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WHAT ABOUT THE PASTORATE

The confessions of a pastor no longer under pressure--and longing for it.

Four years ago I left a stable, highly organized parish in Virginia to become the senior minister of an old, once powerful, chaotically organized pastorate in Los Angeles. My wife and I spent an exciting three years there learning to think West Coast instead of East Coast, dealing with almost inner-city problems, and ministering to the most widely varied assortment of individuals we had ever met.

At the end of that period, however, we were both physically and emotionally exhausted. When I received an exceptionally attractive invitation from Samford University, we prayed long and hard about whether we should stay or move. The leading, I must admit, was not overly clear, but most of the signs pointed to the advantages of moving. Hugging and crying with our many friends, we took our leave and began a new period of our lives, this time as "private citizens."

I have a wonderful position now as a sort of university professor, with the privilege of teaching courses in any area I wish, and time ...

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