Thanks to Facebook memories I realized that this past week was my sixth anniversary with the Boston Faith & Justice Network. It’s not that I didn’t know I have been around for about that amount of time and that I started somewhere around September, but to see the specific memory and read my excited post about starting this job I was so eager and optimistic about was both uplifting and uncomfortable.
It was encouraging to hear my own words of optimism and hope about how I would fair in this new kind of job and this new kind of work (my background was in the legal world). It’s great to remember how thrilled I was to begin this journey. I remember my interview with the board, the call telling me I had gotten the job and all of those normally tedious steps you take when you start with a new place – so much paperwork. It all felt almost magical to me because I knew I was starting something amazing, something I was being called to and while it was new and different I was so sure it would change my life in the very best ways and I was determined that I would bring my best self to my new role and use everything I was to do the good work I was called to do.
The uncomfortable part comes from recognizing in my naïve confidence how very much I didn’t know I didn’t know when I began. I doubt I am unique in starting a job believing I bring more to the table than I do, but wow I had a lot to learn – about ministry, about Boston, about myself, about how God would use me and so much more. Six years later I almost don’t remember how little I knew about the journey I was embarking on, but truthfully, I was quite ignorant. I had never worked in ministry, the non-profit world or had any connection to any kind of ecumenical work. BFJN is all of those things. In His infinite grace and wisdom God gave me a partner in those early years who was smarter, kinder and better than me in every way and between the two of us we learned fairly quickly how to grow the wonderful and unique organization we had been entrusted with. I also got connected with some other leaders in and around Boston doing great work and began to learn from and partner with them. This collaborative activity quickly became one of my favorite things about my job. To see how God is moving and come alongside to work with, lift up or simply learn from those doing the good work.
There is so much more I could say about my favorite moments, the mistakes I have learned from, the people and organizations who mean so much to me personally and professionally, but this blog would then likely become a book. I will simply end with a thank you. Thank you to everyone who has supported the work of BFJN ensuring my tenure (from 2014 forward) and has productive, joyful and enlightening and more. Thank you to everyone who has offered personal support to me as I have navigated my role over the years with varying degrees of success. Thank you to the organizations in and around Boston doing the good work to serve the church, vulnerable populations and advocate for real and lasting change. I truly look forward to seeing how God moves in the next six years and beyond!