My July time off included a week of professional vacation, during which I built the church a new website. That work is a little creative and a lot technical, and it takes me to an odd corner of my brain and history.
My college advisor (and favorite professor) assigned two of his students a research project to be presented in the form of a website. This was back when we had to code them ourselves. He thought it was an important tool for us to have; I thought it was a useless and oddly technical assignment from a political scientist. I built a site on the history of US political cartoons and thought that was my last website.
When I went into management consulting, the firm needed someone to maintain our websites. As I was the only person who'd ever built one, it became my job. Then I redesigned their sites. Then it became my specialty. I paid a lot of bills in seminary by continuing to build online industry surveys after class for the firm. Even though web software had improved, they still needed someone who could do old school coding.
Church websites are expensive to have built and tricky to keep up to date. When I arrived, Jim Hartley suggested I reconsider our site, long before he knew my skillset. In July, I finally put a year's worth of reconsidering into action. I hope you enjoy, use, and share the results. I hope it paints a good online picture of who we are as a church.
I can't help thinking of that college professor who had the foresight to give me that assignment. Alongside Jesus, John Wesley, and my parents, I count him as one of my life's five greatest teachers. He showed me how to teach. He taught me how to think. He didn't always think the church was the best career option for me, and yet the work he did with me, in class and in his office, was excellent preparation for my graduate work and ministry in the world with all God's children.
At this time of back-to-school, let us pray that God continues to put the right teachers in our lives, and that we will be open to the lessons they may teach us -- even if we don't always understand the purpose of the assignments.