Each summer we each make plans for time with family, both near and far. I have also made a point to spend at least two weeks with youth programing each summer, including things like camp, mission trips, pilgrimage and EYE in the past few years. This year I will be the “Dean” during the second week of Camp at All Saints with many of our own youth in attendance.
Then, from July 8th to August 9th I will be in Seattle with Noah and Emma. In many ways it is hard for me to imagine being gone that long, longer than I’ve been away from a church since I was ordained in 2005. My decision came in part after Emma was diagnosed with Epilepsy earlier this year. Both Noah and Emma had been accepted to the Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Intensive and had their hearts set on it. We knew they could only go if a parent was present now.
As I made my request to the vestry I included my plans for the time. I will spend two weeks focused on Continuing Education. In February 2015 I attended the “Daring Way” certified leader training with Brene Brown. This is excellent course work and gave me access to an online portal that offers continuing education videos led by Brene. Further, I completed the “Next Level Leadership Program” with Shane Hipps last year, it includes five bonus modules that I haven’t completed yet. I expect to spend part of these weeks focused on writing as well, I have three separate projects started that would benefit from a focused effort.
The third week I will continue writing some, but shift my focus to “out of office work”. There are many projects that would benefit from undistracted effort. Planning for our confirmation curriculum is high on my list. I also have another video series in mind that I hope to make progress on while I am away.
Finally, the last two weeks I will be on vacation. Cycling around Seattle, seeking out good food and good beer and generally enjoying time with the kids. Sarah will join us the last week we are there for some family time before Noah leaves for Idyllwild this fall.
I am very excited about this plan, but was a bit nervous to present it. Indeed, it makes me a bit nervous to leave for that long! I feel blessed to have found support from the vestry and many other leaders at Ascension. They recognize the value of the time away to study and rejuvenate and the value of the time with family. Further, I feel support as I seek to support our children in their pursuit.
Ascension will be in good hands with the staff and vestry tending to most immediate needs. They will be able reach me in the event of a crisis, pastoral or otherwise, but I will not check my email daily in order to be able to focus the aforementioned plans. I hope that this blog will help the community understand where I am and what I’m up to during this time. I know that many in the parish will be traveling during this same time, but hope that you will fully participate in worship and ministry whenever you are in town.