Today is my second official day of work after having quit my office manager job at our church.
I started working at St. John’s in March of 2003, about 4 months after Rob and I ran out of money and energy and moved to Michigan, supposedly for a 6-month sabbatical. The job opened up at a particularly fortuitous time, which is a vague way of saying we were flat broke, subsisting on 10/$1 Ramen and free cable TV. Encouraged by our families (who, at the same time they were affirming our desire to take risks in living faithfully, were no doubt having visions of our teeth falling out as we scraped together enough change to buy a second hand blender for our Ramen), we decided that the office manager job would be a good bridge to a more stable income through our non-profit organization, *culture is not optional.
As no pharmaceutical company has yet patented a form of organizational birth control, we discovered ourselves proud founders of a new organization (World Fare) later that year. We were glad to be changing little corners of the world in such practical ways, but our schedule, especially after Rob returned to school full time, started eating away like a jackhammer at one of our most deeply held values: Sabbath. Our path of discipleship also became less clear as we had fewer discretionary hours for study and work-related travel.
And so, with no sure promise of extra income through *cino or World Fare to replace my church wage, I quit. This is a sad decision on one hand–I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know folks in our faith community, I liked being able to challenge the congregation through various church publications to serve in new ways and I appreciated working with our pastor, who balances his sincere goodness with a righteous anger over injustice.
However, I will also enjoy having my mornings to study and attend morning prayer once a week at a local retreat center. I will enjoy worshipping as a congregant, rather than a staff person (no more “Kirstin, would you mind making copies of this for me real quick?"). And I look forward to seeing how the newest adventure in counterintuition will turn out.