Friday, July 31, 2009

Never Ending Story

It has been made abundantly clear to me that


Let me explain. Most priests do not stay in a cure for a very long time (until, generally, the end of their careers). It's been said that a good stay is 7-10 years. After that, you run the risk of running the church off track because all of your bad habits have become institutionalized traditions or you end up doing everything yourself because "nobody else in this place can do it right." Either way, it's a good thing to not stay in one place for very long. I get that. I'm okay with that.

But really . . . I am never going to leave here. And here's why.

Since being a priest, I have been asked to participate in the search process of two other parishes (obviously not including this one). One came about two years after arriving here to a very wealthy, very large, very active, very attractive parish in another Northwest locale that also just happened to be famous as a ski resort. Two years out of seminary, serving two congregations with a total ASA of probably 20 at that point . . . Yeah . . . I realistically wasn't even going to get out of the first round of questioning. I respectfully declined.

And recently I was asked to participate in the search process for a church in another Mountain State. It had possibilities and there were some issues I found intriguing to deal with. When I talked with the Deployment Officer, I asked, "Why me?" The answer was that they were looking for someone who was comfortable in a small town. After ROFLMAO . . . seriously . . . because that "small town" has a population a little more than TEN TIMES the amount of people who live here (heck, they even have at least two stoplights on main street) . . . I informed the D.O. that I chose not to participate in the search process because, "I wasn't finished here."

In fact, I'm never going to be finished here. Three years ago, we put a new roof on CC. We just finished the paint job. The place needs new carpet. It needs decent handicap access. The vicarage needs new siding. The church foundation needs to be redone. And the stained glass windows need major work.

Over at St. P's, we just painted the interior, refinished the floors and laid new carpet. It needs a new roof. It needs to be handicap accessible. There are floors and walls that still need refinishing and painting. And the stained glass windows need work.

Which brings me to the stained glass windows. I finally got a bid to recover the windows at St. P's for around $6,000. I was going to present this to the vestry at our next meeting. And then, out of the blue, I got a call yesterday from a stained glass restoration dude who fell in love with our windows and wants to give us a bid for restoring and protecting them. I'm guessing that that work will be in the neighborhood of $25,000 for St. P's and maybe $15,000 for CC.

Nope . . . I'm never leaving here; there's just too much to do.

It's a good thing I really do love it here.


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