...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beginning Second Half Ministry @ Chapelwood

I'm a second-half pastor with ministry to second-half adults to be added to my official responsibilities July 1. I will continue equipping Chapelwood in the areas of Reaching and First Impression Ministry.

As the youngest of three brothers, I grew up looking up to my elders, literally. In a number of ways, I've sort of lived out that boyhood experience. As a college student, I participated in the "pioneer" older adult group as a leader in training. In my last year in college, I assisted the county in developing a legal assistance-peer counseling program for seniors. And in the course of ministry, I have directed retiree events at Mt. Sequoya (Arkansas), was chaplain for a Christian retirement community with continuing care, and trained as resident advocate, or an ombudsman. For the past three years, I've volunteered with the Houston Alzheimer's Association's conferences.

Throw in my own experience with caring for family members, which, in itself, changes your life and your outlook. About my family. There are three generations of attorneys., and my mother was an R.N. and birthing instructor. After growing up in the same town in Ohio, I left home and family to attend Trinity University in San Antonio. While there, I met my future wife, Mary Mann from Ft. Worth. We married while I was a student at Duke Divinity School. We have two children, Marianne, who's a second grade teacher in Spring Branch, and Alex, who is a junior at UT, Austin. My family are wonderful to me and I love being there for them.

I have been in full-time ministry for 27 years. I have served churches in North Carolina, Odessa, and Houston before coming to Chapelwood in late 2003. I love learning and sharing ideas, so I keep going back to school! In 1997 I completed a Doctor of Ministry and last year, I graduated from the Cenacle's 3 year Spiritual Direction Institute here in Houston. I've been a blogger since 2008 at clergyspirit.org. and for most of this June, I will be in Dallas taking some study leave under the direction of Dr. Elaine Heath, who teaches evangelism at Perkins (SMU).

I love Chapelwood. In many ways, coming here has been a coming home to what I was meant to be as a person and a pastor. I consider serving and equipping the "second-half" adults here to be a wonderful invitation to grow more fully into God's love, as well as in ministry. For me, and I believe for all of us, that means learning to be grateful for the life we have here and now.

What a wonderful foundation The Reverend Mopsy Andrews has built with the Bolder Adult Ministry! This group is so vibrant and forms a really impressive hub of service throughout the church and community. That is a tremendous gift to all of us and especially for me as I step into this new leadership role. Because strong leaders and programs are already in place, we can spend a little more time getting to know each other in the weeks and months ahead.

I look forward to our ministry together!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article. What is old is one of the few things in this world that is relative. Sounds like a great place for ministry.


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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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