This isn’t exactly a traditional “Christmas letter,” but with such a long silence on our family blog I thought it time to share an update and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This has been a tumultuous year for the Carnes family. We have moved to a new city and both have new jobs. We sold our beloved home and left our former churches in the capable hands of other United Methodist pastors. Whew. Hard…but also exciting!
We were fortunate that in a difficult economy our home sold quickly (despite the water main breaking right in front of the house) and we still consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have had some really great neighbors in that neighborhood!
I did a lot of the packing, of course, but the actual move and the initial unpacking and setting up of our new home was on Carrie. You can see that she had her work cut out for her when the movers left that day. I was off in Chicago working on my final summer residency for my Doctor of Ministry.
My doctor of ministry is in preaching so my preaching each Sunday is part of my education and my education is affecting my preaching in very real ways. I’m loving it! When I got back from school I was in my first Sunday in my new congregation, Collinsville First United Methodist Church. Carrie had already started the previous Sunday in her congregation at “Journey” a church start of Belleville Union UMC. Carrie is appointed by the bishop to be the associate at Belleville Union, but she seldom works in Belleville. Her primary work is in Freeburg, IL at Journey.
The Collinsville Church provides a parsonage in which we live. We appreciate their hospitality and we are constantly working to make it ‘our own’ and when that involves painting…we thank the trustees for being so accommodating! 🙂
One way that the church showed hospitality and generosity, both, was partnering with us to put in a fence for our dogs. As you can see from the picture of Jack, above, the dogs are loving it. While we miss our former communities, friends, and congregations, we have found new places of love and support. Also, being in the Saint Louis area allows us to be near to Carrie’s family. We’ve been able to participate in family events and be with our nephew.
It was also fun to be near the total eclipse and we were fortunate to be able to go down to the lake and go out in the boat for the eclipse with other family and friends. One of the highlights for Carrie was our purchase of half a hog. Not only did we get the traditional cuts of meat, but she got some of the organs and she is excited to experiment with the hog head. I have to say…I don’t know.
Lastly, we both had the opportunity to go to a preaching event at Garrett-Evangelical in Evanston in November. We enjoyed an evening in Chicago before it began and immensely enjoyed it. I think that is just about all that is fit for print. We are preparing for the holidays and look forward to our time with both sides of the family over the next few weeks!