Now that I’ve left my home state of California (I’m really a Washingfornian, since I was born in Seattle) to re-locate in the spit-polished buckle of the bible belt, I’m considering my next steps in life.
What’s a secular chaplain to do? How to continue “the work” with non-profits or something else in a position that pays the bills and pays it forward? How to help?
Family needs attention right now, and so I have journeyed 5000 miles to see what I can do. This seems to be “the work” necessary at the moment.
Yet, now, I wonder, what is “out there” and “in here” to offer this new community?
I’m thinking aloud with you, here. Maybe you have an insight? Maybe you’ve made a major move and transition, discovering some wisdom along the way?
One idea is to offer my experience with managing non-profits to assist a direct-service organization in a leadership capacity. I’m checking around.
Another thought is to explore more opportunities for teaching since I’m already scheduled to teach a course this fall. I know I’ll meet many “connected” folks.
Another idea is to keep networking to find a gap in services, to find a niche and try to fill it. Maybe create my own position connected with something, or go it alone–with a few supportive voices. I’m discussing this with some locals.
I could simply sit at the screen and write more books, or edit the ones I’ve published. Oh, but there are bills to pay. . . Damn pragmatism!
I’ve written to editors of local papers with an innovative idea for a column. No response, yet.
Along these lines I’m wondering if my evolving sense of “chaplaincy” might turn into an actual job, perhaps being available to consult with people who are “transitioning out of faith”–clergy or others. Maybe a university or business could utilize my experience?
I’m uncertain the path ahead, but I’m confident either a trail will open, or I can saunter a unique path forward.
I’m excited. . .and anxious. . .to see what this new season of life will present.
—btw, in the last few days, while I’ve been writing, black bears have been lumbering right by my window. I wonder if the wildness of this new environment is just the inspiration I need. No. . .not to be a park ranger!