Monthly Archives: January 2010

Uncharted Waters

Well it’s done.  It’s official.  After nearly ten years working at Spring Arbor University, I have officially tendered my resignation.  Effective March 1, I will be the new Executive Director of Communication for the Free Methodist Church world-wide.  I’ll be leading strategy and implementation of communication.  I’m very excited.  Here’s the message I sent to co-workers at SAU moments ago:

Some of you may have gotten word that I’ve accepted a new position and have resigned my position at Spring Arbor University.  I wanted to share with you a few details regarding this major transition for myself and family.

A few months ago I was invited to candidate for the position of Executive Director of Communication for the Free Methodist Church.  It wasn’t something I was looking for.  But over the course of several interviews, much prayer and wise counsel, I’ve concluded that this is the next step for me.  I’ve always been interested in leadership and vision coupled with innovation.  This is a tremendous opportunity to help build the Kingdom on a global scale.

It’s important to underscore my love for Spring Arbor University and all it has done for me and my family.  We’ve grown and been nurtured through almost ten years.  (Dang it, I’m not going to get my 10 year pin!).  This community is important.  Important enough for me to accept this new position without relocating to Indianapolis.  I will be doing some traveling and commuting.  However, our family will stay anchored here in Spring Arbor.  Micki will continue to teach at Warner Elementary.  Grace will still attend Western Middle School.  I’ll still be popping my head over at the DC for lunch and coffee at Sacred Grounds.

My last day is officially February 19.  Jeff Edwards, VP/CIO for Technology Services and Randy Meredith, Director of Academic Technology, will be working with HR to begin the search process for a replacement.  We’re hoping to not miss too many beats in our services to faculty and ultimately students.  Working for Randy Meredith in OAT has been the best job I’ve ever had and the best supervisor I’ve ever had.  It’s a joy to come to work every day.  I’m hoping I can take these great examples of leadership into my new role to lead by serving.

I want to thank so many of you for helping me grow these past years.  Also thanks for the opportunity to serve so many of you.  It has been a privilege.

I’m extremely excited to adventure into the unknown.  I don’t know the team.  I don’t know the challenges.  I’ve never led a team this large for this size task.  What I do know is that I know for sure the Holy Spirit is calling me to this.  Someone once said years ago this tasty little morsel, “Where the Lord guides, He provides.”  I’m inclined to agree.  More to come, I’m sure.  I just wanted to post this to share in our excitement.

Christmas 2009


Originally uploaded by Jason Archer

I’m putting the finishing touches on a “New Years Letter” while updating our Web site and putting together a picture book that encapsulates the year and I figured I’d do a quick update on the past two weeks. Why? It’s Christmas and they were two really good weeks.

We started break by Micki and Grace enjoying doing some Christmas break prep while I worked. They did some shopping and mailing of presents while getting some things decorated. We did minimal setup in the house because we were basically running on fumes to get to break. Micki got her thesis paper back and got a 99%. She finished her M.A. in Education with a 4.0.

I think the Christmas eve services was a great event for us. We went to a traditional candlelight service and dinner with the Clevengers. It was perfect for me to get focused. We also decided to gear down Christmas with minimal gifts and begin the process of giving more than receiving by finding some great places to give. We did that the Wednesday. Grace made an ornament putting the names of the people we supported. Very meaningful.

Christmas day was very mellow. We woke up late and had a relaxing morning. Micki made our traditional cherry cheese kuchen.  Mom’s recipe.  We opened gifts, made Christmas phone calls, and prepared to get together with the Page family. I had tried to coordinate a big trip. Micki had asked that we don’t do anything but chill. So we did. And I am so glad. We had no plans, but wound up having tons of plans with friends. Christmas eve was with Clevengers. Christmas night we spent time with the extended Page family and play family games. It was awesome. We got home late Christmas night.

The weekend was spent on bleachers as Grace had a basketball tournament. Two games on Saturday and two on Sunday. Their team won the tournament, so it was pretty fun to see. Grace did a great job. She’s gaining some confidence and becoming one of the stronger players on the team.

The rest of the week we did some really fun stuff. One day we did pajama day. I borrowed a video projector from work and we watched three movies all day in the basement in our jammies. One day we did Christmas with the Durochers. We had lots of time where we were just hanging out. Doing some reading. Relaxing. Some naps. New years eve we tried to have a party with no kids. We wound up having dinner with John and Lissa in Battle Creek and heading home to hang out. John and Lissa left and Joel and Janette came over to hang until midnight.

We finished off break with a family fun day. Headed to Lansing to do some after Christmas shopping. Taking back some stuff. Eating out. And catching a movie. We wound up seeing “The Princess and the Frog”. After leaving the theater, we looked and saw “Invictus” was playing in 45 minutes. We decided to be spontaneous and do a double feature. We refilled out popcorn and headed back in. It was awesome. Both movies were good. We then had the Chilcote’s over to watch “Pirates of the Caribbean 2″ last night. Worship today. Now we’re gearing up for the week. Laundry done. Clothes laid out. Lunches made. Dinner in oven. Maybe family hot tub tonight. Short weeks ahead for the next two weeks.

As I look back, I’m really thankful for friends, great jobs that afford us to unplug, and time to relax. We needed it after this fall. The exciting part is that I’m not teaching tomorrow night, not teaching at the church and Micki is done with her coursework. All in all, we’re excited about the winter and spring and all 2010 has for us.  |  Christmas 2009 Photoset