announcing the obvious
The good news is that I am planning to complete my Ph.D. dissertation this year, have signed contracts for two publications I'm really excited about, and am absolutely loving my work with IMPACT Boston -- teaching and coaching in assertiveness, boundary-setting, violence prevention, and self-defense in their regular classes (many of which, I'm gratified to say, take place in shelters for the homeless and for domestic violence survivors), certainly, but I'm also very glad to say that I've been working with IMPACT colleagues with experience in congregational ministry and violence prevention to craft a program called FaithIMPACT. FaithIMPACT is geared specifically toward clergy and lay leaders in communities of faith who want to be effecting change agents in the face of fear, and especially around issues of healthy relationships and interpersonal and community violence. I'll be blogging more about it, I'm sure, in the future, but for now I hope it suffices to say that I think it might make a major, concrete, and rapid difference in the lives of people and communities, and I'm working hard to help it get some initial funding and sites to offer the course.
The bad news, predictably, is that I've found that it's just not possible to cobble together a living from multiple part-time and one-off gigs, launch and nuture a few curricula (I'm still working with John deBeer on the Connect, Commit, and Covenant courses, on top of launching FaithIMPACT), complete multiple scholarly and popular writing projects, finish a Ph.D. dissertation, and stay holistically healthy without something suffering. Yes, just about anyone else could have told me so from the start, but I can be a bit slow on the uptake.
Having blogged the lectionary for over three years, I've decided that the best way I can serve myself, God's Church, and God's mission might be to take a hiatus from lectionary blogging for a bit. I do hope to return to it, and I'd love for that to be sooner rather than later, and in the meantime I'm still accepting speaking, preaching, retreat, and consulting work (my rent remains the same, after all). I hope that what I've written thus far can serve y'all well during the hiatus. The Spirit of Truth is Jesus' to give and not mine, but I can give you this:
- The "search this site" function in the left-hand sidebar. If you're preaching a sermon and the gospel text is John 9, verses something to something, enter -- using the quotation marks -- "John 9" in that search box and click the button, and you'll see everywhere I've used that phrase since this blog started in December of 2003. You can also search for key words and phrases that way, e.g., "Holy Spirit."
- There are categories of posts in the right-hand sidebar if you scroll down a bit. My posts have been categorized by liturgical season, pastoral occasion, and topic as well as biblical book. The category system isn't foolproof, as I might have categorized a post differently than you would, and occasionally I might have forgotten to assign categories to a post, but the categories should still be useful, particularly to someone putting together a small group study on a particular book or theme.
- I know many are looking for Holy Week preaching resources. You'll find my previous posts for Holy Week here.
- I will answer email to the best of my ability. Every now and then, some nasty person or group of people decides to start some kind of 'email bombing' campaign of sending me hundreds or thousands of messages a day, so if I don't respond within a reasonable time frame, feel free to remind me again if there's something pending I can help you with.
And, as ever, I appreciate your prayers, your encouragement, and your support. I hope to hit an astonishingly productive streak and be able to rejoin you soon, as I learn as much or more from interacting with y'all than you get from me.