Extended summers and jobs old and new

Bicycle riders

Theo and I on the old bike this summer. More photos

Last Thursday my Francis-inspired paternity leave ended--two weeks paid for by my employer, two weeks or so of vacation time. It was good to have off though I must admit I spent more time corralling two-year old Theo than I did gazing into newborn Francis's eyes. I heartily recommend taking Septembers off. One of my more enjoyable tasks was the almost-daily bicycle rides with Theo. Sometimes we went across town to the lake and it's playground, Theo going up and down the slides over and over again until nighttime threatened and I had to insist on coming home. Other times we took long rides to local attractions such as last post's Blue Hole. The bike so symbolized our special time together that it seems almost proper that it was stolen from the train station on that first day of commuting, apparently the latest victim of my South Jersey town's bike theft ring. When I walked in the door that evening, Theo came running yelling "diya-di-cal!" but there was nothing I could do. Summer's over kid.

I return to Friends General Conference this week as something resembling a new employee. As regular readers know, it seemed all but certain that I would be ending my FGC employement this summer. I liked the work, mission and people but between my job and my wife Julie's part-time gymnastics coaching we simply weren't bringing in enough to make ends meet. There were no openings at FGC or any of the other Quaker organizations in the Philadelphia area. My immediate supervisors wanted me to stay but none of our ideas panned out in committee. It seemed I had hit something of a glass ceiling in my Quaker work so I polished my "tech resume":http://www.nonviolence.org/martink/resume.php, signed up for all the relevant job listings, and bought the latest edition of "What Color Is Your Parachutte?" When I came back from this year's "FGC Gathering":www.FGCquaker.org/gathering I found it impossibly hard to write a follow-up post on the blog. I assumed it would be my last Gathering and for all my oddity of this annual Quaker event, I had attended six of them, grown in my Quakerism immeasurably and (most importantly!) met Julie there.
Things suddenly changed in mid-July. I was offered a job I hadn't known was open: the newly-created Advancement & Outreach coordinator position. The staffperson of one year was leaving and the job was expanding to two days a week. Combined with my expanded work as FGC webmaster (three days a week), I could now make enough to stay. I thought I'd be honestly employed in the capitalist enterprise by now, but here I am unexpectedly charged to do something I love: to talk about Quakerism, spread the good news and help Friends across U.S. and Canada gather the great people together. How cool is that?
Next: blogs, ministry and liberal Quaker outreach

  • Craig

    Would you be inter­est­ed in relo­cat­ing? If so, I’ll keep my eyes open for jobs in GSO. My part­ner is an HR direc­tor here. So.…

  • Con­grat­u­la­tions! I’m glad things worked out so well for you.

  • Hi Craig,
    I had to turn to an “acronym find­er”:http://​www​.acronymfind​er​.com/​a​f​-​q​u​e​r​y​.​a​s​p​?​S​t​r​i​n​g​=​e​x​a​c​t​&​a​m​p​;​A​c​r​o​n​y​m​=​g​s​o​&​a​m​p​;​F​i​n​d​=​F​ind to fig­ure out what GSO meant (and I actu­al­ly used that air­port once!). You know the temp­ta­tion is there so STOP IT! I’m very set­tled, though. You have to remem­ber, I walk out the office door here at FGC and pass the Munici­ple Ser­vices Build­ing where my father worked when I was a kid. I cross the street and pass Two Penn Cen­ter, where my moth­er worked. I go the oth­er way to the Read­ing Ter­mi­nal Mar­ket, where I get my cof­fee, where my moth­er used to get her meats (I was a slop­py joe fanat­ic in my car­niv­o­rous youth), and to which my great grand­fa­ther would bring in his trains as a con­duc­tor of the Read­ing Rail­road. I might hop on a local train to go see my mom up off Ger­man­town Avenue, the ancient pike up which half my Ger­man ances­tors shlepped two cen­turies ago. Until I mar­ried Julie I had nev­er lived more than twelve miles from my birth­place. I’m now thir­ty miles and it makes me ner­vous some­times: jiminy, I even left the com­mon­wealth, cross­ing the Delaware Riv­er into a state!!!
    Hi Lynn: thanks. And yes, again, how strange that things turned like this. I’m not sure I’m entire­ly com­fort­able with way open­ing like this (I could and should have been a lot more thor­ough with my job hunt) but I think I’ve entered into a good place. God looks over fools, hmm?

