I have 5 sermons left to preach. In 7 weeks I will no longer be Rev. HipChick, at least not officially in the UMC.
For the past 8 years my life has been consumed by becoming and being a pastor in the UMC. I'm leaving my churches not because they want me to leave but because my eldest daughter was being bullied at school by a teacher. We spoke with the teacher, the principle, the superintendent, and the school board. Our daughter was not alone, there were others. But the school board chose to keep the teacher. We have chosen to put our children first and leave northwest Missouri.
Thankfully, we are leaving to go home to Manitou Springs, CO. Thankfully we have a wonderful place to go and to be near our families. Others are stuck here to figure out how to protect their kids.
In some ways it might be easier if I had screwed up. If I had been kicked out of my churches for something I'd done wrong. But I'm leaving and starting all over because that's what our children need and deserve.
But I'd be lying if I didn't say I was a bit scared, that it didn't feel as though all I've worked for has shattered.
I know better. I know this is a fresh start. It's exciting and scary all at once. On one hand I'm thrilled to be returning to Colorado. It's not exactly a bastion of progressiveness (we're not moving to Boulder after all) but compared to NW Missouri, what a breath of fresh air--literally and figuratively!
To return to the mountains, family, and old friends, that is wonderful. The possibility of starting my own church of outcasts, rebels, and undesirables--that's good and scary stuff.
Discerning whether or not to stay in the UMC after a crazy General Conference--not so fun. Life is messy and chaotic and beautiful all at once.
Changes are coming soon, ready or not.