21 August 2012

Nothing Normal About It

A few months ago, while I was in the thick of the pastoral search process, I received a phone call from an unnamed Regional Executive Minister, whose initials are Alan Newton, to see if I would be willing to talk to a search committee, not for an interview, but for an informational conversation.  At the moment I was taking anything that came along.  Talk, sure why not - what did I have to lose.  So I willingly sat down at the dining room table, powered up the macbook, logged onto Skype and waited for the call to arrive.  

The call arrived, the reception was horrendous, head and bodies were pixelated, words were delayed, and we could barely understand one another.  Nevertheless, I had the greatest conversation I may have ever had with a search committee.  When the phone call ended, the woman who choose to marry me, asked if I was done carrying on?  It was a carrying on kind of conversation.  There was all kinds of guffawing, light bulbs coming on over our heads, and whole lotta good craziness.  

I retold the contents of the conversation to the missus and finished by saying, I think I'm in love.  She sloughed off my comments and went about her business captivating the world with her eco-chic designs.  But I couldn't let go of the elation from the conversation.  The only problem - the search committee wasn't in the let's get the ball rolling and get going mode (at least that was my impression).  Emails were exchanged, thoughts were shared, and then I rolled the dice with a letter - what I refer to as my "Hail Mary" letter, what the missus refers to as the "Check Yes If You Like Me As Much As I Like You Middle School" letter; the exact description is somewhere in between.  

The, however you describe it, letter worked.  An official interview was scheduled, questions were exchanged, and it actually took place.  I was nervous as all get out - what if they weren't the same people as they were during the first skype conversation.  They were the same, no, actually better because they were non-pixelated, we could hear each other, still two dimensional but better.  

The committee was honest with me, asked great questions, did not try to hide their faults, they were honest about the church.  In the past I have always been extremely analytical in the call process but this time I was overwhelmed by how intuitive my decisions and leanings were.  I kept thinking any moment the curtain will go up and they are really not the people they seem to be.  But the curtain never rose, I should think it was never down to begin with.  

The process continued and here I am in the coolest pastor's office in North America (it has a fire place, and the first week here the missus found a Morris Chair at a yard sale that now occupies a prominent corner).  I am still walking on the clouds, someday my feet will find solid ground but till then I'm enjoying this abnormal experience.  

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