Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Incog-negro

I'm sorry for going incog-negro during the last week and a half. I'm settling into a new job and apartment. Being terrible at moves and still worse at staying on top of correspondence, I probably haven't let many know that I'm now living in Jersey City, NJ and working at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan as one of the Fellowship group directors. Also, truth be told, I haven't wanted to sound pompous or anything, and I don't like being celebrated. It's painful....really. I don't know why but it is. It may seem weird to us on this side of the pond but I much prefer simple expressions of gratitude to God on my behalf (like the British) than the wild applause and clamor characteristic of we Americans at announcements and the like.

In any case, I am excited about this new chapter in my story. Existentially speaking, it feels right. Over the last few years, my ministerial vision and self-understanding has grown and developed such that I see myself as very suited for diverse global city ministry. Big, globalized, culturally diverse contexts just seem to bring something out of me emotionally, psychologically, and in other ways that other contexts simply don't. Being somewhat oriented toward contemplation and reflection, this surprises me a bit. Additionally, among many other things, you get more bang for your ministerial buck by serving the world's cultural centers. Your salt and light influence is potentially magnified exponentially. Why would I serve in Wheaton, Colorado Springs, or Orlando when I have New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, global cities all which affect world trends, etc.? I know...I know...Jesus is extending His Kingdom everywhere and those smaller places, as much as christendom has developed up around them et al, need the announcement of the good news still more. More city talk anon.

6 comments:

Justin Dombrowski said...

Mark, I don't get it, why is St. Benedict holding heros and hamburger buns?

Greg said...

Mark, I totally relate to the aversion to congratulatory hubbub - I really just don't know how to receive it, ya know. Mostly because I feel it is somehow misplaced. That being said - congrats! ;-) And praise the Lord.

Kyle said...

Hey Mark, just re-found your blog. I can see the appeal and the kingdom-strategy of working in NYC, but you have to understand how terrible it sounds to a Texan to live in a place called "Jersey City, New Jersy." I'm sure it is not too bad.

Justin Dombrowski said...

Well, at least it's not Kansas City, Missouri, right?

Melissa said...

Well, I want to say congratulations, just the same. :-) I look forward to hearing more about it.

I also want to say howdy to Kyle, fellow Texan. I grew up in Houston - currently living in El Paso. When the military is done with us, we plan to settle in central TX (Lord willing, of course).

Stafford said...

Great to know about your new position at RPC in NYC, Mark. may God bless you in your new arena of ministry...and thanks for your endorsement of the Brits' predilection for understatement! Keep us updated on your experience in NYC, and don't becaome too parochial, if you know what I mean...there is a world beyond the Hudson River and another world to the East. Remember that the majority of the world's population do not live in NYC, altho much of what is done and dreamt up there affects the rest of us.