Fr. Joel has a new job title at church now. He has exchanged Associate Pastor for Priest-In-Residence. We're very excited about this new change because it is a recognition of his priestly mission as something different from the other priests at our church. We've long suspected this but were only recently able to put a finger on the differences.
As God grows the vision of our family we know that He has something planned in all this with the family as the center of our ministry. The seeds of a family performance have been growing in our minds and we've been very focused on the idea of couple to couple ministry as well. Our hearts have been intertwined together like kids newly in love. We hate the idea of being separated in our days and we work more and more as a well-oiled team. It has seemed unnatural as of late when Joel has been called away for church business when there is so much of his heart in the family business.
So what is a priest to do? Deny his priestly call? No...we are certain of his call to the ordained priesthood and we are just as certain that his priestly gifts do not lie in the rectorship of a parish at this point. Even providing counsel to the rector has been frustrating as his vision and heart just aren't in the running of a parish. So the answer for now is to cut him loose from those responsibilities. He is no longer a member of the rector's council, no longer expected to be at every event, no longer on the altar for every mass. Rather than Associate Pastor, he is Priest In Residence - a priest who happens to take up residence at the Church of Reconciliation. Instead of being at the rector's right hand, he is now free to be standing with his family through everything God calls us to do. It feels like a big change, a good change, an exciting change...I am so proud of my husband and so pleased that we have the freedom to stand side by side and do what we do best - parent this crazy family together and serve as witnesses to the glory of God's kingdom in the process.