Time for a Time Change

Been catching up on some journaling this am. It strikes me that this month has been like drinking out of a fire hose. Events coming at me, fast and furious…
— The Judge starting her law school teaching
— Mary Clair’s resignation
— George and Jack’s wedding
— Maria getting her license
— Our niece coming to live with us (hadn’t mentioned that one, had I?)
— The election
— Charles D’s death and memorial service
— Connections show
— The Divine Miss M getting ready for cheer tryouts
— Dennise’s Mom continuing to decline in health

It’s just been non-stop. Any one of these could make for a busy month. They all happened in the past month.

Saturday, The Divine Miss M, me, and another youth from our church, will be heading to Guatemala for a Spring Break mission. I am really happy to be headed back there for the first time in….well, way too long…
I am very happy that two of our high school kids are going with us.

antiguashot-juliakuhn

Mission has always been a part of what renews my passion for ministry. But the realities of sitting in the “senior pastor chair” are way different than the realities of the “mission pastor chair” where I used to sit years ago. It used to be my whole job to do mission, and there were years when I spent perhaps a quarter of the weeks out of country.

Now, it’s just a part of the whole…and it’s often much tougher to me, personally, to get away. Much easier to get caught up in the non-stop fire hose.

I pray for a week of deep connection with Joanna Dwyer, the ODIM Mission we sponsor there, and the people of Guatemala, my daughter and G H-M,…and, hopefully, for the chance to re-set my own clock a little bit.

Dear God: Time change Sunday is this Sunday. Change my own view of time, reset my clock, and let me find a normal pace again….

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

2 thoughts on “Time for a Time Change

  1. Eric,

    Long ago, you and your wife made conscious decisions to pursue career paths that are dedicated to being in service to others. As a consequence of those choices, you have each found yourselves doing extraordinary things–in the humblest of ways–while simultaneously attending to the issues and challenges that face all of us at various times in our lives. Yet, I frequently find myself in awe of the many commitments and sacrifices that the two of you–and the rest of your family–make on behalf of so many in need.

    I am glad that you took the time to enumerate the many personal and professional challenges with which you are each having to cope on a daily basis. Offering the rest of us a peak inside the reality that is your life together provides a much needed context and I truly thank you for your candor and willingness to share.

    In a recent session of the J3 Sunday school class we discussed what it means to live a life of compassion. We were reminded that our lives are meant to be centered around giving to others; that to give of ourselves is an both act of dying AND resurrection! However, we should also recognize that our own lives have intrinsic value as well. God does not expect any of us to give to the point that nothing remains of ourselves!

    Please know that there are many people around you and your family who love, respect and admire your pastoral gifts of service. So, allow us utilize our gifts whenever and wherever possible to lighten the weight that all too often falls quietly upon your family’s shoulders. While your line of work will always include helping others put out the “fires” in their lives, you should rest assured that your “family” at Northaven is always at the ready when you need the firehose!

    May you and yours have safe travels and return with the peace and solace that you are seeking!

    With my respect and admiration,

    Jonathon Cole-Morrison

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