Monday, June 30, 2008

Field Trip: Highlands Church

Sunday my uncle and I visited a church, Highlands Church, in my hometown. I had heard from him that it was meeting in a theater and used media in their services. This intrigued me, as you might imagine. They are currently doing three services 8, 9:15 and 10:30 in a 200ish seat theater.

I loved attending Sunday. It felt enough like home for me to settle in and I was particularly excited to see a church like this in my hometown. Young leaders, alot of energy in the service communication and music selections and a clearly communicated focus on the community. They hosted a flag football camp for over 150 community kids recently, reported back the results of their giving to Life Water in Africa, lots of young families, students and even some older people in the room.

The set list was "Everlasting God" "No One Like You" "How Great is Our God" "He Reigns"
A couple of ideas/learnings for me...
Called their family business "Feedback" which i liked because it communicates that we're letting the church know how what they are doing is impacting... the leaders are reporting back...
called their offering "giving back" = nice.
During the offertory "Waiting for the World to Change" (John Mayer) two trumpet players stood up from the seats in the house and played the bridge :-)

After the services my uncle introduced himself to the Pastor. They have met twice very informally but he remembered his name (how very Ron Kincaid) and when my uncle introduced me and mentioned where I work he recognized Sunset and immediately connected me to someone on their steering team who is responsible for worship. It was cool to get to talk to him, if only briefly. I love the small local church and am really excited about what this one is doing in my hometown!

Came home and googled the church and found this article. So, if you're ever in the booming metropolis of Paso Robles I highly recommend you check out this church!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Catching Up

Memorial services are tough. I dreaded Saturday. The gravesite was a beautiful simple, heart breaking service. It would have been enough for me.

At one point I rubbed my eye and my contact slipped to the back of my eyeball... very distracting... which was kind of nice...then my tears moved it back in to place.

It's very bizarre to see people who you haven't seen in over 25 years. The older people pretty much look the same. The younger ones... in general, not so much. The eyes... that's where you recognize people.

It's surreal to see the children of my friends standing where I stood. I have the fondest memories of my growing up at the Chapel. Seriously a blessed childhood youth group experience.

My piano teacher came to the memorial, I wish I had practiced more.

We had a great time hanging out with my cousins. My mom has two sisters. The three families had three kids each. We spent time together as kids camping, holidays etc. They were ALL here... all 9 of us- we reminisced like old people and it was SO cool... Saturday night after the service 8/9 of us went out for a glass of wine/conversation. So good... My cousin on my dad's side came too... she was a total wonderful surprise. I am learning how one should behave when family dies... by watching my family care for us.

Michael and my brother Alan and family left for home today. It's very quiet here. I've decided to stay on a few more days to help my mom with errands and stuff and the quiet.

Tonight we went to dinner at the beach with my Aunt/Uncle and cousin Nancy.

3 pictures... 3000 tears

Dad's gravesite service
My nephews Nathan (Navy) handing flag to Corrie (Army) Corrie presenting the flag to my Mom
My brother's laying their pall bearers corsages on dad's casket as my uncle played Amazing Grace on the violin

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saying Goodbye...

This is what I shared today at my dad's memorial service...

Hi, I am Janet, Jay and Louise’s daughter. I met my dad two weeks after I was born when he and my Mom rescued me from an orphanage and adopted me. Dad used to say that I was already talking the first time he saw me. I have a reputation for being chatty, yet I don’t remember him ever telling me to hush. He was a disciplinarian, but he didn’t break my spirit. We were together quite a bit when I was young because he taught at my elementary school. We walked to and from school every day. He rescued me from teasing boys on the playground, and even jumped rope a time or two with us. He was game to try anything and did whatever I needed, if not always what I wanted, which I now realize is good parenting.

As I prepared to speak today I realized that I have lived away from my parents for 25 years. Many of you have been sharing your lives with him during that time and know him very well, as teacher, musician, volunteer, historian, Studebaker enthusiast, shoebox stuffer and friend. So what can I say about him that you don’t already know? Very little I imagine, so today I will tell you what I have grown to love and respect about my dad, from a grown daughter’s perspective.

My dad was the most wonderful “regular” guy. And by that I mean he was consistent, dependable, routine…. faithful. My cousins and I were remembering my dads routine in the morning… his bedroom door opening, the hall closet squeak as he took his sweatshirt off the hanger (of course it was hanging up), the walk down the hall to the cuckoo clock, the pulling of the chains to wind the clock, feeding the birds, shining his shoes, eating his breakfast, packing the same lunch every day, an apple, 10 peanuts, jello and the very exciting varietal nut of the moment. ( no wonder he was slender), walking to school or the the sound of the organ on a Sunday morning. My brother Jeff said this week, “you could set your watch by him.” He was a man of routine. When I was younger I didn’t understand the value of this, but today, I have grown to respect and treasure the comfort of this faithfulness. You never had to wonder about my Dad. It was understood that he was committed to his Lord and Savior, to his family, and he quite naturally took responsibility to care for his home and family, his church and his community. I had no idea this wasn’t entirely normal.

My dad was a real man. Not in the conventional athlete, pick up driving, hunting and fishing, grunting and growling definition of that word, but in the deeper, spiritual sense of the word. He was a provider, a faithful – lover of one woman for life- husband, a dependable and committed father, he was honest, excellent, devoted to God. He was who God designed him to be. Some of us don’t ever fully embrace God’s plan or design for us, but my Dad did. He was an artist, a teacher, a musician, a servant, a reader, quiet, but quite charming. I remember my dad with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes. One thing I have come to know and appreciate about him as I became an adult was that he was comfortable with strong women; his mother, my mother, me. This marked me for life and though he and I were very different he gave me freedom to grow in to who God designed me to be.

As I have reflected on his life the past few days
I am challenged by his commitment to continuing to develop his gifts in order to serve. He practiced the piano and organ routinely even after playing half a century.

I am challenged by his humility. He was smart, successful, talented, respected but had no air of superiority about him.

I am challenged by his commitment to living his faith at home. He routinely finished dinner with a devotion and church was not just someplace he went on Sunday. He was fully committed to worshiping God with his life and talents and to serving Him.