  • Glad to hear all this, Martin!
    Except for the bike theft. That’s awful. I had it hap­pen to me once, and it made me quite sad. Poor Theo!

  • Craig

    Ya know Mar­tin, we could always use one more Quak­er in Greensboro :-).

  • Hey, Mar­tin. It’s about time that this news be post­ed here. For awhile, I thought that our phone con­ver­sa­tion from a cou­ple months ago, where you first men­tioned this pos­si­bil­i­ty, was make-believe.
    Y’know, it didn’t sound to me like you were tru­ly led to leave FGC, so I’m glad Way opened for you and your fam­i­ly to be cared for… and for your gifts of out­reach and weav­ing com­mu­ni­ty to be put to bet­ter use!
    Liz, The Good Raised Up

  • God sends rain on the just and the unjust alike, or so I’ve heard.
    On anoth­er note, now you’ll have to put your mon­ey where your mouth is, so to speak. Where IS that Lost Gen­er­a­tion? What DO young Friends want? How WILL the Inter­net and Quak­er blogs rev­o­lu­tion­ize the Reli­gious Soci­ety of Friends?
    And will this mean neglect­ing us, your Quak­er Ranter audience?
    Con­grat­u­la­tions and good luck!

  • Con­grat­u­la­tions Mar­tin — I am also glad things worked out for you. I have been nour­ished and chal­lenged by your writ­ings and you have helped me become refo­cused on gain­ing a deep­er under­stand­ing of my own Quak­er faith tra­di­tion. You are doing an impor­tant work in keep­ing alive a vision of a vital, vigourous, and adven­tur­ous Quak­er wit­ness. It’s fun­ny, the more I read about the Emer­gent Church, the more I’m con­vinced that this is sim­ply repli­cat­ing the orig­i­nal vision of Quak­erism. Keep up the good work and maybe some­time we can actu­al­ly talk on the phone and trade notes and thoughts.

  • I, too, am glad the employ­ment thing has worked out, for now at least. It sounds to me as if you’re in just the right posi­tion to car­ry on your ministry.
    I, too, met my wife at the FGC Gath­er­ing — Ober­lin 1986. And we aren’t the only two, I know. I think it’d be a gas to see a list of sim­i­lar­ly met cou­ples. It’s one of the impor­tant func­tions of the Gath­er­ing to keep the fam­i­ly togeth­er & growing.

  • Con­grats, papa on the new job. Wow, you have two part-time jobs, your wife has one. That seems about right when it comes to cob­bling togeth­er a ministry. 🙂
    Does this mean you are going to start a pod­cast as part of the out­reach for Quak­erism, HINT, HINT, HINT…
    Hey, we Friends need it. There’s only one church ser­vice, a very occa­sion­al “Quak­er Voic­es”, and I only do a small part of my pod­cast on Quak­ers. Come on!
    Oh, I know, if the Spir­it leads, etc., etc., etc. 🙂
    If I ever get the equip­ment or mon­ey to togeth­er, I’d love to inter­view you, amongst a few oth­ers. That would be fun. I’d send you the list of my ques­tions up front so you could think about.
    Any­way, good job on the new job! I look for­ward to many more posts from thee.

  • gil

    So glad to hear how things have worked out for you on the job front. In my expe­ri­ence if the way opens it’s best to go with the flow!
    When I left Library school many years ago I wrote to all the reli­gious libraries in Lon­don I had vis­it­ed for a project I had done and sent them my CV. Friends House Library asked me in for an inter­view and asked where I’d seen the job adver­tise­ment — of course I hadn’t seen it but I got the job, and even­tu­al­ly through what I learned there became a Friend!
    Sor­ry about the bike though!