This is Jim and his amazing wife Faye (I will probably talk about Faye another day since she has her own story that is incredible). Jim and I probably met when I was a teenager although I think neither one of us really knows when or how but we re met in my last months of seminary since we were going to be appointed together in summer of 2006. He had been a District Superintendent for a number of years and I was a fresh seminary student ready to take on the church world. He had been serving in churches for 40 years and I was just beginning my career.
Before we started working together, we talked on the phone to make sure that this would be a good fit. I was in my car on the West side of Chicago on my way to my field education church and Jim was somewhere in Idaho en route to a church he was DS for. Our conversation mainly consisted of talking about coffee and how much we love it. We agreed at the end of it that this would be a good working partnership. Jim was going to be the Senior pastor and I the Associate pastor in Corvallis, OR.
We started working together on July 1, 2006 and we were quite the duo for four years in Corvallis. Our first meeting included coffee, lots of laughter and valuable advice for me, the young one in the room who had no idea what I was getting into. I will forever remember that he told me it was perfectly normal to go back in my office and have no idea what to do. Then I should just start asking questions and talking to people. The work will come and it will be full and if I let it, and I shouldn’t, it would take over whatever time I gave it.
Over four years working together we had an amazing working relationship that has since turned into deep friendship. We were clear with one another, honest and respectful. We got angry at each other and still could work together and respect each other. We celebrated with one another. We had a ton of fun together. We pranked one another in appropriate ways and even delighted. We have eaten really good food together and we both love a lovely meal. On my ordination day, Jim celebrated his 40th year of being ordained. There is a picture of us somewhere out there on that day and we both look thankful. Jim taught me about useful conflict, how to read budgets, how to manage staff well, and how to allow creativity to have space without being fearful of losing anything.
Our appointment in Corvallis was a difficult one and after four years, we discerned it was time to move on and because of Jim I didn’t quit, I listened to God more closely. I am still in ministry because of his wisdom and care. I could go on and on about Jim’s amazing ministry which is definitely included in his life but I will tell you these things that make more up of him…
- Jim loves to fly and travel. All points that I gain for travel are because this is his biggest lesson to anyone.
- Every Sunday morning, even in retirement, Jim makes sure that the boiler is all ok in the church he attends plus it gives him an excuse to still get up early in the morning on Sunday, get his chocolate doughnut and serve the church.
- In retirement, he drives Uber just to connect to people and travel around Portland.
- When I am in town we drink coffee and eat good food whenever we can, even if its too short every time.
- I can call on Jim for a recommendation for me for anything and he always believes that I can do it.
- He is passionate about his family and he is their biggest fan, especially his granddaughters.
- His heart hurts when people hurt and he fights for justice because people deserve justice.
- Scripture is a moving, living, breathing thing for Jim in which God is always speaking.
- Travel means life and there is always new life to discover. (Points help get you there).
- Life is better when we are both belly laughing and telling stories.
And that is just the beginning in how we could know Jim….