I am challenged by his commitment to communication. When I was a child he would type the letter of the week. As family moved around or away he just added another piece of carbon paper and kept up typing.
He and my mother never owned a dishwasher, not because he couldn’t afford it but because it was there way of connecting and talking through their day. 56 years, 365 days a year they washed dishes together.
If you were in my father’s classroom you received one of these. My dad made the same valentine every year for his students. When I went to college he began to make me one and send it to me, this has continued every year since then. A few years ago I began saving them. I treasure them today as an example of his faithfulness and caring. I love this one from 2008, i can tell that his health was failing by the shakiness of his hand in the writing and cutting

When my dad’s cancer began to get the best of him he told me two things repeatedly.
First he would quote Philippians 4:6-7
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I know this was his prayer for us, that we would have a sense of peace today.

And then he would ask me to join he and Mom praying for quality of life, rather than quantity. I told him I didn’t think it would hurt to pray for quality and a little bit more quantity. I know that God used you to answer their prayers by being part of that quality of life, by visiting, sharing your music, bringing communion to the house, keeping he and Mom company and caring for them. I want to personally thank you not only for coming today but also for enjoying and loving my Dad.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Old but not "old" Friends

Yesterday I had lunch with my best friend from high school, Debbie. We were in one another's weddings. It was the sweetest time. We talked and laughed and cried a little and it was good medicine for my heart. She listens well and speaks freely from her heart. I have missed my girlfriends while I have been here and it was good to find her here. She is quick and smart and wise and strong and wonderful. As we talked I realized how being her friend made me a better person- in retrospect she was probably the first accountability friendship I had, because I knew if I stepped out of line she'd call me on it and love me through it.

Other than that... it was a day of phone calls and details and writing what I will say at my dads service (ugh) which Debbie has agreed to read if I come undone. I of course want to get through it and say what I've written so that it's clear, so my Mom is good with it, but I have to admit I also don't want to stand in front of people I haven't seen in a hundred years and have snot running down my nose...

one more thing... it's like being at a perpetual church potluck. We keep eating and loving other people's food, even though I don't feel hungry. Two nights of Mexican in a row, for the record :-).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Dad's Obit...

Jay Robert Ferrin, 78, went home to be with the Lord, whom he loved and served faithfully Monday, June 23, 2008.

Jay was born in September l929 to Clayton and Dorothy Ferrin in Roswell, N.M. When he was a small child the family moved to California and made their home in the Long Beach/Garden Grove area, where he attended elementary school and graduated from Orange High School in 1947. He received his bachelor's degree from Chapman College and later his master's degree from Cal Poly.

Jay began his teaching career in Paso Robles in 1951 but was soon drafted by the U.S. Army, where he served as a chaplain's assistant at Fort Ord. After two years he returned to Paso Robles and taught for 44 years. He retired in 1997.

Jay was an accomplished musician, and played the piano, organ and musical saw. At age 16 he became a church organist and was in that position at Atascadero Gospel Chapel for the last 35 years. He was well known in the community for his musical gift and participated in many events.

Jay was active and served in various capacities in the Community Concert Association, Paso Robles Library Board, Friends of the Adobe, Rios Caledonia Adobe, and Pioneer Museum.

Jay is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Louise; sons Alan (Valerie) of Pennsylvania and Jeff (Lynn) of Paso Robles; daughter, Janet (Michael) of Oregon; eight grandchildren.

He is also survived by brothers Franklin of Missouri and Herbert of New Mexico; brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws Don and Sylvia Charles of Paso Robles and Don and Marilee Churchill of Carson City, Nev.; and an extended family of many nephews and nieces.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 28, 2008, at the Paso Robles District Cemetery, with a memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Atascadero Gospel Chapel, corner of Atascadero Ave. and Curbaril Ave. in Atascadero.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Samaritans Purse, Friends of the Adobe, or Mt. Hermon Conference Center.

Service Planning and Stuff

Service Planning. We have been service planning. We're planning two services this week. There will be music and talking, a message, family business.
I even said at one point "how long do you want the service to be?"
Sounds very familiar.
But this is a very strange experience.
This is our service planning team.

We are planning a graveside service (10am) and a memorial service (2pm) Saturday.

I think we finalized Dad's graveside and memorial services today. I'm very pleased with the breadth of what will be represented. It will fully communicate my dad.
I'm struggling with the length of the service... but I'm leaving my watch at home. :-)

Last night my brother Alan and I spent a couple of hours watching videos of my dad playing the organ and piano. This was hard and wonderful. He was a fine musician. An even better one since I moved away 25 years ago. He practiced nearly every day. As I listened to him introduce pieces I realized how much of an impact he has had on my philosophy of worship... that excellence and preparation honor God, that we are instruments created by God to bring Him glory and that we were created to praise God. I also discovered that I am a production snob. A nicer way to say that is that I am very grateful for the gear and our team. Randy Rock and I love to watch church video... I cannot wait to pop some popcorn and watch these together.

Church. I love the Church. I do "church" for a living. I am fascinated as I listen to people talk about church. What makes a church? Who gets to lead? How people are hurt or disappointed by the church. How the church isn't what God intended. The longing for church, pastoral care and a community of faith but the pain of disappointment. How hard it is to find a church where you respect the pastor and like the musical style. Every conversation I have overheard could be said about my church. Yet, it makes me long for my community of faith, for my ministry team. And, I am reminded... the impact of Brian McLaren's Arts Conference talk... the list of things wrong with our church vs. being agents of transformation in a world that is far from God.

Friends. Yesterday I had to talk a few of my dearest friends out of flying from Portland for the services Saturday. When they offered, I cried. I loved the idea of them being here. But over the past couple of days I realize that I need to fully be present with my family Friday and Saturday and if they were here... I would be divided. This was hard because the gift of their presence would be amazingly wonderful. But somehow knowing they would come is enough.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I've been thinking alot today about family and how it is defined. My Mom and Dad taught me that family wasn't about bloodline. I am adopted.

I came on this journey with a pre- conceived notion of how things would look when I arrived. I would come in and take over for those who have been tirelessy caring and supporting my mom and dad. Why? Because that's what families do in times of crises. We take care of one another.

Little did I want to know... this part of my family has been in crises for months and they were doing an amazing job of supporting one another. This family WAS my Mom, Aunt & Uncle, Cousin, Brother and his family but also friends and neighbors and their community of faith.

