Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes

To all my peeps,

A couple of friends and folks in the know have written me publicly to see how I am doing and such, and so as to be open and up front I figured I would just give the basic skinny.

Our church (Covenant Fellowship ARP Church, Greensboro, NC) was very kind last month to grant me a 90 day medical leave to "get better" physically (and emotionally too perhaps). For 2-3 years I had had a kind of gradual cascading series of minor health issues that were adding up to larger health issues and which needed to be addressed, and which as a result had left me for some time generally less energetic and effective than I had been. This included some newer weird stuff that impacted me pretty significantly. After consulting with various folks and our elders, I (and we) decided that it would be best for me (and for Covenant Fellowship) after the medical leave not return to the rigors of full time pastoral ministry at this time, due to reasons/issues related to health, burn out, and family. I've been at CF 16 years (having founded it with Dwight and Susan Thomas), so it's going to be an adjustment for me and everyone. Thankfully I will continue to worship with my brethren there until other things possibly begin to take me away. I and we pray that CF will prosper and that God will direct me to the next thing, whatever that is. I'm looking forward to the opportunities ahead. 

This was all discussed in a sweet spirited congregational meeting this past Sunday. 

I am not 100% sure what I will do next. I will remain a "Reverend" and "Presbyter" in good standing and hope to pick up some "Supply" preaching this summer, expand the work of the Carolina Study Center-Greensboro (and my writing generally), try to find ways to "market" my photography, perhaps take on some work digitizing LP's, cassettes, and VHS tapes (and Beta), scanning slides, film, and restoring old photos, etc), tutor, and start networking for other possible work, maybe teaching again, not sure.

In the mean time I am trying to get fit again since that is the thing that would help the most - and a good friend bought me a three month membership in the City Health Club on Elm Street. I have been working out there,walking, and riding my bike. I hope to hit some serious trails in the next two months too. Uphill trails.

Anyway, that's my life!


Joe Guarino said...

Joel, will be keeping you and your family in my prayers for this time of transition, and also for the restoration of your health.

Dave Ribar said...

Best wishes with the changes and especially with your health.