remembering 2009

DMin graduation from Western Seminary, 2009

2009 was an eventful year for me. Many changes occurred in my life. Here is a list of several of them in rough, but not exact chronological order.

Soon after the start of the year I stepped down from being a network admin after nine years of participation in IRC ministry. There are many great memories, but it was time to move on.

Just weeks prior to graduation I had a major health scare. I had driven to the Seattle area to attend an annual ministry conference. Upon arriving at my hotel late that night I tripped and fell, landing full-force with my shoulder planted into a steel handicap support bar. The irony of being injured by something meant to help the handicapped was not lost on me even as I lay partly conscious and bleeding in the darkness of the gravel wash next to the sidewalk. To make a long story much shorter, I thought I was mainly badly bruised but I realized I had serious pain in the tip of my elbow. The urgent care physician ex-rayed it and determined my elbow was broken. Not a good thing for someone like me who is a manual laborer. However, after a week of anxious waiting, the specialist determined that, yes, I had broken something, but it was a bone spur which broke from the tip of my elbow. The elbow itself is fine. Soon after I was cleared to return to work. I still have occasional pain, but at least I can do my job without restrictions.

My doctoral dissertation research and writing was in full swing at the start of the year and concluded in April of 2009. I graduated from Western Seminary with full comedic relief and a commitment never to pursue another degree. Oh, and I earned a Doctor of Ministry. But please, do still call me Glen. I never did care for white lab coats….

In August I observed the second year anniversary of my Dad’s passing. I will never forget and never stop appreciating you, Dad.

In the fall I worked closely with my Pastor to initiate the first step in a family ministry emphasis at my church, using insights from people like Karl Bastian and his VIP concept and my pastor who recognized that my approach is actually quite similar to coaching.

The fall also marked the cessation of mid-week campus ministries at my church. This changed dramatically how and when I connect with the local apartment children and parents, and unleashed dreams about what missional outreach might look like in the coming months of spring and summer. On a positive note, the added time has been readily allocated to time spent connecting with parents, both in my church and in the community.

As 2009 came to a close it was and is apparent that the economic recession has had a dramatic impact in the lives of people at my church. While I have great faith that God will enable us to do what he deems the greatest priority, I am also cognizant of my responsibility to continue to tighten my belt, both in the CM budget, which was already minimal, and my own personal budget.

Throughout 2009 there continued to occur some key transitions in my attitudes and thinking. In my next post I will highlight a few which are salient to children’s ministry.

It is likely I have forgotten something. If I remember more, I will add them later!

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