Tag Archives: retirement

Hiking during staff meeting

Staff meetings at Richmond’s First Baptist Church take place at 9:30 Tuesday mornings. Never having been a big fan of them, I decided the best way to spend my first Tuesday morning of retirement was by taking a long hike. So this morning, rather than sitting at a big table in a windowless room, I enjoyed the scenery along the James River.

James RiverAs I began my hike, I prayed thanksgiving to God for His immeasurable blessings: for the beautiful world He created, for good health to be able to enjoy this morning’s activity, for the extraordinary 46 years I’d been able to ply my trade in broadcasting and communication, the 33+ years I was able to serve in His church… the last 20 of them at FBC Richmond, and for the promise and challenges that are ahead as we launch Belltower Pictures and produce our first feature film.

Then I began to think about my friends and former colleagues sitting around the staff meeting table at that very hour. And the feeling that swept through my mind was not at all what I expected.

I had eagerly anticipated this moment: a Tuesday morning when I would be out in God’s creation, breathing the fresh air, and grinning with relief because I wasn’t sitting in a meeting. But the emotion I felt instead was deep gratitude for those folks with whom I’d shared so much of my life for the last 20 years. And just a touch of sadness that I would no longer be a part of that family.

If I could have immediately transported from the trail to the conference room, I would have done so… but just for a moment. Long enough to encourage my dear friends to cherish every minute of their time at that table. Because those precious times cannot be re-lived.

As I returned my focus to the trail and my long-anticipated hike, I once again gave thanks to God for the opportunities He’d provided me in the past. My pace quickened as I thought about all that is to come… a new chapter and an exciting new adventure.

And I thought of what Dr. Seuss once said…

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

No rocking chair for me

It is official.

Lord willing, I will retire on September 1, 2013… the same day I celebrate my 20th anniversary on the staff of Richmond’s First Baptist Church.

This congregation has been so good to me and my family for all these years. I wanted to return the blessing and help make this transition in the Communication Ministry as easy as possible. That’s why I gave notice at this early date: to allow plenty of time for consideration of the options for the future of this ministry.

To say it has been challenging and fulfilling would only scratch the surface. It will take me all of the next year to find the appropriate words to express my feelings:

  • to God for the opportunity to have some small part of His mission on earth by using my time, talent and energy for more than 30 years;
  • to Jim Flamming for bringing me into this remarkable staff family at FBC;
  • to Jim Somerville for keeping me on after he became Pastor and allowing me to serve as Associate Pastor for Communication;
  • to the crew and team members who have served so faithfully and effectively over the years;
  • and to this loving, generous, energetic, and compassionate congregation for paying me to do what I love to do, for providing all the tools we’ve needed to carry out an effective Communication Ministry, and for taking such good care of me and my family.

I don’t plan to rust out over the coming year… I intend to flame out. We have so much to do.

I hope we will be able to produce The Prodigal Project before I leave. And if we don’t, I’ll continue to work on it as a volunteer, post-retirement.

Over the coming months I will continue to give full attention to our ongoing ministries including the TV program and webcasts, the website, the WebClass, First Things First, and the KOH2RVA stories.

I am optimistic and excited about the future of Richmond’s First Baptist Church and the Communication Ministry. The best days are still ahead.

What will I do in retirement? Well, God willing, I won’t spend my time in a rocking chair in a dark room. I plan to continue, on a freelance and part-time basis, using the medium of video to tell compelling stories.

I’m looking forward to it.