A few years ago, I somehow managed to do seven weeks of camps, conferences and missions in a row. I keynoted, counseled, conferenced, and directed while going to Georgia, San Antonio and Gainesville. Saturdays were driving home, taking a nap, doing laundry and repacking before heading to church on Sunday for the next departure. There was one week where I got back, grabbed my toiletries from one suitcase, threw them in another, and hit the road again. It was intense, and I can honestly say now a few years later (and after the North Texas Area passed the Arthur Stewart Rule limiting how many camps a person can do in a summer) that it was not the smartest choice. But man, was it fruitful!
I bring this up for two reasons. First, I have learned to become more discerning to the invitations that come my way—while I am again out of the office this week, keynoting a conference in the High Plains Area (hello from the Panhandle!), I have dedicated time every day to continue my work at MHCC remotely. And I’ll be back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Sunday as we kick off our Year of Jubilee series and capital campaign. (I cannot wait for this—if you haven’t read Leviticus in a while, you’re going to have your world rocked.) The second and far more important reason I bring up the crazy summer life of youth ministers is because Amber is living that life right now, and I couldn’t be prouder. (She is not going seven for seven, because she is far smarter than I am.) This coming Sunday, Amber will be in Disciples’ Crossing as they make final preparations for Created To Be Me camp, colloquially known as Eighters. Amber is representing our church, its progressive views and embracing spirit of community at the camp. The week following, she will be preaching, and then departing for General Assembly, staying behind once it is over to meet with her Regional Committee on the Ministry in regards to her ordination. So while we will not see her on a few Sundays, she is very actively pursuing her calling, growing in Christ, and generally rocking out.
I want to thank you, Midway Hills, for understanding and letting both Amber and I be present in Area, Regional and General Ministries as they happen. Some churches (and even some ministers) take the summer off, but that’s not the case with our congregation. We’re going to keep on keeping on, and it’s going to be fantastic. I cannot wait to see you all Sunday as we start looking at the year of the Lord’s favor, and I’ll see you then.