Monday, August 31, 2015


Some of you may be wanting to know the latest on what is going on in my life (and some of you may not care in the least!) - so, in case you do, I'll get you started with this:

For those who may not be aware, I concluded my time as an Associate Pastor at Durand Church of the Nazarene one month ago, on July 31st.  Since then, I have continued to work for the United States Post Office as a Rural Carrier as I have been for the better part of the last 3 years.

Today, I announce that I have been accepted into an exclusive, one-time only cohort of 15 students in the "Preaching As Story" D.Min. track of the Leadership in Emerging Culture D.Min. program at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon.  This three year program is under the direction of lead mentor Leonard Sweet, and is almost all online (so no, I am not moving to the west coast!) but does include three "Advance" experiences in Portland and in Orcas Island, Washington.  Today is the first official day of class, and I will be traveling to Portland later this week for the Orientation Advance.  I am very excited about this unique opportunity and have high hopes for how this experience will help to shape and mold both my present and my future life and ministry.  And yes, of course, let the "Dr. Phil" jokes commence, in force...

The D.Min. will certainly be taking up much of my time in the coming three years, but there is more to real life and real ministry than just education.  So in addition, in case you also may be wondering where the ministry 'career' side of things will be taking me next, I offer this:

It has been 7 weeks (50 days today) since my ordination as elder in the Church of the Nazarene.  As special and amazing as that experience was, this hasn't been the most fun time of life, to put it incredibly mildly.  It took 14 years from my first District License to reach ordination, and I've been in ministry and/or pursuing ministerial education nearly all of that time.  It is time for an extended Sabbath rest - a Sabbatical. 

Now, this Sabbatical will look a little different than some, and that is OK.  Realistically, since one would ordinarily take at least 7 weeks after 7 years, and I've been going for 14, I am due for two of these, or at least 14 weeks, or something in that neighborhood (one could argue for months rather than weeks as well, but that's not going to happen!).  But I am not nearly as interested in keeping score as I am in making things right.

So, initially, I will be taking the next 7 weeks as a Sabbatical.  During this time I will begin and dive deeply into the aforementioned D.Min. program.  I will take time to pray and seek God, not only on my own, but together in community with many different people.  I will try to get some rest.  I will take care of some long overdue things of which I need to take care.  I will be in conversations about future life and ministry endeavors.  I will travel.  I will invest time together, just the two of us, with my amazing, incredible love, L.  And I will invest time together, just the seven of us, with my amazing, incredible family, that includes an extended and well-deserved family vacation to Florida. 

Much can happen in 50 days.  So at the end of these next 7 weeks, I currently anticipate concluding the Sabbatical period and shortly thereafter being able to make further announcements about life and ministry.  However, if more time is needed...then whatever it takes to make things right, that is what I will do.  Not that I am expecting most readers to be waiting around on pins and needles for any next steps in my life.  But...if you do have interest in what's coming next...after the Sabbatical...check back in 50 days. And if you would, during those days...would you pray for me, and for my family?  Blessings to all who read this.  See you...soon...


  1. I will be praying for you Phil - Connor Caldwell

    1. Thank you, Connor! That really does mean a lot to me! Blessings,