Thursday, 10 December 2009

Christmas 2001

Dear Friends:

This is a sort of thank you note for your Christmas card… Thanks for keeping in touch with us, it is good to catch up with so many friends. Christmas sort of sneaked up on us this year and thus this thank you card instead of an on-time Christmas card. We're picking one card a day and responding to it with this generic letter--well, at least we're addressing the envelope personally. ;-)

We are still happily ensconced at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana and continue to live in our little cottage small enough to clean on the way out the door. We're both fine and have had a good 2001 for which we thank God with grateful hearts. If you don't care for these kinds of self-absorbed letters then this is the end of the note. However if you actually do wonder what we've been up to, the rest of this note is for you.

Sharon still heads up the "Student Services Department" at Indiana Wesleyan--that is sort of a registrar's office for IWU's adult education program. She supervises about 25+ people so she's got plenty to do. In her "spare" time she started work on a Ph.D. in Leadership last summer at Regent University. This is a research degree so beyond her full time job she gives an additional 20-25 hours a week to studying and writing, along with teaching an undergraduate leadership course at IWU as a bonus. This explains why you are getting this late and Keith is doing it. However, Sharon enjoyed this past year seeing our grandchild Max, and going on vacation to Vancouver Island last summer with our friends.

Keith (the one writing this) continues to teach practical "applied ministry" courses in the IWU Religion department including leadership, CE, youth, preaching, and the new freshman course introducing pastoral ministry (along with a Backpacking course for the PE department). I feel I've experienced "convergence" in my life's calling as if everything I ever did before this prepared me just for this. I take no speaking engagements anywhere off campus and pile up all my eggs in one basket--The basket includes my students, and many are the children of the youth workers I used to work with when I was in the youth department.

Having a school schedule has enabled me to continues my outdoor adventures with students. I got to backpack more than 500 miles this year on Indiana's Knobstone Trail, on the Appalachian Trail again this Christmas Break (Smokey Mountains), and I had a wonderful time in August on a month-long trek across the Rocky Mountains' "Colorado Trail" while Sharon was at Regent in her residency. Several students and Burt Webb (a biology professor at IWU) went along on the Colorado trip. Burt talked me into doing the Indianapolis Marathon this fall. Having completed it (not very fast, though!) I did another one a month later, and think I'm going to keep doing them for a while. I'm thinking of a new slogan for life in the late 50's: "I may be slow, but I finish."

My mother is in a nearby nursing home and weighs in the 70's but is pretty chipper in attitude still. Our sons: David (with his wife, Kathy and our grandson, Max) is a pastor in Illinois and John is now a student at Princeton seminary. (John will marry Mandy Hontz this June 8). "The guys" (Keith, Dave, John) spent a week in Scotland together last May--sort of a bloodless hunting trip, something they do every other year.

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