Wednesday, 15 August 2012

We Cannot Sit Still

This blog is a little late!  As a way of sharing our adventures of traveling abroad with our six and four year old children, we thought we’d post our experiences.  This blog will continue to share our adventures domestically when we return to Michigan.

When Rachell and I lived in Brighton, there was a wonderful couple from Scotland who provided us an incredible, tangible example of how to experience their world.  They made travel a priority for their family.  They lived life to the fullest in Brighton, but they did not allow themselves to stay settled in that one place.  They were constantly traveling, visiting, and experiencing the world near and far.  At their urging and with their gracious support, we left in 2004 for a trip around the world, traveling from Detroit to Detroit, always flying east for 14 flights over a little less than three months.  That transformative experience changed our goals and priorities.  We now strive to meet new people, see new places, eat new foods, and be a part of the plethora of communities out there in our great big world.

With the arrival of children (Denali and Bryce…yes, named after US National Parks), we recommitted ourselves to this endeavor.  Therefore, we insist our kids see the world from a young age and get used to the idea of planes, trains, and automobiles (along with ferries, walking, hiking, and more).  While they have already experienced a lot in their short lives, we are beginning the documentation of these adventures with this recent trip to Scotland.

I’m (Andrew) working on my Doctor of Ministry degree in Reformed Theology through a partnership of University of Aberdeen (King’s College) and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  This cohort based degree includes a mix of UK and North American clergy who meet each January and August for seminar classes, with reading, papers, and conversation in between leading up to a final project that is intended to be used by the local congregation. 
I currently serve as the senior minister of The Peoples Church of East Lansing

in East Lansing, Michigan – a wonderful, multidenominational, intergenerational congregation of people next to the campus of Michigan State University.  This degree is intended to help me better minister to this congregation while helping them understand who they are and what they are called to do.  The overarching question I feel we are being asked in East Lansing is, “Would it matter if we weren’t here?” 

And so, we left the States on Monday, August 6 for the UK.  We’ll be here for the better part of a month before returning right before the start of the new school year.  Thanks for reading and we truly hope you enjoy the pictures and stories of our adventures in the UK and beyond.  Feel free to leave us comments, encouragement, advice, and ideas. 

Peace and grace be with you all,   

Andrew, Rachell, Denali and Bryce

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