“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3
I’m reading a book called “Leaving Church”. It’s a personal memoir about Barbara Brown Taylor’s experience of giving up the priesthood.
Though I didn’t realize the serendipity at the time, I bought the book with a gift certificate I’d gotten when I ended my tenure as an elder at our church. (No – in case any GNFers are getting worried – I’m not “leaving church”, I’m just stepping away from leadership.)
For everything there is a season. It’s time for me to step away and enter other seasons. Not only am I not an elder anymore (the highly skilled Krista is picking up the mantle), I’ve also given up doing announcements and welcomes. Basically, I’m stepping out of any leadership or public persona role and slipping into an “anonymous churchgoer” role. And that’s the way I want it for now.
It feels like a time for other things. I need a season for focusing on my writing a little more. Maybe a season for taking some art courses – pottery, painting, photography – I’m not sure what yet. Mostly, I’m hoping it will be a season for creativity. And maybe a little rest.
I’m not sure what other changes the coming year will bring. When I started this job, I’d told myself I would give it at least 5 years. After that, Marcel would be finished university and I might be able to consider other options. This is my fifth year. Marcel doesn’t have a full-time job yet, but he makes a pretty decent living as a substitute teacher.
I still love my job, and honestly? I could see myself quite happily spending another 5 years here if it came to that. I’m in no rush to leave. But I’m also ready to open myself up to new possibilities. I’ve done a lot of really amazing things in the 4+ years I’ve been here, and I’m pretty confident I’ve left a positive mark on the organization, so I could walk away if it felt right to do so.
At this point, though, I’m in no rush to move into anything new. I’m going to enjoy the summer, sign up for a class or two in the fall, and maybe find a little more time and space for some writing. And in the meantime, I’m going to say “no” to almost anything anyone asks me to do for church.