Last Sunday I managed to get my church work done earlier than usual. I had things wrapped up by 6 p.m., leaving time for Jim Ginn and me to go out for Chinese food. When we returned home, I decided to settle into the living room and call my sister Dot. I took out my phone, and noticed that she had texted me: “Are you aware of the eclipse? It has started.”
Eclipse! No, I wasn’t aware. I hauled up the heavy blinds over our east window and was delighted to see the moon glowing over Madison Park. I called my sister, and we chatted for nearly an hour while watching the eclipse together – she from Minneapolis and me from Seattle. It was one of the most pleasant evenings I’ve had in recent memory. Perhaps even life-changing. Life-expanding.
I continued watching the eclipse after we hung up, and I found myself contemplating my recent decision to resign my position as communications director at SFBC. That famous verse, Ecclesiastes 3.1, came to mind: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...” I hadn’t known about the eclipse until my sister’s text, and watching it turned out to be the perfect way to spend the evening. In the same way, a few months ago I didn’t realize it was time for me to leave my church job, but recent events have convinced me that it is time for me to move on.
Five years ago this month I agreed to take a new position maintaining the church’s web presence, including the website and social media. It’s been a bountiful experience – with lots of successes, lots of technical irritants, and some great opportunities to share our communal life with the world. It has also been exhausting. I didn’t take a week off for the first two years, and I always had more things on my To Do list than I had time and energy. Between my own ideas and the requests of others the opportunities truly were endless.
A year ago I started an effort to reign in my effort and time spent on the job, but it didn’t work. I hated to say “No” to other people’s requests, and I didn’t want to ignore my own ideas. For a while I thought the answer was to increase the number of hours per week I was compensated for, but that wasn’t a workable solution. In December it became clear that it was time for me to move on.
And so, on February 1, I begin a new phase in my life – one of full retirement. At least for now. I’m looking forward to devoting more time and energy to things I love – the outdoors, writing, watching the world go by with our dogs – and less time and energy to things I don’t love so much – figuring out Facebook’s constantly changing interfaces and usage statistics comes to mind.
It has been a great five years. I’ve been challenged and blessed in equal measures. I’m proud of the work we did together, and I cherish the people I’ve worked with. I especially want to thank two folks. Kellie Whitlock has been a great partner and I truly appreciate all that she does for our church. And Lupe Carlos III, his love of photography and artistic genius, enriched our content and gave me much-appreciated scheduling flexibility.
And now it is someone else’s turn to guide our online ministry. We have a huge opportunity to serve our own community and reach out to the world at large online. I have every confidence that a new generation will take us even further forward into cyberspace. And I look forward to continuing to be part of the SFBC community – singing and writing more and running around less!