Monthly Archives: March 2015

Christ…died the last victim of the priestly religion, and in His death the priestly religion died and the priestly life was inaugurated. He was killed by the priests, by the “clergy,” but His sacrifice abolished them as it abolished “religion.” And it abolished religion because it destroyed that wall of separation between the “natural” and the “supernatural,” the “profane” and the “sacred,” the “this-worldly” and the “other-worldly”—which was the only justification and raison d’etre of religion.

—Alexander Schmemann,
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy, p. 93

Marywood: Funny How Things Are

Just over three years ago, Elise and I had our own little retreat at Marywood. We did some thinking and praying and listening and talking. We checked in with each other about our marriage. We talked about long term plans. We probably talked about how we were feeling with our little Mango Mango due to be born in six short months.

I’m at Marywood for a few days for a NAMS retreat. I remembered that Elise and I had taken those 24 or so hours for ourselves before, but in the instant I drove through a bend in the road I relived significant portions of that weekend.

Knowing that my ministry position at the time was just not a good longterm fit, I spent hours thinking about planting a church. I couldn’t figure out where or how. Green Cove Springs made sense—we lived nearby. But who would go with me?

I even mocked up a budget. Could I do IT or A/V consulting to support the work? Could I do enough that Elise could leave her job and stay home with our child(ren)? Where would I find clients? Would my old church family hire me with some regular consulting hours?

I didn’t know God was moving, unseen, preparing to change everything. A year later, all our talk at our retreat seemed hilarious. A full-time pastor of a “settled” congregation 700 miles away, church planting seemed like a part of my distant even though we’d never planted. “Us? Church planters? Think about how crazy we almost were!”

One year ago, the idea of not being in Woodbridge seemed crazy.

But here we are, back in Florida. Planting a church in Green Cove Springs (we still don’t know who exactly is going to follow us). I’m doing IT and A/V consulting part-time to support the work (I still don’t know where I’m going to find enough clients). I continue doing technology and communications work for IWS (who hired me as a summer temp in 2007, remember). Although it’s not enough for Elise to stay home, it turns out we moved back to Florida in part for her to pursue a job and not be a stay-at-home mom right now.

As I came around that bend in the driveway, I relived what seemed like that whole retreat. Poring over that pad of paper with numbers. Wondering if God could use me to plant a church. Afraid.

I’m still wondering a lot of things. I’m afraid sometimes. I definitely feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But uncertainty is apparently no longer a significant factor in our decision-making process.

It’s funny how things are.