It's been over a week since I've last blogged, and honestly I've been bogged down a bit. On Saturdays I am teaching a class from 8 a.m. - noon in Federal Way. It is part of the Life Pacific College degree completion program. I am teaching Biblical Interpretation and have a great group of students.
Additionally, we have been working hard at the church with Christmas events including Cup of Christmas Cheer (our children's musical), a jazz concert, weekend services and our usual holiday busyness. This has all been going really well -- we have seen excellent attendance, changed lives and new families getting connected here.
The rough part of the past week has been working on the 2009 budget and the necessary reductions we are having to make in the light of our economic realities. We want to be proactive and realistic about what can do, and we realize we must make some adjustments.
"Adjustments" and "necessary reductions" are soft ways of saying we have had to let some people go (lay some people off). In the business world this might be simple math. In the Church I cannot see it that way. It has to do with family, friends and people who are called by God. How do you do that? For me, it has been done after sleepless nights of prayer, a lot of emotion, deep empathy and great difficulty. My assurance comes in knowing that God is bigger than this church and He will take care of these people. At the same time, I continue to struggle with feelings of responsibility and sorrow. As I look forward I must keep those relationships strong, trust in God, walk humbly, and remember our mission.