Happy New Year! 2019, eh? How did it get to be so late?
Since I last wrote something for this blog a lot has happened. To wit:
- On April 6 my wife heard about a half-time position at an Anglican congregation based on the island of Crete. She told me to look into it, and I did.
- On May 8 I was interviewed in Brussels and conditionally offered the position. I then went to Crete and visited with the good people of St. Thomas Anglican Church in Kefalas, Apokoronas, Chania, in the western part of the island. This was my first visit to Greece, and it was only 36 hours.
- On August 17 we went to the Greek consulate in Vancouver and managed to get a six-month visa in preparation for moving to Greece.
- In preparation for selling the house we had multiple garage/moving sales. By the time the movers came and left, our house was remarkably empty.
- We sold our Nissan Leaf.
- On September 24 we left Victoria, where we had lived for fourteen years, and left British Columbia, where we had lived for twenty-three years.
- We are living in the top of a two-floor house, in what is basically a two bedroom apartment. It is in a village called Gavalohori, about five km from the church.
- We have started taking Greek lessons twice a week.
- Aodhán, our retired racing greyhound, joined us a few days after we arrived. We left our two cats in new homes in Victoria (where they are thriving).
- Our empty house went on sale a week or so after we left, and sold quickly before the end of October.
- On October 12 I was licensed to function as the Assistant Chaplain of the Greater Athens Chaplaincy serving at St. Thomas, Kefalas. The part of the Diocese in Europe, Church of England in Greece is formally known to the Greek authorities as the Anglican Church in Greece.
- About two months after we arrived we received our two-year residency permits.
- I am still not done my dissertation – but I am on the last 2000 words. It will be submitted by the end of this month, unless my supervisor tells me otherwise.
- I have not had a haircut in over two years, so I’m a bit shaggy.
Why did we move? A few reasons.
First, my wife and I were feeling restless. The children were out of the house, and we felt that we had already done what we wanted to in British Columbia.
Second, I was not interested in applying for full-time permanent jobs in the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but doing what I had already done for many years in the same place was just not grabbing me. Or, to put it in theological language, I was not hearing God calling me to work in BC, or anywhere else in North America. When the possibility of making a dramatic shift to a new diocese, and a new country, I heard that quiet voice say that this might be a good thing. I had never particularly wanted to live in Greece, and I had never visited it, but it seemed like as good a place as any, and better than many.
Third, I was tired of carrying a mortgage and seeing most of my income go towards it. In addition to the small stipend the church on Greece pays me (and a house and a car), we are living off of the income from the proceeds of the sale of the house – and so we live debt-free.
Fourth, it was time for an adventure. We were not running away from anything, but running towards something new.
My hope is that I will be a bit more regular with posts, especially once I finish the dissertation. I intend to talk about Greece, the Greek language, the wonders of working in the Church of England when you’re not actually in England, as well as scripture, theology, music, and whatever else catches my interest. I hope you’ll join me.
Blessings on your new ministry and excellent adventure.