I hope you're all enjoying this sunny spring as much as I am. I already have some impressive tan lines which unfortunately I'll be sporting for the rest of the year....
Spring is commonly thought of as a season of new beginnings, and that's exactly what April has brought me. New direction, new opportunities, new skills, the list goes on....
Here's some of the highlights:
I preached my very first sermon!
What a cool opportunity this was! It was scary, but I learned so much in the process. I had the pleasure of speaking on Revelation 1:9-20. Intimidating? Yes. Stretching? Yes. Fun? also yes. I'm the one to blame for our church doing sermon series on the book of Revelation, but so far I think our church is really benefiting from it. I preached my section two times in one day, and I'm glad I did. It was really helpful to make some tweaks heading into the second time through. I expect I'll be called upon to preach again at some point, but I feel a lot more confident now that I've gotten the first one over with.
You can check out my sermon here:
I'm going to be a farmer!?
Yes it's true. One of the goals of the Urban Missionary Apprenticeship at The Table is to help you discern where you're going to be vocationally after the apprenticeship. You could end up in full time ministry or you could end up having nothing to do with the church at all after the apprenticeship. It's a focused time to learn about your giftings, your goals, and what you do want to pursue and what you don't want to pursue. It's best to go into it with open hands. That's what I've tried to do with my apprenticeship. I was hired on to see if I wanted to pursue running my own food based non-profit one day. And, over the past year I've definitely discerned that I do not want to do that. But I did realize that I love Farming. I suppose this it was God had planned for me. I fell completely ass backwards into the farming world.
This time last year at my friend Mike Rathjen's spring wine release party I got re-aquatinted with his brother in law (and former Tabler) Mike Nierychlo. This was just after my brother had died, and I was in need of something to take my mind off of things. Mike Nierychlo and I got to talking, and he invited me up to the vineyard to get my hands dirty and to clear my mind. Trust me, Vineyard work is healing, in an exhausting way... I fell in love with the work, and as you know I eventually ended up going up to Emandare Vineyards frequently, soaking up all the wine knowledge I could. Since I gained some experience at Emandare I was able to help out Mike Rathjen with his wine project, and as it turns out He's also starting his own vineyard on the Saanich Peninsula.
I'm saying all of this because just last month Mike Rathjen asked he could hire me on part time to help him with his project. Of course I was interested in helping him out, but I didn't think I could balance Common Cupboard, church work and vineyard work. But interestingly, for the past couple months my pastor Josh has been reassessing his role at The Table. He's a total entrepreneur and he lovesdeveloping projects, so his role is shifting into creating a social enterprise with different expressions to help The Table with funding. He wants The Common Cupboard to be one of those expressions, but he wants it to look totally different than how I want it to look. He's always wanted to expand The Common Cupboard out, and I've always wanted to keep it small. So after Mike R and I talked, I went to Josh and told him about Mike's offer. Long story short, we thought it would be best if I begin to pursue vineyard work. Josh with the help help of someone else will eventually take over the common cupboard, and take it into a new place. I'm totally ok with that, I think it would be great if The Common Cupboard became something bigger than it is, but I don't think i'm the right person to do that. We both agreed on that. So for the next couple months I'll be managing the common cupboard while trying to find someone else to take it over and help develop it.
In our meeting Josh encouraged me to go to Mike R and see if we could make this a long term situation. A Career. I met up with Mike R a few days later and pitched it to him, and it turns out he was totally on board. He was actually planning for a full time employee at around the time my apprenticeship is over, so the timing couldn't of been better!
Here's what the rest of my apprenticeship will look like:
For the rest of this year: 3 parts church work to one part vineyard work.
Next year: 3 parts vineyard work to 1 part church work.
September 2017 (end of the apprenticeship): Full time winemaker.
There was one catch to Josh allowing me to shift focus', I have to continue to pursue some form of verbal proclamation role in terms of the Gospel. This could mean more teaching, leading groups, mentoring, or all three. I'm totally on board with this, and I want to continue pursuing this anyways. I think it would be really neat if the vineyard could be tied into a ministry of some kind in the future. I know how healing it's been for me, it would be amazing to help others heal in the future. I'm excited for the the future holds!
Things you can pray for:
-The right person to come along and take over The Common Cupboard.
-I'm still looking for new housing. Please pray for the right fit.