What Made You Want to come to Corinth?
In my first post I suggested we should start telling our stories. So here goes.
Nancy and I still get the “Why Corinth” question frequently. The answer seems amazingly complicated and remarkably simple all at the same time.
The short version I can only describe as a “God-incidence.”
Seriously, how does a recording artist, singer, songwriter, media teacher, university professor, church music director, audio/visual tech specialist from Phoenix, Arizona get to First United Methodist Church, Corinth, MS.?
A year of so prior to starting conversations with the church Nancy and I became certain that God wanted us somewhere and that we should start preparing (at least mentally and emotionally). So, we resigned our positions at the church where we were serving; I told the Universities where I was teaching I would be leaving and asked our church family to start praying for clarity and discernment. We just didn’t know when or where we would be going.
The flip side is, God works in His time and for His purpose. Our challenge is accepting by faith that He will work it all out.
That should be sort of liberating but for those of us who like to “control” things it can be unsettling at best. So, we continued working like we would never leave but “planning” like we might need to leave tomorrow.
As we interviewed and considered opportunities we discovered we, “Wanted to be where we were needed and needed to be where we were wanted. We also determined that when you tell God “Send Me” you don’t say “Except….”
Prior to this, I had always prayed for God’s guidance and felt there should be a church that needed the diverse gifts, talents, experience and training He had provided. It seemed like the answer was always “Not now, I need you to do something else.”
Looking backward I now see how with each experience He shaped me as a musician, technician, media specialist, teacher, multimedia storyteller, singer, songwriter and puzzle solver. Never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned the results.
When we were initially contacted, all we knew about Corinth was that it was basically equidistant from Memphis (Blues), Nashville (Country), Muscle Shoals (Southern Rock) and Tupelo (Elvis). What more could a musician want right?
The talks started with music but quickly expanded to web, television, live sound production, facility design/build, asbestos abatement, reconstruction, strategic visioning, community outreach and worship planning/design. Then from outside the community aspects of historical preservation, career tech education, community arts and shared ministries just exploded.
It all sounded pretty cool and exciting but we still hadn’t visited or met anybody. We hadn’t sold our house, found a place to live, packed, adopted out the horses we couldn’t bring with us or coordinated with two universities to figure out how to best deal with taking care of students who were in the middle of a semester of classes I was teaching.
As the fears grew they were replaced by a quiet certainty that God had carefully shaped us to fill the unique needs of this church and community. Finally, we were being thrust into a situation that fulfilled our desire to be “where we were needed” and our need to be “where we were wanted.”
The detail mountain of uprooting lives, leaving support systems, moving across country and changing lifestyles, was and continues to be leveled by God and His amazing people.
We don’t know how the church building was before we got here. We do know how the church (people) is now. It is full of grace, generosity, love, support and faithfulness to God’s purpose. We have truly found a home and are learning about our adopted family.
Sure we sometimes disagree and don’t always understand each other but I have no doubt this family is committed to following God’s plans even when we don’t understand when, why or how.