. . . beginning a bi-weekly report on self-imposed unemployment, scholarship, and vocational exploration . . .
Two weeks ago was my last day as pastor for worship and music at College Church in Wheaton. The morning service plan was not out of the ordinary for the church, but the services were fraught with significance for me, my Karen, and not a few of the musicians. Quite unexpectedly, and spontaneously, this video was made. I am proud of it not for its recognition of me (not to say I don't appreciate it - I do!), but for the beautiful singing of the choir.
Karen, for her part, noted wryly that the last word she sang in the choir at College Church was: “death.”
And these weeks have been a kind of death. Not to be melodramatic about it. This morning, walking on the Atlantic beach before “tuning in” our church on the internet, our conversation turned to reflection not unlike the “what ifs” that accompany one of the stages of grief. Grief. It’s not an inappropriate term for it.
We’ve had a couple of busy weeks since the congregation bid us a warm and thankful good-by in the evening service and reception. At that point, I was 6 weeks into the fall semester, and already behind by one week in a course I added the day after I submitted my resignation. I had a lot of catching up to do. We took a hastily planned weekend trip to visit son Chris in San Francisco; which was necessary and right in every respect, but which also put me two days behind in my studies. I returned to a week with 3 short papers due, and at the end of which I would take a 2-hour final exam online. That test was at the end of our first day of a long-planned vacation to Florida. (“Fall break” is after all a perquisite of being a student again!)
And after that exam, I was at the same time relieved at having survived the week, and confronted with the reality that here I sit unemployed, with a rightfully and reasonably concerned wife, facing months of un- or under-employment, and no known prospect of full time vocational work to follow this potentially hare-brained educational scheme.
I began a journal today.