|Lauren Palmer, Comm/Tech Director + Missions Pastor|
Hi, I’m Lauren, and I have a bittersweet life update to share with you. (Fair warning, I’m breaking my own word count rules, sorry not sorry.) You might know that last year, I finished my second Master’s degree, this time from Cliff College / University of Manchester in England. I wanted to get a second MA, not just because I’m a nerd (though that shoe does fit), but because it is best to have a UK MA if you want to do a UK PhD. And for a long time now (like since childhood – see the above nerd comment) I’ve felt the calling to pursue a PhD.
The best way I know to describe it is a calling. I’ve told God on multiple occasions that I don’t really need a PhD, but I get the impression He just kindly chuckles at me and waits for me to get with it, because there’s a holy discontent that just won’t go away. It’s something I can’t not do and continue to walk in obedience with God.
God has also made it clear that the PhD needs to be my full time focus for the next three years. So for those of you keeping score at home, that means I won’t be working full time. And for a lot of logistical reasons, and in the best interest of the church, working here part time isn’t a viable option. So with a heavy but grateful heart, I’ve submitted my resignation as Communications Director, Technical Director, and Missions Pastor to Pastor John and the SPRC. I’ll continue to work through the end of April, and I still plan to be involved in the life of the church.
In the fall of 2011, David Bales asked if I’d step in part-time for 3 months til Christmas during a staffing transition. (It’s been a long 3 months!) He reminded me recently that in our first conversation, I mentioned that I wanted to learn as much as possible about serving in all the different areas of a local church, so I could distill that and translate it into church planting movements globally. My sense of calling has been refined over the past season – a decade of Christmases, plus a bonus one in Cambodia!