Break out the corn pone and Joel Chandler Harris. Father Anonymous is moving down south.
He and Mother A. have been offered a call, together, at a wonderful congregation located somewhere between the Chesapeake Bay and the Blue Ridge. It's an agricultural community, specializing in horses and wine. Under the synod's guidelines, your humble blogger and his wife had thirty days to accept; it did not take them thirty seconds.
The champagne corks have been popping around the Rental Rectory tonight, at least metaphorically. (In non-metaphorical fact, Mother A. went to a conference meeting while Father A. fed the kid a corn dog. But there was a glass of seltzer involved: both celebratory and digestive.) After a gut-wrenching nine months of unemployment, and a depression-inducing seven call processes of one sort or another, this news is balm in Gilead.
We invite you to join us in offering fervent prayers of thanksgiving.
Now for the hard part: imagining ourselves Down South.
Our Dutch ancestors settled Nieuw Amsterdam. We have long proposed that the Mason-Dixon Line runs through Staten Island, and that people who use the Outerbridge Crossing talk a little funny. (We jest, of course: everybody in Noo Yawk tawks a liddle funny. You got a problem widdat?) But, in all seriousness, we have lived our entire life (except for brief interludes) within a ninety-minute drive of Central Park, depending on traffic. We have served our entire ministry in one synod. Much of our free time, in recent years, has been spent researching and meditating on the history of Lutheranism in New York, a subject about which we know more than many other people, and one which will do us not a whit of good in the foreseeable future.
It is entirely possible that the remainder of our ministry will be carried out in Virginia. It is unlikely that we will ever live in New York City again, and possible that we will never even live in New York State. This exile will take some getting used to.
Not so much for Mother A. though. She was born in New Orleans, raised in Mississippi and Texas. She actually likes grits. And before our Dutch ancestors ever set foot on Manhattan, her Anglo-Sephardic ancestors were settling Jamestown. So she's practically a native.
Not to mention the fact that we fell in love in Virginia, watching a full moon rise over the mountains (and then heading back to the cabin for a Star Trek: Next Generation marathon.)
It is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Father A.'s life. He's already looking forward to his first Stuckey's Pecan Log.