As I have navigated this day my other family has been ever present with encouragement, love and support. My husband and kids and ministry team and girlfriends. Their prayers and courage have girded me up to face this day.

Tonight I looked up "family" and there are 20 definitions. I love that.
Alan, Mom, Jeff and I - best guess is about 10 hours sleep total between the 3 of us since my father died 24 hours ago.

I had a very adult conversation with my brother today. We haven't always been able to talk about important things, but we talked openly and honestly about what it has been like to be him and what it has been like to be me, 1000 miles away. The good and the bad of both.

I get to remember my dad the way I left him in March with a twinkle in his eye, still game to try anything we were trying. But, I didn't get to say goodbye in person, the way I wanted.

He had to watch my dad wither and hear him cry in pain when he moved him the last couple of days. He earned a deeper respect from my Dad and Mom as he selflessly cared for them.

As I was interacting with my brother I could hear my father challenging me the last time I was here, to stay engaged with my brother, to cultivate a relationship. I know that our conversation today would have pleased him deeply and for me, today that is enough for me to call this day a success.

--- from my dad's chair, 24 hours later

"He's Gone"

This is what my brother said to me last night...
My father has...
what do you say? he's gone... he's passed away... he's died.
There it is...
I have never lost someone this close to me, someone so important to me. Losing Mike's dad was brutal, I remember... and my grandparents have died... but this is my dad... so I'll work it out here...

The slamming of the door is deafening
Everyone else around me seems to need to talk
How do I listen well when all I hear is that SLAMMING door over and over again.

I am totally at peace with his being in heaven, no longer in pain, but I know he was worried about Mom when he died, I wish he knew that we'll keep her company and care for her, but I know it won't be the same as living life daily with her for over 50 years, and so did he... and so does she.

I woke up this morning to piano music on the radio. At 3:30. This was horrible. I hope soon that it will be a joy to hear music again but for now it just makes me miss him.

--- San Francisco airport, traveling home

Monday, June 23, 2008

Serves Up

Saturday my church spent the day doing service projects around our area.
My favorite thing to do is spend time with people I love so this was pretty much a perfect day.

There were alot of projects that we could be part of but when Julie, Jay and I were deciding what to sign up for we decided to adopt the one which could take on the most volunteers and then we'd invite everyone on our ministry team to join us.

I spent most of the day cleaning out the basement of a small church which had 4 feet of water during the flood. We painted a little and spent alot of time scraping the floor to get it clean.
Michael spent the day chopping wood
The Resnick kids were there and when we found some trashed preschool chairs in the basement we thought it would be cool if they repainted and decorated them. So Joyce, Molly and Andy worked with them on this.

Toward the end of the day, the Pastor's wife of this tiny struggling church and I were having a conversation. She mentioned she had heard that one of the people in our group had a critically ill parent and that their little church would be praying for that family the next morning. Well, that person is me. My dad probably only has a couple of days left and her kindness pretty much undid me.
Julie, me, Pastor's wife, Joyce
Truthfully, I had gotten up Saturday wondering about whether I should go to Vernonia for the day or stay home to pull things together before my trip home to see my Mom and Dad, but I knew that my dad would have gone to serve, so in honor of his impact on me, I went and I'm so glad I did.

Here are some other pics from the day
Molly and Andy's masterpiece
We got dirty! Sunday in church the girls ran up and showed me they STILL had paint on their hands... loved that moment!
me, Andy & Bug

I loved the day because it was multi-gen, time spent with old friends, made new friends and we did something good for someone else, there was sweat, tears, laughter and some work AND art got done!

Life is for living.
(thanks to Julie, Elaine and Bryce for the pics, i forgot to bring my camera!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Church and Growth

Recently I have felt a real tug on my heart to be the church in the world, rather than just do church within the walls of Sunset.
This may seem like a no brainer, but, if I were honest, the largest part of my week/life/thoughts/actions focuses on doing church week in and week out. It has been my calling.

I've been wrestling with how to reconcile these two things and was stuck. I didn't like that I felt myself changing. Didn't know how to answer questions about church growth when I was caring less about how many people came on Sunday and more about how many of us were in relationships with people who are far from God and impacting our community with the love of Christ. I knew that the change was the Holy Spirit at work in me but couldn't figure out what it meant for my "normal" life I have come to love.

At the Arts Conference I had (made) time to listen to the Holy Spirit. Nancy Beach prayed about God being a transforming God and this concept broke through the doubt and fog in my heart. That's right... God is about transformation... I am still in process, God never sought to leave anyone where He found them... (deep sigh of relief and some tears)

Then during a session at the Arts Conference... after coming to grips with my own personal transformation, I was able to move to mission.
"personal transformation is not the whole story." "The church is not the end user of the Gospel. We are to be agents of healing and transformation.-- Brian McLaren"
I came alive in this moment.

This morning I got this quote in my inbox.
The Church is an organism that grows best in an alien society. -C. Stacey Woods

It's everywhere I look... and I'm listening Lord!

I have been doing some serious thinking on this since I came home, I get the role of the church in the world. It's hard work, it asks something of us and is not as easy as going to church for an hour on Sunday. I believe that God has been at work in the life our my church to wake us back up to the priority of evangelism, he has drawn leaders around our Senior Pastor who share this passion. So many examples come to mind... Ron's admission that we had become to inwardly focused and challenges from the platform to connect people to Jesus, Matt Singley handing out invites door to door in the snow, Jay McKenney who is Jesus in the world to neighbors and strangers, Julie Reid, our ministry leader who could be internally focused because she believes so strongly in worshiping our God together in community, yet she constantly reminds and challenges our team to remember people who are far from God, people who need hope when they come in our walls, Kurt Brandemihl's ruthless pursuit of lost kids, Women's GIFT move to service as a part of their weekly Bible Study and the tenacity and momentum that our Outreach missional team is currently leading with. How does the Hour on Sunday fit in?

I came across some challenging and encouraging stuff in a post by Sally Morgenthaler.
The "worship-driven subculture" was a sizeable part of the contemporary church that had just been waiting for an excuse not to do the hard work of real outreach. An excuse not to get their hands dirty." speaker unknown in a conversation with Sally Morgenthaler.
ouch that hurts...

