Exciting Year Ahead

2012 is already nearly three weeks old, and I continue to be excited about what is ahead for the year.  It will be a year full of blessings and challenges – like every year prior to it!  I’ll be finishing up some work from my class I had at Fuller in November (“Congregation as Mission Outpost.”)  I think I’ll be writing on our congregation’s decision to become a gender-inclusive congregation.  It’s been a great learning experience over the past year or so, full of pains and celebrations, and I think to do some writing and reflection on it will serve me some good – help process and think through some things. 

We are planning a trip to Europe in May in collusion with my next class at Fuller.  The class it titled, “Encountering New Ways of Being Church” and is taught by John and Olive Drane.  The class is in Oxford, England.  I happen to have a first cousin in London studying to be a vet, so we are planning to hook up with her.  We’ve also stayed connected to an exchange student who we were very close to when we first arrived in Columbus who lives in Paris, so we are planning to go and spend about a week in Paris while we are gone.  We are both so excited about this opportunity and the way things have come together for it. 

Once I complete the course in England, I’ll be taking one more class, and then working on a final project.  I’m led more and more to the study of the intersection of sports and theology.  So many things happened in 2011 to reaffirm in me the need to pursue such a project.  The area is ripe for new work, and I hope to beginning to pursue that this year. 

In addition, this year at Alum Creek, we’re attempting a pretty ambitious project.  We’ve laid out a 12 month plan with 12 individual thirty day challenges to help walk us through a discipling process.  Our congregation needs to grow deeper, and we’re hoping to do that by opening our eyes and being willing to ask ourselves challenging and ambitious questions.  We settle for so little of ourselves.  Here’s a little video that we put together to kick things off.  I have prayed more over the things we are setting out to do this year, than I ever have before.  It has helped light a fire underneath me; I hope it has a broad impact. 

Hopefully 2012 will be a year I can contribute to this blog more frequently . . . but it probably won’t.  I enjoying spending time in the quiet and expressing myself through writing, and there’s always a million thoughts going through my head that I would like to better express, but I seem to be finding less and less time to sit and write.  Some of it has been the additional work with Fuller, but most of it has been the added time spent with people.  I try to be with people as often as possible, and 2012 has begun with some great conversations with people.  I hope that it will continue.  It seems a very difficult balance between writing and being with people.  The best writers are usually not very social people.  The most social people are usually not good writers (or can’t sit still long enough to compose a fluid thought).  I find myself in the middle, but usually pulled more towards interacting with people.  Hopefully, that will continue . . . and in the midst, from time to time, I can find time to share some of the things I’ve learned from other people – that’s way more exciting than anything I can teach. 

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