I am staring in the face of a big change.
In the next couple of weeks I am moving to Norman Oklahoma to be the Interim Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Norman. This is a church that has faced some serious challenges over the last few years, but that I am excited to get to participate in the next phase of their life together. Everywhere I looked, and everyone I spoke with in my visit with them spoke to me of hope and readiness to return to connections that have perhaps been strained in the struggles of the last few years, and it is a huge blessing and gift to get to participate in that hope. I will be working as their transitional Associate Pastor, doing work with youth, worship, mission, outreach and evangelism, pastoral care and generally the life of being church together.
I am very excited. I visited for the final votes, dotting of 'i' s and crossing of 't' s for four days, and to meet the community. It was wonderful, I am blessed to get to work with these folks, and look forward to learning what life is like where things like football and huge trucks will be an everyday part of life (and will be strange for this girl who has no experience of either). This university town should provide plenty of fun and variety too for my personal life as well, and its proximity to Oklahoma City may lead to fun also.
Life is an adventure, and this ministry call thing is dynamic and requires flexibility, and both will be put heavily into use in this transition for me. I look forward to learning new things, meeting all new people (I know no one in OK), and experiencing a new culture, region, church and climate. I will miss Chicago desperately, and all my loves here, but I know my love of this city and its people (and the particular ones I know and love here) are life long, and leaving feels like a 'see you later' not so much a 'good bye'.
I find myself praying in this time that the inklings of love I feel for this community (as i have fallen in love with every community I have worked and partnered with) in these beginnings eventually run deep, that this community/town is one in which I can fairly quickly find a place and not always feel like a stranger, that this transitional (and therefor short term, a year or two) position might be good work for me and for the community. If you could pray/hold in the light these dreams and hopes too, I would appreciate it. Newness is always part scary and part exciting, and i feel both these days in good measure, but am blessed that it leans toward the excitement most days. I hope your life is the adventure you want it to be too.