1st Anniversary

Monday, June 1, 2009

A year ago today I woke up for the first time as the youth pastor at Lakeview Heights Baptist church. It’s been a wonderful year.

Waking up that morning I had no idea what the year would hold. It wasn’t that many days previous that I woke up with nothing more on my agenda than catching some waves while my wife went to work.

That morning I knew only two things: church started at 10 and that afternoon there was a church picnic where we would be formally welcomed.

Getting ready that morning was odd. I didn’t bring my full wardrobe with me. Much of our clothes and things were packed away. We though we’d bring them up once we found a more permanent residence. We had a place to stay for a couple months and hoped we would have a house by the time those months were over.

I combed though the few shirts in the closet wondering what I should wear for my first day “on the job.” Now I don’t even remember. I’m sure no one else does other, but at the time it seemed a life changing decision. I thought fortunately Sheena is here to help with the decision, “Sheena which one?” That’s not her preferred way to be woken up. It’s a common alarm sound though.

“I don’t care. They all look fine.”

One of those statements is a lie. Do you care to guess which one?

Maybe they both are. Truthfully, she only cares if I pick the wrong one, and each shirt does look fine on the hanger. However, once a “fine” shirt is paired with a bottom it’s “fine level” can plummet. It may remain fine, or it may become a bad choice. On rare occasions the “fine level” of a shirt rises to the level of “excellent choice.” Usually if it does manage to rise it peaks out at “good.” (For a comprehensive understanding of a shirt’s “Fine Level” see the appendix above and to the right.)

Once ready we were off to the church. We walked through the church doors and were lovingly greeted by a sweet older lady: “Who do you belong to?”


How do you answer that?

Hands down the weirdest greeting of my life. Weirder than “What did you hit your head on?”

While I was in my head exploring the theological (Jesus paid the price for me), grammatical (shouldn’t it be “To whom do you belong”?), and social justice (sadly there are still slaves today) implications of her greeting Sheena was explaining that I was the new youth pastor reporting for duty.

Okay, she didn’t use the words “reporting for duty,” but how cool would it have been if she did?

As soon as Sheena explained that our reason for being at the church went beyond praising God with fellow believers, we were quickly introduced by our new friend to all her friends who gave her a look that said: “we know who these people are. It was only a month ago that we voted to hire him.”

A lot happened in that month. We quit our jobs, packed up our house changed our cell phone number, and said many “see-you-laters.” And we tried to pack in as much “Island Living” as possible while still doing the previously mentioned duties.

It’s been an unbelievable year. I thought I should take the time to run through some of the non-ministry highlights of the year. Perhaps later I’ll run through the ministry highlights.

- We moved to a new town

- I began working at a new church

- We lived in four different homes in our first four months

- Sheena began working at a new hospital in a new health authority

- We found out we were expecting

- We bought a house

- I turned 30

- One nephew and two nieces were born

- Our car was totalled

- We became parents

- We bought a new car

- We’ve had many guests help turn our house into a home

- I got a class four learners license

It may seem like a short list but each one carries major weight. Perhaps that’s why I woke up sore this morning. My wife says it’s because of point number seven. I say it’s been a busy year.

I suppose that it’s uber fitting that tonight I spend our one-year anniversary with the youth group. It’s been a joy getting to know them, a pleasure to open my life to them, and an honour to minister with them.