And one quote from Sally's final post on her worship resource website when she decided to take a break from the worship focused sub-culture machine.
Worship must finally become, as Paul reminds us, more life than event (Romans 12:1-2). To this end, we will be focusing on the radically different kind of leadership practices necessary to transform our congregations from destinations to conversations, from services to service, and from organizations to organisms."

Our team meets next week to set our goals for the upcoming season of ministry. How will the Holy Spirit guide our conversations and decision making? I'm so excited to see. I'm spending the week seriously preparing for our time together. Please be praying for wisdom and direction for our team, for our leaders.

One last quote from Sally's blog, this was SO encouraging!
"Yes, worship openly and unapologetically. Yes, worship well and deeply. (Which means singing songs that may include anger, sadness, and despair. Have we forgotten that David did this? Have we discarded the psalms?) But let our deepened, honest worship be the overflow of what God does through us beyond our walls."
-- Sally Morgenthaler

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hello from Houston

An update from Chris in Houston...

Hello from Houston,
This summer I am staying at Rice and doing a math research program with 3 other students. We are working with two faculty members throughout the summer, both of whom are incredibly helpful. I can't believe they take the time to do what they do with us. The specific topic we are working on is called "algebraic geometry," which is a sort f advanced topic and is usually not explicitly part of the undergraduate curriculum (this is because a lot of the concepts rely on "algebra,"
which is an advanced-undergraduate or graduate topic typically).
However, Rice has been having undergrads work on it for several years, so the department has become pretty good at teaching it to undergrads and there are already a lot of resources and previous groups' papers to look at.
I am spending the summer with my roommate, Patrick, who grew up in Atlanta. He is a "mathematical economic analysis" major and is very bright and nice; we get along very well. Over the summer, he is working with an economics professor, helping him design a course on "general equilibrium models" in tax policy. He is very interested in the presidential election (he is for Obama, but I think more interested in the political process then completely sold out for Obama) and reads a ton of political blogs about races in each of the states, polling trends, etc.
My typical "workday" this summer goes as follows: I arrive at the math building by 9. At 9, we have a meeting with one of the faculty members during which we present our answers and ask questions from the previous day's work, and then the professor introduces a new topic. For the first 3 weeks, as we are learning the basics of algebraic geometry, this has usually been based around problem sheets with several problems for each new topic. However, as we are moving along in the summer, the problems have become more open-ended and will soon become completely so.
Once the morning meeting is done, we usually work on the problems for the rest of the day, meeting with the professors again during the afternoon to go over any questions.
The four of us all share an office on the 4th floor of the math building. For one thing, I greatly enjoy this because I always rave during the school year that the 4th floor of the math building is the happiest place on earth (every single math professor resides there; there are silly pieces of abstruse mathematical artwork adorning the walls--certain types of knots, solutions to differential equations, minimals surfaces). Secondly, it is fun sharing an office because the four of us communicate constantly on the problems and are always posing guesses and then finding counter-examples, or thinking things through on the chalkboard. Another interesting coincidence is that, out of the four people in our group, two are from Portland, one is from Seattle, and the fourth is from Wyoming. I hardly know any other people from the Northwest at Rice. We swap stories lauding the Oregon Coast, the Tillamook Cheese Factory, the Seattle Center, and the wonders of Fred Meyer (which doesn't exist in the South). Additionally, it is fun joking around with people who have pretty similar personal eccentricities (that is, nerdyness in terms of music, language, math, science, etc.)
I get off work at 4 (although I and the other group members usually do some additional work each night). Patrick and I spend about half of our evenings playing video games/watching sports (we have been excitedly following the NBA playoffs and the US Open) and the other half doing something athletic (playing tennis or basketball or swimming).
Rotating sports allows me to realize that I am out of shape and practice in each of them.
The last thing to mention is that the summer on-campus housing is not at beloved Wiess college (the residential college I stay at during the school year), but rather at Jones college. This is quite a change for me, primarily because the residential colleges are divided into two groups, the "South" and "North" Colleges, who are on opposite sides of the campus and have separate campus cultures. Wiess is South; Jones is North. I had only been to the North colleges twice before I moved in this summer (although they are only a ten-minute walk from Wiess). So it is strange approaching the academic buildings from the wrong side every morning. Even worse, Jones' dormitories are much less comfy than Wiess' posh dorms (Wiess was rebuilt in 2000 so the rooms are very nice). My bedroom has brick walls and I share a communal bathroom with everyone on my floor (we have private baths at Wiess). There aren't really enough kitchens to support so many people cooking for themselves (since during the school year we are provided food); Patrick and I mostly live off of applesauce, canned peas, and Costco lasagna. So my summer stay has only convinced me to feel sorry for all of the people who must suffer through the North colleges during the school year.
Another thing to note is that the summer research student housing is somewhat humorously dominated by Asian Americans.
So that's pretty much what's going on in Houston. Hope everything is going well with all of you; I am curious to hear.

Split Personality

So there's my real life... which is the content of this blog... and then there's my day job... if you've been interested in the content from the Arts Conference I'll be posting video highlights and short interviews with the key teachers from the Arts Conference on our ministry blog this week. Click here to get a real taste of the conference AND also some encouragement and challenges to your development as a leader and an artist.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Session Four: Richard Allen Farmer

OMG... again worth the price of admission, Richard Allen Farmer.

Dr Farmer is "scary smart" (multiple degrees), an artist, a grand communicator, exhorter, encourager.

He unpacked the artists brain and what goes on in there... As someone who loves the arts but is not wired as an artist this was a very important session to sit through. Side note- this doesn't mean that I am not creative...

As I sat in a room full of thousands of artists, who were so affirming of what he was teaching, I was challenged at the value and the responsibility of creating a place where artists want to be. This was a recurring theme of the conference.

In the head of an artist you will find:

a question mark- artists are insatiably curious, and they like questions more than answers, "if curiousity is a disease, they are not interested in being healed" I like answers, I'm most comfortable with resolution

pieces of metal rubbing together- artists welcome friction, miximg medium, friction is not merely tolerated, it is encouraged.
For artists to thrive we must actively encourage and welcome diversity.
I am not comfortable with friction, i fight for understanding and resolution.

a pen wrapped in lips- he challenged the artists to write and to speak, to be able to articulate the meaning of their art. You have a thought in your head, share it. Work hard at being articulate.

a cloud- this symbolizes the mystery. Artists should labor to be articulate, to communicate, while being speechless at the mystery at the same time.
We want to be overwhelmed by the mystery of our faith,lost in wonder, love and praise

We must engage, welcome and manage te wonder of it all.

