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