant need for attention right now as our apartment fills with boxes. Otherwise, we found an apartment and are packing on the daily.
But, without a doubt, the one thing that I know about this move is that 100%, this new congregation: these are my people. They are energetic, excited, thoughtful, open-minded, grounded, playful, and intentional. This is where God has called me and though it’s been a long ride interviewing with churches and sending off PIFs over and over, it has been well worth it.
This is part of what Fourth gave to me: they gave me the confidence to say, “I’m listening for God’s call and I am not going to be stressed over having employment.” Which, as many of you might know, lives in the minds of many seeking a first ordained call. It’s hard to find work. But, being able to go into a new, called position with the confidence that I’m already in a good space, it’s just time to grow and move on, is the biggest gift and blessing I could have ever imagined. It helped me to remain open to the Spirit without the worry of finding employment. It might sound silly, but it’s not. It’s really important, especially for those of us looking for calls in the LGBTQ world.
The moral of the story is: Be the church like Fourth that cheered me on in my search and will make me miss my view from my office. Be the church that called someone who wants to try new things and wants to grow the church and be the church in the world that might not look like the church we think we know. Be the church that takes risks on people and loves them.
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O H — now I find you — forgot to greet you Happy Easter — keeping the blog, I hope –Bill Bowen