I had the pleasure this week of hosting two of my favorite people for dinner at my apartment. (My friend Whitney graciously co-hosted with me.) Bryan Feille was the Associate Dean, Practical Ministry Prof and Disciples Liaison during my tenure at Brite; he retired last year rather suddenly so that he could move with his wife Laurie as she began her ministry at First Christian Church, Minneapolis. Bryan dealt with me on my best days and my worst days, and quite a few in between; Laurie challenged me and consoled me academically and vocationally.
(A fun story: she taught half the preaching class. I gave a sermon without a manuscript and [if I may say so myself] knocked it out of the park. She said she would never give a 100% on a sermon, so I received a 99% because she couldn’t give me any points for ‘appropriate use of manuscript.’ I argued with her, and she’s the one who first got into my brain this idea that “perfect” may actually be a bad word.)
I was thrilled to eat and talk with Bryan and Laurie, because every time I’m around either of them, I’m reminded I could make sure my foundation is a bit more secure. I know only the tip of the iceberg of the crazy stuff Bryan went through as Dean; Laurie just by having more experience in the church and academy has to have more horror stories than I can imagine, but each of them both love the Reign, the gospel, each other and everyone they meet so boldly that that—the love, not the problems—is the lens through which they see the world.
(Another fun story: as a student, I worked the registration table for Ministers’ Week in 2008. I introduced myself to everyone I met as “Bryan Feille’s Favorite Student of All Time,” which really threw him off, until I did it again in 2009, and then 2010. By the time I graduated, he introduced me as that. The power of positive persuasion!)
So this week I’ve gotten to celebrate with friends and watch as ministries change and grow. And it’s only Tuesday. Don’t forget about March 2 — where we’ll have a congregational lunch & meeting to dream a little, talk a lot, eat even more than that, and see what foundations we can lay for the next phase of life for MHCC. I look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday.