It has been a year of change. What with a new church and the new position as school chaplain. I never would have guessed, at this time last year, that these two events would take place. Both major shifts in my life.
Leaving a church where we were members for almost 40 years was really hard, but it had to happen as we were both so unhappy with what was happening. Terry and I both feel so joyful with the new church. I had forgotten how wonderful it could feel to attend church.
We had so many friends in that church, some people who I still see and some with whom I maintain a modicum of contact. However, the new church is giving us reason to make new friends. Yesterday was a quarterly event called “dining out.” A group goes to a nearby restaurant for lunch after church. Not really any big deal, but it was our first time to attend, and we had a delightful time getting to know new people. God puts amazing people in my life.
You may remember the story of how I first heard about school chaplains, at lunch during a city conference. I just happened to sit by a fellow who was a school chaplain in a neighboring district. Until then, I’d never heard of such a thing. Yesterday I sat next to a fellow who has just retired as a hospital chaplain. He was quite interested in hearing about the school chaplain position and what was happening in the local school district.
I also chatted with a young man who is involved with a group in Fresno which is trying to to stop a slumlord. I have been following their work for the past year and was quite interested in hearing what this fellow had to say in the way of follow up and what plans are being made. The slumlord owns over 4,000 properties in Fresno, all low income and over half are boarded up and vacant, causing problems for neighborhoods. Many of these properties are in the area around the school where I am chaplain.
Change is good and I am excited to see where God takes me this year and who I get to meet and befriend. I call it joyful anticipation.