The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid, and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalises itself, so to speak. The aesthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of aesthetic like that of material creation is accomplished. The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.
- James Joyce

a Bible- we are lovers of God & Christ. Theological truth and ideas informs our art. God, who speaks, who called me and whose I am... WE should never apologize for this, we should be different.

God- He lives in us, he commissions our art and provides what is needed to create it.

God spoke to Moses: "See what I've done; I've personally chosen Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I've filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him skill and know-how and expertise in every kind of craft to create designs and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to cut and set gemstones; to carve wood—he's an all-around craftsman. "Not only that, but I've given him Oholiab, son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan, to work with him. And to all who have an aptitude for crafts I've given the skills to make all the things I've commanded you - Exodus 31:1-6

Friday Morning

Here we are at Willow...

Friday morning I was pretty much exhausted... this was the longest I have ever been away from my family... 3 plane flights, 6 nights, 1 dog and 2 cats, a Global Summit Team Base Camp and 7 impactful sessions. I was toast.

The morning opened with Kendall Payne.

She was delightful, refreshing, talented, honest, wonderful.

I particularly liked her acoustic version of Closer to Myself, the radio "hit." I realize I don't listen to lyrics close enough when the band is rocking... she's recording a new worship album in July... can't wait! I loved the unplugged feeling of the morning with her.

Sight Seeing: Chicago

I love Chicago, have probably been there about 10 times in the past several years and Michael and I spent our 20th wedding anniversary there.
At some point during the day as I was planning the trip I remembered that when I was a little girl I used to pretend that I was a "tour guide" on our airstream camp outs.
This trip, since there were only 3 of us, and the other two are sports nuts I kept that in mind when I planned the intinerary.

The Tour:

United Center- this was all about seeing the Michael Jordan statue

Millenium Park- fountain and ampitheater (Chicago Children's Choir- free concert in the park)

The Bean- Millenium Park (my favorite piece of contemporary art)

Deep Dish @ Giordano's (bonus points for a tornado warning)

Walk to the River

Taxi to the Navy Pier (Tyler's first taxi ride)

The Navy Pier (Chicago skyline from the Navy Pier- photo by Tyler)

Cruise LakeShore Drive

Wrigley Field

Breakout Session Four: Doing Life Changing Ministry with Volunteers (Joe Horness)

By the time I got to this session, I was spent. I literally sat on the floor in the back of the chapel at Willow, laptop plugged in and taking notes during the Session.
Ended up being good review for me.

- Most churches cannot afford to pay volunteers and WHY WOULD YOU? Every person was designed to use their gifts as part of the local church.
- people are called, compelled to serve
- people in your congregation should know you from the neighborhood

A. Create a place artists want to be
- excellence attracts excellence
- pray for God to bring the right people, be willing to wait
- audition people routinely- look for genuine giftedness, spiritual authenticity and emotional maturity.
B. Recruit
- cast a compelling vision and make a bold request

A. Connect personally - People will likely initially agree to serve because they feel a personal connection, they "like" you, not just because they are called to serve.
B. Connect as a team- devotions, prayer requests, sharing at rehearsal and 5-6 programming team meetings a year.
C. Divide and conquer- create a span of care that is manageable and covers everyone
D. Show up important events in the lives of your volunteers
E. Pray
Love God, love each other and use your gifts to change lives.

embrace the goals of an arts ministry, fruitfulness and fulfilment

A. Help them grow- skill, spiriturally
B. Rehearse
C. Challenge them to step up, have hard conversations
D. Mentor- provide opportunities to grow. Expose your team to experienced artists, it's inspirational to them.

A. Honor their time- communicate a schedule, be on time,prepare well for rehearsals. leaders HAVE to be prepared. Make all decisions you can make ahead of time.
B. Encourage- set a goal (i.e. 2 notes per Sunday)Pick up the Phone!
C. Cast Vision Every Chance You Get
- every chance you get
- forward notes/emails, bless people when you're blessed
- have hard conversations
- know when to let go of people
- celebrate together (i.e. a vocal team made up of people who had experienced tremendous life change sang a song together about this life change).

Breakout Session Three: Pop Goes the Church (Tim Stevens- Granger Community Church)

This session was my continuing ed for our eleventh hour service. Granger community church is at the forefront of leveraging culture in their services and Tim Stevens is a master at this.

We must accomplish the mission of God in our community- Tim Stevens

Most churches aren't impacting their culture yet spiritual interest is at an all time high.
86% of people today don't connected increased spiritual interest with church involvement.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 MSG

A learning for me from this session was there we could do more of this while still being Sunset. I was really grateful for the following practical apps from Tim.

- Use Pop culture to package a topic and attract a crowd
- Use pop culture to get people thinking or laughing (break down walls)
- use pop culture to provide a new interpretation for a popular cultural element. (so that when they see it in their real life, it refers back to a spiritual learning or experience).
- use pop culture to encourage people, highlight those who make ministry happen, make a difference.
Here's an example... this is nuts!

Breakout Session Two: Philosphy of Multi-Gen Worship (Ross Parsley)

This was a VERY interesting session. Even with two service formats Sunset is committed to continuing to do ministry with a multi-gen emphasis.

From Ross' set up
I never thought about this... David did eventually become a trained warrior but when he was called to fight Goliath he didn't know how to "work" the armor. He grew in to what God had in mind for him, but that didn't mean that he didn't fight until he was fully ready.

Session Notes- 5 pages, so here are some highlights:

We should benefit from the experience, maturity and resources of the older while also benefitting from the energy, enthusiasm and innovation of the younger.

Church is like the dinner table with a family coming together. We don't get to pick our family. When the kids are at the table there is no denying it. Dinner with everyone is often work for the adults and very often the kids set the tone in the room?

Ideally the older delight in the younger balanced with the older lovingly training the younger. This takes patience and work.
IF the younger are not free to be themselves they don't look forward to being at the table.

