"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Just logged in to change my age from 36 to 37 and realized I hadn't posted in awhile. Part of what I vowed to do a week or so ago was to post more as a way of processing a lot of what is going on in my head ... really just making sure I do process it.
It's about 1 in the morning and I'm sitting in my office at Rockwell House. I used to do this a lot more -- stay up this insanely late, that is. I used to do this 3-4 times a week ... and that was a really good thing. I was able to hang out with students in ways that I just don't have the stamina for now. The only reason I'm up now is that I'm still juiced from doing Missionary Positions tonight -- and even though I'll miss doing that show and how much fun it is to mix it up with Hyim and Gary, it feels like that's about run its course, too.
That's pretty much the theme for me. I'm really appreciating my last few weeks here at ECM. I'm really enjoying being with the students and being around here and doing all the things I have done for almost a decade for the last time. I'm living with a certain amount of denial that makes it possible, but mostly I'm able to both appreciate/enjoy and also feel good and right about moving on. What I feel more and more is just plain excitement for whomever is going to come next. There are some really, really amazing people out there who could take this job and do it so incredibly well ... and I know the students will call one of them. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next with ECM and excited for the students going through this process.
I was thinking last night, that in a lot of ways it's going to be tougher to leave Rockwell House the place than ECM the community. The community is wonderful and I love the students, but they are moving into an exciting future and I'm not a part of that and it's fine. Rockwell House is not just about the present and the future, but about the past. It's a sacred place ... made sacred by what has happened here. I'm sitting here at this office and I can almost hear Lesley and Laurie in their rooms. I can see the spot where I said my last goodbye to Julia before she got in that damn car and drove away. I can look across the desk to where Sarah and Beth and Lindsay and now Kate sat. Downstairs where we've said Eucharist so many times, where Hopie and Joe sang songs late into the night.
Those things and people will always live in my heart, but it's weird to think of this not being my home anymore ... far weirder than when I actually moved into a new house.
My parents are selling the house they've owned since I was ... well, I think about six months old. It's the place I've always called home. When I go home, I still sleep in my old room. I think I feel a lot of the same things about both of these moves. In both cases, it's the absolute right thing to do. In both cases, it's a positive step into the future.
But in both cases, it's saying goodbye to a big chunk of my life. Campus ministry -- not just ECM but campus ministry in general -- has been what I have done for most of the past 20 years ... since I was 17 years old! It really is moving into a new stage of life, and it's the right thing to do because all staying would be is holding on to a past that needs to be past. That doesn't mean pieces of it aren't hard. But it's a good hard. It's a right hard ... if that makes any sense.
Well, got a long day tomorrow and so I'd better be heading home. Another year past. Age: 36 becomes Age: 37. Probably seems incredibly young to a lot of you still! I'm amazed and awed by how blessed those 36 years have been. And who knows what the next year will bring.
| Mike at 11/16/2005 01:01:00 AM
Thursday, November 03, 2005 Moving On
I haven't been regularly posting of late ... most of that is because I've been trying to do two jobs at once -- being the priest for the Episcopal campus ministry at Washington University and being the de facto executive director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (EGR is the organization that is working to mobilize the church to engage things like global poverty, AIDS, etc. -- all the stuff the Millennium Development Goals are about).
Well, those days are soon to be over. Yesterday, I handed in my resignation (effective January 1) from ECM @ Wash. U. and I will become the full-time Executive Director of EGR. It's a difficult decision, but one that, if I am honest with myself, is the right one both for me, for EGR and for the campus ministry community.
Part of the deal is that we will continue to live in St Louis -- I'll be working out of our new home, which will be nice. I'll be doing more out-of-town travel, but I'll also get my nights and weekends back ... that combined with working out of the home means I should see my family even more than I am now, which is another big plus.
Please keep the ECM community and me in your prayers these next couple months. It's an exciting time, but also a little scary. But it's the right thing.
| Mike at 11/03/2005 05:16:00 PM
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."