Looking forward into 2018 I am hopeful. I am trying to make some changes that can make the upcoming year productive and enjoyable. Much like a prospectus informs potential investors of enterprise so they can be informed of what to expect as they invest in it, this prospectus is for the investment of my time, talents, and financial resources to try to accomplish my personal, creative and professional goals going into 2018.
- One of my strongest talents is my ability to teach, particularly adults, and I have invested a lot of time over the last several years in topics I have found rich and rewarding: whether looking at some of the Biblical Studies I have done or work on developing as a person and a leader. I will develop at least two opportunities to share this work (one will be on the book of Exodus which I finished last year) with those who are interested.
- I believe that one of the roles church can play in our society is as a place where deep meaning making conversations can be had and dialogue can be modeled. Starting this spring, I plan to do a monthly conversation around issues either in the congregation or in the community. This January I am doing an Interfaith dialogue with Muslim and Jewish faith leaders on issues of sexual harassment and assault after the #metoo movement and how places of faith can be supportive to victims.
- I am a good leader and pastor, but I also feel it would be beneficial to have an outside person to consult with as a coach who can challenge and affirm me in my ministry. I am not sure whether this will be someone through the ELCA coaching network or through the Daring Way methodology, but I do think this would be an asset for my growth in the coming year.
- I am involved in a lot of different functions as a leader: in my congregation, in my conference and synod, and as the leader for Frisco’s Interfaith community and I realize I need to spread out some the responsibility for these groups. Interfaith is already forming a leadership team so that everything does not fall on my shoulders, but I also plan to be intentional in these other areas in asking other leaders to be responsible for planning and leading parts of what I have done on my own in the past.
- My final professional goal has to do with communicating expectations for both my staff, my congregation, and then holding them to those expectations. I found myself dealing with minute details and repetitive tasks that should have been other’s responsibilities last year and rather than let something fail I would shoulder additional responsibility to make things work. I think that my role this year needs to take a step back and work on communicating expectations rather than stepping in to tasks that others are equipped and responsible for doing.
- My schedule has been erratic this year for various reasons, but my desire is to get back into a rhythm where I can spend some time with poetry and other creative writing. Part of my solution for this is a weekly prompt which may come from one of the several online prompts of some of the ideas I wrote down while considering this year like: The four horsemen of the apocalypse (4 prompts based on the characters inspired by the book of Revelation and 4 on Gottman’s 4 horsemen of the apocalypse in relationships), the seven forbidden words (the words supposedly not to be used in the EPA), and then the 7 deadly sins. Also, some of my best poetry has been inspired by other great poems (like To Catch an Albatross which owes its genesis to the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge) so to take something like Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ and see what ideas come in response.
- The one things I have kept reliable is my (almost) weekly reflection on a passage from scripture and I will continue this. Currently I am on Psalm 33 and will go through Psalm 41 (which ends book one of the Psalter) before starting a new book. Not sure which book will be next, I will pick after I complete Psalm 35.
- Reading: Oh, there is so much I would love to read and so little time. I am satisfied with the amount I read and what I read. I would love to find another graphic novel series that could serve, like Sandman did in 2017, as a nice break between longer books at home but I have a lot on my shelves awaiting my attention. I would probably benefit from either introducing more poetry, either through books or through a periodical, into my reading cycle.
- I enjoyed having an online learning process like the Wisdom of Story and Daring Greatly done through Brené Brown’s Courageworks website (now brought under brenebrown.com) and as I’ve looked at options for this year I think Brave Leaders, Inc. may be my next distant learning opportunity/certification.
- Physically I have set myself the goal of getting down to 202 lbs., which is a drop of 5 lbs. over the year. This shouldn’t be too difficult, and I know what modifications I need to make to accomplish and maintain this goal. I also have set the goal of running 500 miles over the year (which is approximately 10 miles a week).
- Pairing with this first goal I will need to take care of my body by doing things like replacing shoes more frequently, controlling my diet more (one of the struggles as a pastor is the number of times when food is involved in gatherings and the temptation to eat in a way that is unhealthy), and continuing to build my core and leg strength to help prevent injuries.
- I have enjoyed my garden the past two years and one of my goals is to add a second bed to expand my garden for this year.
- I know that resources are limited, for the beginning of the year especially, so I will need to be selective in which events I go to. But I know that musicals and concerts are very important to both myself and Carissa and are things that feed both of our souls.
- I need to schedule some of my breaks early. In the past two years I have let everyone else’s schedule dictate the times I could take vacations. Ultimately I need to take advantage of the time I have been given for rest and renewal so that I can be creative professionally and enjoy the time that I have with family.