Churches must figure out how to function, accept, embrace people as a family. The next generation wants to be rooted, celebrated, in relationship and have an identity and traditions.

Churches need cooperation. A relationship between generations where both give and take.

Churches need to embrace innovation and new ideas. The older can provide guard rails and coaching the youngers creativity.

Churches need respect. Mutual respect. All generations need to be allowed to give input and leadership opportunities within reason. We have to deliberately lean toward youth though in order to keep them at the table.

Churches need humility. I Peter 5:5-6

Practical Applications of these principles:
1- Make sure song selections overlap between meetings (Big church, students, elementary)
2- Include youth leaders in the main service as musicians, vocalists, communicators.
3- Invite the next gens creative input to shape the services. (We tend to "use" them vs. investing in them. Include them in a way that makes them feel valued.)

final thought- how do you let go and let other take on leadership?


Breakout Session One: A Biblical Perspective on Worship (Ross Parsley)

During my training for the Global Summit on Tuesday Larry said this... our goal is that by the end of Session 2 people feel that they have their moneys worth. Yesterday I felt that way. Today, following Ross Parsleys two sessions I had doubled my investment. These two sessions were HUGE for me!

Some background on Ross Parsley. He is the worship leader at New Life in Colorado Springs. In the past year or so his church endured a public scandal where their Senior Pastor had to step down and then the death of two students when a gunman entered their campus on a Sunday.

Breakout 1: A Biblical Perspective on Worship
I took three pages of notes, too much to share here but here are some highlights.

Question: Does where we spend out time as a ministry with our team reflect a biblical perspective of worship?
How do we spend our time? Most churches do each of these things in this weighted order.
SKILL: lack of distractions, inspiration, motivation
TRADITION: things which have meaning to our community of faith
PERSONALITY: matches the leadership of the team
MUSICAL STYLE: the hook you fish with
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: does your church have politics/power struggles? should reflect the vision of your church
MINISTRY PHILOSOPHY: do the people who serve REALLY understand why we're doing what we're doing?

All these things are good to a point but this list should be inverted. Honestly, when I look at how our team/time is structured, we spend WAY more time on SKILL/Rehearsal than we do ministry philosophy. This is challenging for me.

We have to teach our team over and over again that biblical principles are the foundation of our ministry rather than skill/tradition and formats and styles.

Ross challenged us with this: "Don't you want a service where something beyond skill happens on Sunday?" YES!

Why do we do what we do?

Revelation- do we help people to understand who God is and who we are? A full picture of God- big, awesome, powerful, not just grace and mercy.

Transformation- we need to not just deal in the realm of "soulish" emotional connection and communicating information. We should crave transformation.

Illustrations- When we, as leaders, are transformed, When God deeply changes us, when He is supernaturally involved I become the story. This is fundamental.
Worship is not just about artistic expression! We should be about people being transformed and then sharing it in a powerful way.
This reminded me of the Life Verses and Jay's leadership- both of these things are connecting.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Session Three: Brian MacLaren

So last year I was in a 2 hour session with Brian MacLaren who pretty much kicked me in the butt. I realized today... that a fire was lit during that session and I have allowed the pace of life and other "stuff" to quench this fire. Today Nancy interviewed him. The basic content is contained in the book "Everything Must Change"

He told a story to begin with of being young, maybe 20 years ago and speaking at a camp. He asked the campers to create a list of issues in the church. What would you put on this list? I live in this world.

Then, he asked them to create a list of the top global problems.

Then he had to wrestle with what does the message of Jesus say to address the second list? How often am I caught up with the first list and how much is that like the time that Jesus was born in to.

I am so challenged by this message I sincerely don't quite know what to do with myself. This has been building/burning in my spirit.

So many quotes from this session...
"Is the sole purpose of the gospel fire insurance? or shouldn't we be asking how God's kingdom can come, His will can be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
"Could it be that 'saved' could be meant as not wasting our lives before we die" "personal transformation is not the whole story."
"The church is not the end user of the Gospel. We are to be agents of healing and transformation."

Then, (thank you Nancy) Brian gave artists, leaders and pastors practical ways that we could uniquely make a difference.
1- Lead people in to integral worship, show them a more whole version of God, balance grace and mercy with a God of compassion, of justice who shows up and acts up throughout history.
2- Humanize the "other"; the forgotten insider, the perceived enemy and the depised others. See the human being.
3- Humanize ourselves. Use our art and teaching to stir human emotion, raise an inconvenient thought, spur us to merciful and just action.
4- Revalue (Redeem) Creation. Root people in the value of God's creation.

Preach it brotha!

Session Two: Gilles Ste. Croix

Session Two: Gilles St Croix, Sr VP of Creative Content for Cirque was interview by Nancy Beach.
Working with Cirque would be a dream job of mine... so I was really looking forward to this session and wasn't disappointed except that it was too short. Not sure quite how to pull together the thoughts which were firing during his talk but here are some quotes.
I was an artist looking for a place where I could fit in.
As individual as artists are, I truly believe that many of them crave/thrive in a community. I'm grateful for ours and challenged whether we could do more to be a place where artists can fit in.

excerpt from a behind the scenes video for Cirque- the speaker was some kind of arts leader.
Sometimes we will slow you down and sometimes we'll light a fire under your butt"
Cirque's process begins with what storyline do we want to create, what emotion do we want to carry? And then the figure out things like what acrobats, music, sets etc. How can we continue to apply this to our service planning? Starting with the "sticky." How much of what we do is driven by what we've done, or who is "on" rather than the story we want to tell, or in our case support?

The ultimate judge of a performance is the audience, not the director
Gilles talked about how they take a show to the "Lions Den" before final dress rehearsals and often, even after 2-3 years of preparation, they are given good direction on rhythm and flow of a show, a missing or wrong element etc. Of course we don't have this kind of time, but I was challenged in my role as a producer that I rarely spend enough time with the plan, or focused at dress rehearsal to catch things before service time. This needs to change.

The show is there, you just have to discover it.
This is a modern twist on “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”- Michaelangelo and I love it. We pray in planning that we would be inspired and moved by God to craft a service where people will experience God. It's kind of the same...

