Well, that was a quick month. Lots of changes, lots of decisions to be made, and lots of fun! Here are the highlights as I remember them.
We had a Reach Them to Teach Them Board Meeting on June 11th. Things are progressing pretty well. We certainly have a lot more structure and organization to our meetings. Part of me really misses the old days of just sharing ideas and thinking about "What if..." Our team is strong and I'm encouraged every time I head into a meeting to see that they have come back.
Sam and Addie attended Vacation Bible School with Natalie, Lauren, and Bennett at First Baptist Concord. It was quite a production and the kids had a blast. I enjoyed seeing Dr. Wilson and several old friends I hadn't seen in a while. Part of me got a little nostalgic for "traditional" Baptist Church, and another part of me got a little sad. What could happen in our city if the resources that were used to produce VBS were reallocated to be the hands of Jesus to hurting people in our city? Many children made professions of faith and the gospel message was clearly shared with them, so I guess I'm torn. My emotions are similar to how I feel about teaching in suburban schools vs. inner city. Where can I (we) have the greater impact? There is no clear, definitive answer.
I had a great time meeting with my old friend Steve. Not coincidentally our conversation did not center on Reach Them as I had planned, but rather we talked about what it means to truly seek God... not church, not organized religion, but truly, deeply, intimately seek God. I enjoy learning from people who aren't afraid to think for themselves, then research, seek, and discover. That kind of thing fascinates me.
Friday morning at Panera was one of the week's highlights as usual. Suzanne, Sherry, Phil, and Lisa were there and we enjoyed debating the problems of the universe. We had them all solved by 10:30! Whenever I have the opportunity to be with my special group of friends, I am always better for it. Also, it feels so good to laugh.
Chelcie arrived home from Nicaragua on Sunday, and Sunday afternoon we had our small group meeting at Ed's lake house. Chelcie shared her pictures and video from her adventure in Central America and I felt a distinct rip of separation between myself and my baby girl. I wouldn't be surprised if she felt called to teach in a Nicaraguan orphanage someday. She has such a heart for the people there.
Sam was enrolled in Camp Invention the week of June 15-19 at Lotts. He had a great time taking apart a radio and building a "Robot Computer" who would bring my laptop to me whenever I needed it. Tuesday, June 16th, I spoke at Tom's Kiwanis Club and was thrilled to hear that they immediately voted to allocate $500 to Reach Them to Teach Them for 2009.
Tuesday's highlight was meeting my former "roommate" Jane Manning at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Always so good to share time with friends. This time, I had an ulterior motive...I need HELP with ideas for teaching fourth grade! She graciously agreed to lend a hand and cautioned me to set the rules and procedures at the beginning of the year, not "as I go."
Wednesday, June 17. Oh, what a tragic day! The world lost a great man today. Our good friend, Dale Mayo, died unexpectedly at his house. I met with John Dinkens at Panera Bread to share the Reach Them story, then was headed down to Webster's to meet with Angela Gonda when Miles Creasman called to let me know. The rest of the day was a blur. I spent most of the day reflecting on the kind of man Dale was and praying for Gerda, Claire, and Rose. I'm still reeling from the loss.
Thursday morning, I headed to Maryville and by 8:15 I was in Dr. Terry Simpson's office preparing to meet with Maryville City Schools' Director, Stephanie Thompson. Ms. Thompson was completely supportive and agreed to encourage the Maryville City Schools' Staff to attend Reach Them to Teach Them, 2009.
My first tour of my digs was given to me by Laurie Griffin on Thursday. Laurie was a gracious hostess and introduced me to everyone who happened to be there. Every person I met was exceptionally friendly and welcoming. All said they loved teaching there and couldn't imagine teaching at another school. The prospect of all the changes in my near future is still unsettling, but I have no regrets...especially since I have heard nothing from my former principal or asst. principal...Just when you think you matter...you find out you don't. Still stings a little but looking forward to what's ahead.
Friday's highlight was Sam's Camp Invention Presentation and, of course, my Panera breakfast. More later...this one's getting too long! :)