I am the newest contributor to our annual conference's Faith and Technology blog! Yay me! I got the job, frankly, by asking for it, or anything, really, that our conference communications committee had going. They are the cool ones with the great internet connections at Annual Conference (note, the above refers to the judicatory, and this most recent reference to that judicatory's yearly meeting), and I think it's a place to get noticed. And to be frank, I'm ready to be noticed.
If that weren't enough to cause some mixed feelings, here's the other bit:
I was asked to come on board Faith and Tech to fill a spot left by another pastor, who was, at the time, in the hospital with leukemia. While I am excited and honored to have the position, I'd never have chosen it at that pastor's expense. And this weekend, as I waited anxiously for my first post to appear, I got the news that he had died. I didn't really know him, but I am grieving for him. He was young (teenage kids at home), and somehow that makes it worse.
It doesn't help that I'm also thinking about two friends who are starting hospice soon. I had a long talk with someone today about how hospice is not a four letter word, although it can feel awfully final. I know all the right things to say, and I can say them with a degree of conviction. And I know that death, for Christians, is not to be feared, and I don't. But people I love are going to be taken from me, and that, frankly, sucks.
My prayers are with all the families involved. And as I write this, my feelings are still mixed. Excitement to see my name in "print" where someone else is publishing it (and there's a fresh writing seed taking root in my brain!). Grief and loss for those who are "in the short rows" or have "outrun us to heaven", as a previous bishop used to say. Sadness and joy. And yet, I know God is here. Hopefully, in some small way, my foolish writing reflects God from time to time. And I know God is with my friends, and with the family of my colleague, and with me. Some days that's got to be enough to get us through.
Here's a link to my post at Faith and Tech.