It has been a while since I have blogged anything of substance lately - no offense to those who think facebook quizzes are of substance - but life has been pretty wild as of late. Travel during the summer/fall have taken a toll on all involved, we just added two new staff at the church I serve and, slowly but surely, I can feel the denomination beginning to shift in their relationship to me as moderator.
So . . . that does begin to beg the question, "what then after I am done being moderator." With just over eight months left to go in my term, questions have begun to get more reflective in nature both about the church as well as my own ministry and call. It's a good time: a little calm, a great deal of reflection and some great opportunities for discernment. And while I am not "checking out" early, remember that this is a finite term of office and one does not simple flip a switch and return to pre-moderatorial times. Over the term moderators change, the communities from which they came change and there needs to be some thoughtful processes to go through in order to re-engage and continue to respond to God's calling.
One of the things that is most exciting for me is that Mission Bay Community Church is starting a process to explore "tentmaking" as a staffing model for the future. There is a great deal to be thought through and worked out, but I am excited about the conversations that have already begun. Barring some discovery that would say this is a horrible idea, we will have the equivalent of one full time pastor made up of two folks: myself as the pastor and an associate that would also be a tentmaker. This shift would not be done for fiscal reasons, but at my request and more importantly for the good of the church in the long run. For more info feel free to read the tentmaking Pastoral Letter.
So you may be wondering, "So Bruce, what WILL you do then with the other part of your time?"
That's a good question. Hoping that God's plans and my plans will line up, here is what I am exploring:
BLOGGING . . . Hoping to pick up some freelance blogging gigs along the way. Not my primary interest at this point and may simply pick up my blogging discipline here in order to drive more traffic and ad revenue.
GOD COMPLEX RADIO . . . I am having a blast being part of the God Complex Radio crew. We have been in some conversations about the future of the show and will make some kind of announcement about our next stages of life very soon. Be excited, be very excited . . . well, maybe not VERY excited, but at least moderately excited ;-) Good stuff is a coming!
BOOK . . . yeah, I am going to venture into this whole book writing thing if for no other reason to get it out of my system. If you remember, a few months back I let you know about my decision to self-publish, well I have been slowly working on it and now that this tentmaking process has begun, there has been some time freed up for me to finish the darn thing.
But what will it be about, you ask?
What it will not be is a book on church leadership, social media or denominational reflections.
The Working title is, Embracing the Gray: Musings on Faith, Family and the Pursuit of an American Dream - to be released on May 2, 2010 - and simply tells one person's story of finding calm in the midst of the chaos of life. I love story-telling and this will be my story . . . with all the giggles, struggles and joys that God has brought into my crazy life through family, church and community. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be surprised at what you find out about me.
So how exactly does one begin a memoir-esque book at ripe old age of 40? I suppose it could begin with a ranting diatribe for all the young whipper-snappers out there with the first lines being something along the lines of, "Back in my day . . ." Or better yet, I could set context and intrigue and go with the opening line from one of the classic Steve Martin movies, "The Jerk," "I was born a poor [insert dissonance causing self-identified ethnic group here] child . . ."
Nope, my story begins and really ends with the words that would greet me more times than I can count from my mother as any of her children would go off to discover and challenge the world, "Make good choices . . ."
I hope this is a good one.
What this means is that my attention over the next 4-5 months will be focused on only four things: family, church, moderating and the book and I won't be as scattered as I have been recently trying to also keep up with all of the Facebook and Twitter activity that I have been part of. And while I will miss this, I am looking forward to the book process and sharing that with you all of you are interested in joining on the adventure.
The ask . . . since I am going for the this whole self-publishing thing, I am going to need to rely on you, to help me learn about the process, share my adventure with others and eventually sell the dang thing, so if you want to be art of the adventure, please consider following along . . .
- Subscribe to the Embracing the Gray blog where most of my blogging energy will be as I wind my way through the entire self-publishing process.
- Follow Embracing the Gray on Twitter where I'll tweet my way through the adventure. I'll still tweet at @breyeschow, but not focused on @embracingtheg details.
- Favorite the Embracing the Gray FB Fan Page Where there will be pictures, reviews and all other kinds of goodies as the process progresses.
I think that's it for now. Thanks for taking the time to read and I'll see you at the bookstore where I'll be making tents . . . or at the tentstore where I'll be writing books. You know what I mean.