Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A personal update

(This is a long-ish personal update. TL;DR version: check out my new Patreon page and help support my creative projects!)

Hello readers! Thanks for being here.

I kept waiting for a more appropriate time to post a (somewhat self-indulgent) personal update, but the world keeps spinning, and bad news is abundant. I decided a long time ago not to force myself to blog about every thing that happens in a news cycle. There are plenty of insightful political, social, theological, and economic commentaries about current events, and I don't always have something better to say.

So, I'll go ahead and share this:

As many of you know, at the end of February I finished up my time in ministry at American University. I loved my work there, and am so grateful for all I learned from the AU students. There were so many God sightings during my time there.

Leigh and I are chaplains-in-residence at Georgetown, which means our neighbors are 100 or so college freshman. That's a fun gig, and gives us housing (plus we get to have a puppy!) -- but it's part time, and doesn't come with a paycheck.

So since February, I've been looking for other work, and coming up dry. I've had some part-time contract work here and there, but nothing long-term or even really part-time. Other than that, it's been rejection letter after rejection letter, and it's been wearing me down.

The odd thing about this is that I actually have all sorts of projects and opportunities I'm really excited about right now. To share a few examples:
  • I'm working on a book manuscript about my experiences with mental illness and faith, tentatively titled Christ on the Psych Ward.
  • Leigh and I went to Wild Goose again this year, and although I didn't think I'd get a chance to speak this year, at the last minute my friend Sarah put together a panel and asked me to be a part of it, which was great. 
  • I recently took on the role of board chair for Friends of Sabeel (the U.S. partner of the organization I worked for in Jerusalem), and am feeling energized and excited about their work amplifying the voice of Palestinian Christians for justice and peace. 
  • I've decided to start messing around with a podcast idea, which I'm going to call "Fooling with Scripture" -- I'll be posting those on this blog. Leigh and I are also talking about working on an audio project together, which could be really cool. 
  • I'm messing around with some new music and am hoping to record a few new songs in the next year.
  • And I'm going to be collaborating with some folks at the Convergence project to resource progressive campus ministries on campuses with little or no support network for that kind of thing.
So, lots of exciting, creative, cool things going on.

It's just...none of them help me eat. Or help Penny eat.

And just look at her. She needs food:

So I've decided to try an experiment. I've created a page over at Patreon, which is a website that lets people become patrons for artists, musicians, authors, and other creative-types.

Basically, if you enjoy reading my blog, and would like to see me post on here more often; if you want to hear more about the book and even get some sneak peaks as I'm writing; or if you just like my smiling face and want to share some love; then you can check out the page and become one of my first patrons!

There's different reward levels listed on the Patreon site, but even if you just have a buck or two to donate in a month, I will thank you sincerely and profusely (and give you a shout-out on the podcast when I start posting it)!

And if you can't or don't want to donate at Patreon, don't worry -- my posts on the blog are free, and always will be. Just the fact that people read my stuff is awesome, and I'm grateful that you're here!

Thank you for reading, and be kind out there.

Thanks and peace,

P.S. -- Also if you have any job leads, hit me up! Looking in the areas of church ministry, campus ministry, and higher ed/student affairs

P.P.S. -- Since I mentioned the Convergence folks, here's a cool summary of what they're about, featuring the face of yours truly with some super cool friends:

P.P.P.S. -- aaaaaand here's a puppy picture for good measure:

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