Changes and The End... For Now
The fruit of our discernment are some pretty hefty changes: I have resigned as pastor of Olympic View Friends Church, effective June 30. In September I will begin a Ph. D. in Theology from the University of Birmingham Woodbrooke Quaker Studies Center (UK). My studies will be part-time, what the UB calls "split-location," meaning most of my research will be done from good 'ol Washington State while spending 6mos - 12mos in residency at the University over the course of the 6 years my research will likely take.
I am really excited about my upcoming studies, not just for the sake of doing more schooling alone - but because of the importance of my research matter. For several years I have felt that John Woolman has so much to offer the Church today. In seminary I wrote several papers on Woolman, I explored his impact and became impacted myself. I was within a hairs breath of applying to UB when I decided God was leading me in the direction of pastoral ministry. Over my past three years in pastoral ministry at Olympic View FC my interest in Woolman has solidified and matured in a way that it became clear now is the time to do this research. And that is what I am doing!
Specifically, my research will look at Woolman's theology. What spiritual resources were a part of Woolman's ethical decision making? How did Woolman come to the stance against slavery that he did, even when it meant going against the popular opinion of his own day? How did his Quaker heritage provide a foundation for his abolitionist theology? These questions and others are important to the way the Church today integrates social justice and theology, and the way the Church resists cultural assimilation.
Now, about this blog... Originally I created this blog to be a non-threatening discussion board for people in the Tacoma community. It turned into a forum for unprogrammed and semi-programmed and programmed Friends to interact, share perspectives, and learn from one another. I am keenly interested in facilitating this kind of discussion because, for one, it speaks to the integrity with which Friends can be called peacemakers. I hope that my studies at UB will keep this bridge-building work squarely in front of me as I interact with Friends from all over the globe. However, for me, this blog's importance has come to an end. I won't delete it as so many people have made valuable contributions that are worth re-reading. However, I will not be posting any longer and in the meantime will be contemplating if blogging is a valuable thing for me to do, and if so, what form it should take.
So, this is The End... For Now.