Saturday, March 05, 2011

From the Roller Coaster

Happy March everyone.  As usual, I have been lost in Facebook land, but there some things that simply cannot be posted there due to excessive visibility.   Enough apology; now on to the news.  Some of you may know that Ben and I were finally able to take a real vacation.  Spent 10 days heading south with stops along Florida's east coast, a couple days at Universal, Key West, and back up the gulf coast and home.  It was a wonderful time to just enjoy each other and not worry about anything.  Well -- as idyllic as that sounds, it was the proverbial calm before the storm. 

We returned to the land of snow to discover that Ben's church is nearly broke -- I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice it to say that, after meetings and worry, it appears that the church is to be closed most likely by the end of April.  There is no pastor's income beyond that point -- that means that our household income will take a hit in excess of 50%, plus Ben's insurances and such will all vaporize.  NOW -- when we moved here just one year ago, he was looking forward to his three year contract with this church, so we signed a two year lease on our apartment, which now we cannot afford.  On top of all this, my secular job is in a precarious and uncertain space right now.  Things look pretty grim, we are stewing (or "futzing" as Ben calls it) over the situation.  What do we do?  Do we stay here, go get minimum wage jobs and try to muddle through until a church comes open?  At the beginning, we had no visible options -- the question was really,"WTF do we do now?"   As we began to brainstorm, we drew a few possible options and are somewhere near finding the next step in this uncharted yet strangely familiar territory.  It looks as though each us will be exploring options for ministry -- whichever denomination blinks first gets us.  However, that search will take time and as we determined, we cannot afford our rent on what we would anticipate as "bridge income".  So it appears that he at age 46 and me at age 62 will be placing our lives in storage and moving along with the cats to his parents' basement.  Thank God they are willing and welcoming.  It is a bit embarrassing and demoralizing, but it is a temporary step and I think it will fit the need for the near future.  From there, we can both find some kind of jobs (unemployment is lower there than here) and focus our position searches.  This also gives Ben a bit of much needed down time from the church gig after the stress and abuse he has encountered in this part of his journey.  So, dear readers, it appears that we will soon be moving again (the 5th time in 5 years), and I am just really getting over the previous moves.  We have made this place home, and I rather enjoy it.  This once again proves the temporary nature of life.  As we wind down this chapter of the book, I wonder what will be in the next chapter?  We are free at this point to re-locate just about anywhere that God may lead us.  If you know of a healthy, vibrant Episcopal, ELCA, or MCC seeking a pastor, drop a line.  Who knows?  We might be coming soon to your neighborhood!  Be afraid, be very afraid.  I promise more frequent posts as our future begins to unfold this unwritten chapter of this unending saga.

1 comment:

Lemuel said...

I've been following your saga via Ben. Prayers, HUGS, and best wishes abound from here for you both.