On January 1, 2016, I left my job on the staff of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina to start my own ministry, which my husband named 'Free Range Priest'. I had already started my blog, aimed to considering Christian faith and practice in every day life, and I was longing to also explore what it means to be a clergy person who has a ministry that is not tied to one congregation (or institution) alone. It felt fun and adventurous, and I tried on lots of roles and felt very brave and all that.
And then... well, let's just say it has been a circuitous route. I decided to write a book (coming soon!), but sort of underestimated what a huge production that would be. I realized I needed a new website, but in working with my fabulous design team, it became apparent that I didn't really know exactly what I meant my ministry to be. I met the Rev. Lisa Cressman and started working with her and the Rev. Micah Jackson on the fabulous online preaching mentoring program called Backstory Preaching.
Then my husband lost his job, and we really went Free Range!
Along the way, I have learned huge lessons in faith, patience (I really hate patience), love and generosity, and how God really is good, all the time. And that's all that really matters.
I had great ideas that everything would fall into place on Jan. 1, 2017, and here it is only two and a half weeks later. Today the blog begins again, and the website is live and the ministry is much more focused: talking with clergy and congregations about the reality and opportunity of how the church is changing and what that means (maybe we won't get any bigger. Maybe we won't be able to afford a full-time priest. Maybe this is not all bad news...). Also, talking about digital and online ministry and what it means for the church. And here on the blog, talking about what it is like to live our faith daily, and where God is in our lives.
My husband went back to work today, too. And we got one more piece of really good news that I can't quite make public yet (although it is not a new puppy. Yet :) ).
So it finally feels like a New Year! Thank you for reading this blog, and thank you especially to all those who have asked where it has been lately. And thank you to Jessica B. and Jessica W. of Rarest Fortune who have made my website so beautiful and my mission so much more clear. And thank God for all the blessings of this life.