Fighting gravity is a form of art
Gilles talking about teaching a kid to juggle and how art sets the spirit free.

Arts Conference Day One: Challenged Session One: Nancy Beach

As I write this I am quite literally sitting on a large couch with two of my favorite bloggers, Jay and Tyler. The guys are attending the conference with me this is affecting me as I try to decide what to post because I know I'll like what they write better...
So, i'll just share some "stuff" from the day and recommend you check their blogs for the real content.

Nancy started the morning by sayng the following in her prayer "You are a transforming God" I needed this reminder.
Then she walked us through Psalm 40:1-10 MSG. Chewing on the concepts in the scripture, then inviting us in to an action each step along the way, challenging us to see where we we are prone to/or in a pit, then to think of the times this year that God has rescued me, my family, my ministry, then to surrender myself and then she challenged us.
We need more men and women who are so atune to the Holy Spirit that they withdraw from time to time, to be alone, to listen and then to be inspired in the ways they call people to God... to show a balanced picture of God with righteousness and justice and grace and mercy.

In light of the week I have had, where I've had so much trouble being alone this has really been challenging because I believe it to be true. I have also really been challenged recently by the role of those who love Jesus in making a difference in the world around us. This would be a good summarization of the day.
Another favorite quote from the day, Nancy quoted Mark Batterson
If we are not careful we will do ministry more out of memory than imagination."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

in a nutshell

I am horrible at being alone.
I love taking a nature walk in the morning, today a blue heron took flight about 15 feet away from me. It scared me to death, but it was awesome.
It's strange to take a walk in the woods in a town where no on will know you're missing, if you get lost.
I really don't like dogs, maybe that's puppies, but let's just say Izzy and I aren't getting along great today. She wants to play and walk constantly and I do not. I can't please her. This is not the kind of relationship I would willingly enter in to.
Apparently we have a... 40' (Jay) no 37' (Tyler)high def tv.
Jay and Tyler are finally here... i was so excited to see them... kind of like Izzy felt when I got home today.
Overheard while Jay was dialing Allison... "there's only 8 minutes left in the game?" - Tyler aghast at his lack of focus.
Tyler is bonding with Izzy (thank God for small favors)
Today was base camp training for my Global Summit programming role. I am inspired, excited, challenged and feeling great humility as I approach this challenge. Something I can't quite wrap my brain around is how much this leadership development is valued and has the potential to make a difference, and we are working in sites/countries where at times there are "only 2 projectors capable of the technology in the whole country!" or they have to "ship in snacks." We are so blessed.

Monday, June 9, 2008

this doesn't happen everyday

I arrived in Chicago this afternoon.
I am sitting right now in the living room of someone I've never met.
And I am alone.

The house is comfortable, I walked the dog, my new best friend Izzy, earlier along a beautiful riverside path and following threats of tornadoes it's turned out to be a beautiful night.

It's surreal. I can count the times I have spent the night alone, in 21 years of marriage, on one hand.

So here I am... I don't know anyone, I have no car and I'm alone.
What would you do?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Houston Day Two

Today was a full good day!

We started the morning at Lakewood Church then went to Whattaburger for Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits. Back to Rice for the Chris/Patrick tour. This is such a beautiful campus.

A hall in the quad.

My tour guides.

Jumping the hedges in the quad is a Rice tradition... they trimmed them a couple years ago and they haven't really grown back so it's no longer the challenge it used to be.

Lunch at a Mexican restaurant, some grocery shopping and then to the Fine Arts Museum. It's less than a mile from the Rice campus.
One of Chris' favorites.

After the MFAH we walked around the museum district and visited First Pres.


It was a great day, but my mind is already loaded with stuff and i have quite a week ahead of me. Leave for Chicago in the a.m.

Sunday morning field trip

Yesterday when I arrived in Houston Chris and Patrick suggested we attend Lakewood in Houston for services. I was excited at the opportunity and so this morning we attended. Admittedly, I am not a regular church goer... that is to say, I regularly GO to church... but I work about 50 Sundays a year. Lakewood is a big church, I think there were 4000 at the service we attended today and it's 1/3 services.

Today I attended with my producer's hat on and in the company of two college students- this second fact was probably the most impactful to me. Another thing worth mentioning is that I don't think I'd ever seen a full Lakewood episode on TV so while I knew the church had a reputation for a "prosperity" message I didn't fully grasp how that would play out.

Here are some notes/photos from the service that probably only someone in my world will understand. And, I cannot find my notes! ARGH so this is all from memory.

Service Notes:
90 minutes 61 minutes BEFORE the message

Ad Reel- Canned video ads with voice over ran at the top of the service

9 person worship team plus band with 4 brass players and worship choir. 3 worship leaders traded lead vocal. Mix was soloist plus one vocal plus choir sound with heavy bass. Lighting was tasteful, not over the top, IMAG was solid with keyed over lyrics and scripture. They missed a cue or two which always makes me feel better, but overall the service production was excellent.
The congregation was very diverse and most of the attire was formal. Men running boom cameras (they had two) wore suit and tie.

Service Notes:
Song: Awesome God
Song: My Savior Lives
Song: All Because of Jesus
Song: Lakewood Original
Song: I Worship You Almighty God- solo by worship leader
Song: Here I Am to Worship
Theme Statement: Joel Osteen >5 minutes of vision/theme- set up time for prayer in the service, come forward now and be prayed for
Special: Vocals and worship choir with lyric up
Song: In the Freedom We Know
Set up Offering/Prayer- Victoria Osteen ~5minutes of vision/prayer
Offering- felt like a special but the lyric was on the screens, people joined and the energy was up, celebratory as the offering was collected

Message: Joel Osteen

Invitation to make a first time commitment or recommit
Walk Out Music: Live Band and vocal short version of My Savior Lives

Things the producer in me loved...
- The participatory worship while it was polished and felt professional also felt authentic.
- Loved the prayer time in the middle of the service where people could come forward so early.
- Loved the canned announcements at the top and the way that Joel very naturally blessed worship team, children's ministry and pulled off an announcement about a mid week prayer & healing time effortlessly. Also liked how he would come on stage from the side during the last song so his transition seemed seamless.
- Enjoyed the partnership of a couple in ministry. His wife in a lead communication role.
- Loved a worship choir

Now... I've read peoples impressions of Sunset after attending once so I'm struggling with how to move ahead with my commentary. The big idea is that I really struggled with the repeated message of the end goal being that God would bless people. I didn't find anything said not to be truthful, it just felt like it's not the whole story. I can see how this is a church of hope for people, but what was missing in the message, from both the communicators today, was the reason why we exist as a church which I believe is not to prosper personally but for the goal of connecting others to Jesus.

