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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More markings

It was just about a year ago that I started this blog. I kept one from 2006 to early 2009, but it was small, and I kept it in an Apple proprietary format called iWeb. By some combination of user error and useless upgrades to the application, it got to a point where I couldn't edit old posts anymore. Ultimately, Apple's nascent cloud service, called iDisk, went off-line, and so did my blog. Needless to say, hardly anybody noticed. I barely did!

As I looked over what I'd written then, I realized it through the intervening years I've change my attitude about a lot of things. Then, I was writing mostly for myself, and venting a lot of frustration about my work and some of the people who made life difficult for me, or so I thought. Now, I hope what I'm doing is trying to share some of the insights I've had through the years, not from some inner font of wisdom, but because I've had such generous access to the wisdom of others. In my church work, I've been extraordinarily privileged to have worked with and learn from some truly great people. I've had the friendship of wise and profound theologians. It doesn't seem right not to at least attempt to share what they've shared with me. Also, my own insight and experience for so many years in this work, a vocation and gift from God, may be of benefit to others who are on the same path. Hence my start-up again of this blog in January 2013, and I admit it's been great fun, interacting with you, having guest voices occasionally, and just opening up the experience of ministry in liturgy to more people.

So that marks one event of 2014. As I was thinking about that, I realize the 2014 is a marker year for me in a lot of ways. It's the 30th anniversary of our first recording, "You Alone." It's the 25th anniversary of our first recording with GIA, "Safety Harbor," which we think of as a kind of a milestone for us. On a personal note, Terry and I will celebrate 20 years married this November.

And, I realize with a sigh, that this weekend Saturday, February 1, I will celebrate 20 years at St. Anne Parish in Barrington, as music and liturgy director. That's quite a milestone for me, it's the longest I've ever held any job! In fact, it's nearly as long as the previous two full-time jobs I had put together, as I was a travel agent from 1974 to 1983, and then worked at St. Jerome in Phoenix as music director from 1983 to 1994.

I remember arriving at St. Anne's on Friday evening, probably January 31, 1994, and there was a memorial service going on in the chapel that night. There was snow everywhere, something I didn't really know what to do about being from the desert. I had my few possessions in a small rental truck, and needed to move in. The next day, I was to direct the music at the parish for confirmation, which was being held in the gym. That winter was all quite an adventure. I had to learn to drive all over again, on ice, with a stick shift, wearing boots. But I had a new home, among generous, kind, faithful people and it's been my home now for 20 years. For making me a part of their community, I will be forever grateful to the people of St. Anne's in Barrington.

All those dates and numbers don't mean much. 62 is kind of a weird year, not really a milestone of any kind in itself. But I have a new book out, I'm getting a special recognition from my professional group, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, this July in St. Louis,
And it looks like Gary, Terry, and I will have a new collection of music in some form by the middle of this year. Of course, I'm excited to share with you and others some of the work I've done since our last recording came out in 2006.

So it looks like a busy year, even if it's not numerologically auspicious. Who knows what God has in store for us while we're making our plans? I'll keep the blog going, so check in once in a while and see what's happening in the church in Barrington and beyond. And thank you for taking me in for a part of your day.