Things have been a blur for me recently. In December I completed a three-and-half year Seminary program and received a Masters of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. To add to it, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl about a week before final exams! We proceeded to move out of our apartment to make way for some friends, and lived at my in-laws house for two months (thanks!). Our little family then travelled up to Tunica, Mississippi, a small town in the Delta, where I accepted a call as an assistant-pastor-youth-pastor-to-be. We spent the next few months learning how to raise a baby, studying for presbytery exams, and loving the people here. I then passed my exams, praise the Lord, and was ordained as an assistant pastor in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Sunday of my ordination, the Senior pastor at our Church fell and nearly bled to death. For the next few weeks I filled the pulpit. I believe this experience confirmed to us and to the whole congregation that God had certainly brought us here for the mutual benefit of the Church and our family. Now, with the blessing of the Session, I am hoping to pursue PhD work related to a man named Franciscus Junius, and the impact of his work upon 17th century Puritans.
While it’s been a crazy time, filled with devotion to my family, to the people of Tunica, and especially to preaching and teaching, I’m still oddly interested in artwork. I’ve talked to a number of former-artists-now-pastors, and the majority no longer feel the need to make artwork. Besides, they obviously invest huge amounts of their time into the lives of others, and most can’t seem to make time to paint or draw. At the same time, they pick up different hobbies or recreations like fishing, rafting, movie criticism, etc., and I think that’s mainly where their energy goes in their spare time. Instead of those things, I’ve decided to keep putting a bit of time each week into the pursuit of visual art. While I’m certainly not going to be able (or want) to work at the pace of an independent artist, I do hope to continue making work that is substantive and contributes to the development of a post-abstract-expressionist language. How can I write about obscure figures from the 16th-17th century, and yet retain an interest in abstract-expressionism? Well, that’s another post for another time.