There's an ongoing discussion about whether the church is for the saved or the unsaved and today a fire was lit in me to fight for what we do in the sanctuary being about connecting with those who aren't there. This was lacking today.

Attending with the boys was VERY interesting! Chris grew up at Sunset and Patrick was raised Catholic and rarely attends church now.
A few comments from them...

as we walked in to the building one of them said "people dress nice here"
I had never been in a situation where I had heard this comment before, but it's definately true that visitors are paying attention to whether they fit in!

“More like a motivational speaker than like a church service” --- Patrick

Another note- props to the Middle School pastor, as we toured the building following the service he was warm and welcoming, connected with the guys and invited them back.

overall... I missed my community at Sunset...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Houston Day One - Photo Log

Patrick and Chris picked me up from the airport, this is Houston tiny and off in the distance. It's SO flat here, but the weather tonight was nice, WARM and not too muggy.

The boys dormroom for the summer internship.

A BIG part of this trip is meeting Patrick, Chris' roommate and best friend here.

Walked the campus tonight, Chris continues to be compelled to attempt to climb things.

T-shirts folded daddy style :-)

Now the boys are playing lego starwars and I am going to bed...
"Chris, what did we establish about killing your teammates?" - Patrick

trip thots

Left Portland this a.m and now am sitting in the Phoenix airport. I'll post stuff along the way this week.

I heart technology! I'm in the middle of watching a rented movie on the video nano today. Best $3.99 I've spent in a long time. You can rent on itunes, you have 30 days to watch it and 24 hours from when you hit play the first time. So, I picked the longest movie I hadn't seen... Atonement and it got me from Portland to Phoenix and I'm not done yet!

Lost has ruined me.
When I am locked in a plane, I imagine what it would be like to be stranded on a dessert island with these people. The good news... I no longer worry about dying in a plane crash, I mostly just relish the idea of living with this cast of characters. I know, weird.

I made a game out of packing this trip. I'll be gone Sat a.m. to Friday p.m. and only brought my backpack and a carry on. Should be interesting. Well maybe not... my wardrobe won't be interesting at all.

It's 90 here. What I wore this morning was perfect, for Portland. But I've now lost the jeans and sweatshirt and tennis shoes for shorts and flip flops. Time to grab some lunch.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Something New! and a WUP too...

Lately the name Brooke Fraser has been on my radar and not just because we have the same name... she toured with Hillsong United and John Mayer, wrote or co-wrote a few of my favorite worship choruses (None but Jesus, Hosanna, Lead me to the Cross) so yesterday I did some checking and today i'm falling in love with her solo projects.
Albertine and What to Do with Daylight. (If you like Holly Resnick, and WHO DOESNT??? you'll like Brooke Fraser)

I desperately needed NEW music.

Why is that? What's wrong with all the really great stuff that fills my itunes library? There is something innate in me that craves a new experience, a new way of communicating truth, a delightful discovery.

This got me thinking about how much I overlook how our God IS a God of change.
He is the author of creativity.
He could have just made it/us and been done with it, but he designed us to make new things, to grow, to try, to move and to mend.

Recently my friend/teammate Jay challenged Julie and I to start and share from Wake Up Pads. The concept is from Radical Edge, by Steve Farber (thank you Bryce Schroeder)- an excellent book on how to stoke your business, amp your life and change the world.

Here are the "rules"

1. Carry it everywhere - memory faulty, pen and paper, reliable.

2. Scan - the world and write down what you see, without comment or judgement. Observe, don't judge.

3. Eavesdrop - listen to what people are talking about - live, radio, TV - don't judge, just listen, and write it down.

4. Ponder - read over what you've seen/heard and think about it. Write down some implications.

5. Talk about it - bounce your thoughts off others - everyone who matters - who are observing and interacting, too. Here's what I'm seeing/hearing/noticing - and kick it around together.

6. Do something about it! Stick out your neck and try something new.

Staff Lunch and Launch

* pardon all the closed eyes, the photographer was in a hurry to get back to his burger and beer...

Yesterday our staff team (minus Julie and Kent) had lunch at Helvetia Tavern to celebrate recent birthdays and to spend some time with Jos, who has given notice and will be leaving her job (is it really work?) at Sunset because her family has moved to Hood River.

I will miss Jos insanely.

Monday at lunch as we were talking about her leaving Sunset I was heart sick. Jos has challenged me toward growth as a friend and a manager . I REALLY value this in her. And I have learned from Jos. She has allowed herself to be open, challenged herself to new ways of looking at/responding to things, she's been so brave as she's navigated the relational ministry that she joined. She is consistent, direct, smart, giving and the funniest person I know. And that's saying something because I know some really funny peope.

So dear Jos, go with our love and blessing and when you come to your senses and grow weary of living in heaven on earth... call us.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Flipping Coins

I'm a firm believer that there is good and bad to most everything human, a good side and a bad side of the coin.

This morning I saw that in action...
My father's cancer is affecting his hearing. He can no longer understand my brother when he calls. But I am notorious for a loud voice and he can still hear me. So, after years of being too loud and told to use my inside voice or to stop yelling on the phone, I'm happy this is the voice God gave me.

Here's another example.
I pretty much hate changes in ministry leadership- over time I've seen God's hand in these and know that they are all part of how God continues to move us in to roles where we can more effectively connect people to him. But, I still hate them.
An example, in my time at Sunset there have been several Minister of Operations at Sunset. I loved them all... seriously. Off the top of my head... Bruce, Blair, Pep, Matt, Sally (sorry if I forgot someone) and now we have Mike the Mayor. In his short time here I have really come to love his presence in the office, his laughter and leadership. Before he came to town we heard that he was the Mayor of a small town, he sent me this link today announcing his resignation as Mayor of Antigo Wisconsin
Orygone... love that!
the bad news is that people leave, the good news is that others come.