A recent ad campaign begins by revealing the expected behavior of some group or individual, often times placed out of context in order to increase the humor of the moment. For example, a football referee orders his meal at a restaurant with corresponding hand motions, as if he is explaining a penalty from the last play. If you’re a referee, the ad explains, it’s what you do. The commercial goes on to offer the company's services at a savings over the competition because "It’s what we do."
Clay Smallwood, our long-time staff member working with students, is leaving University to lead the student ministry program at Lakewood UMC in Houston, Texas. If you have not read his letter yet, you can do so here. Lakewood is my home church and a place where both Pastor Holly and I served on staff. It is a great community with great people, and I am really excited for the church and for Clay and his family.
There is always sadness when a long-time staff person moves on to the next thing that God has called them toward. Clay has served on our staff for 8 years. We have seen him grow. We have watched him complete his seminary work and will celebrate his commissioning as a Deacon this year at Annual Conference. I know you will join me in supporting and praying for Clay and his family in this time of transition.
We are, after all, a church called University. We take people on to our team, invest in them, watch God grow them, and often we send them off to serve in other outposts of God’s kingdom.
It’s what we do.
Let’s keep it up.