A long-overdue update

It’s been two months since my last ‘official’ update, and I apologize for that. Life has, as you’ll see, been pretty full.

SEATTLE (AUG 30 – SEP 5)
As a wedding gift, Carolyn bought us tickets to the Seahawks-Packers opening day game. So we got to head to the beautiful Pacific Northwest for a week, see friends, eat good food, and watch my Seahawks beat her Packers. (We’re not going to talk about our teams’ fortunes since then.)

Seahawks-Packers

H ST FESTIVAL (SEP 20)
The District Church had a booth at the H Street Festival, an annual celebration in our neighborhood, where over 100,000 people make their way through our part of town. We served ice cream and BBQ sliders (not combined) to folks passing by, and had a number of great conversations.

H St Festival

CCDA (SEP 24 – 27)
One of the organizations The District Church is connected with is the Christian Community Development Association. CCDA’s founder, Dr. John Perkins, has preached at our church a couple of times, including this past August. This year, the conference was held in Raleigh, NC, making it a great opportunity for us to take a sizable crew down — about ten of us from TDC made the trip: we learned a lot, prayed a lot, worshiped in community together, and got to stay together at my in-laws’. (Thanks, Tom and Dana, for the hospitality!)

IMG_8198

TWO SERMONS (SEP 28, OCT 5)
I got to preach back-to-back weeks on Mary, the mother of Jesus, and then Jesus’ birth. It was my first time preaching about Mary, and my first time covering Christmas in October! (You can listen to them here: “When God Chooses You,” and “The Most Dangerous Baby Ever Born.”)

Preaching

EUGENE CHO IN DC (SEP 29)
The District Church was able to host an event for my friend Eugene Cho (pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, founder of One Day’s Wages). His new book, Overrated: Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world?, just came out and (as I’ve mentioned) is absolutely worth the read.

Eugene Cho

BFFS IN DC (SEP 29 – OCT 2)
My best friends Tim and Tiff were able to swing through DC on their way back to London. Tim was my best man in July, but this time he was able to bring his wife and 6-month old daughter, Zoe, with him. It was a tremendously life-giving time; I miss these two (now three!).

McD's, Fungs

ALSO
We attended the wedding of one of Carolyn’s co-workers and Carolyn’s 10-year high school reunion. Oh, and perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, I got sick right around the beginning of October (I think I’ve finally shaken it); and then pulled my hamstring playing flag football this past weekend.

PRAYER REQUESTS
As always, there is much to be thankful for, and much to lift up in prayer:

  • for grace for Carolyn and I as we continue to figure out life together in marriage. When we’ve had our own way with work schedules, rhythms and routines, and communication styles, for a combined 60 years, there’s a lot of room for … teachable moments. (On a positive note, somebody has learned to stop sleeping diagonally, which is definitely something to be thankful for!)
  • for a successful (and still in-process) transition into my new role as teaching pastor. I’m still figuring out what my new rhythms and routines look like.
  • for Matthew in his transition to pastor of the East Side parish. Figuring out how to love and care for dozens of neighborhood kids who show up every Sunday is just one of his challenges/opportunities!
  • for a new communications coordinator for the church. We’re looking to hire someone who’ll take on (and expand) the communications responsibilities that I’ve been taking care of for the past few years.
  • for The District Church. Pray that as we continue to grow, we also continue to steward our resources well and to make disciples who make disciples. We’ve seen tremendous things happening in the last year, but we never want to lose sight of our vision (“To exist for Christ and the renewal of our city”) and mission (“To make disciples who are living out their God-given mission in life”).

Shooting, Seahawks, and Sudan

Happy New Year to you all! This year’s started pretty busy for me, but I’m gonna say at the outset that I intend to write a little more this year. (Note the use of words that set the bar incredibly low: “intend” and “a little”. ☺)

Anyway, this weekend was a very eventful one, full of emotion and occasion. On Saturday morning, there was the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, AZ. On Saturday afternoon, my Seattle Seahawks (the biggest home underdogs in playoff history) defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in a shoot out. And yesterday, the country of Sudan went to vote on a supremely important and momentous referendum, one which will decide the future of the country and impact the prospects of peace in a region that has seen decades of civil war and countless lives lost.

My bundling of those three may seem a little trite, a little impolitic perhaps. But they’re the three events that highlighted my weekend and while they are from different spheres, in different places, involving different hopes and dreams and fears and emotions, they all took place in the one world we inhabit, amidst the one humanity that we are all part of, broken and redeemed, shattered and saved. And somehow, one God reigns over all.

I could write a lot on each topic. But many words have already been spoken and written, almost all more articulate and eloquent and thorough than I could produce. So instead I’ll point you to some of those better thoughts:

First, Jim Wallis writes on the shooting in Arizona:

In the midst of tragedy and violence, I believe this means every Christian must ask themselves: “How am I responsible?”

Second, this 67-yard run by Marshawn Lynch that put the game away is the greatest rumble I’ve ever seen in six years of following professional football. You can see highlights of the tremendous upset (that had me as excited as a kid in a candy shop—possibly more, actually) here.

And third, here’s a good concise summary blog from Sojourners on the elections in Sudan. Please be praying.

Felix Hernandez = Mariner

… for five more years! 🙂

Here are Felix and Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik (otherwise known as GMZ or “The GM with the Golden Touch”) at a press conference yesterday:


(Photo: Geoff Baker/Seattle Times)

Roll on, April.