Thursday, September 11, 2008

Update long in coming

Lots has happened this summer... and lots is yet to happen.

I got a job in Scotland with the Iona Community, an ecumenical Christian community focusing on teaching and living Celtic Christianity. My job is to be the musician on the island, and so to provide music for 11 worships a week, to teach the songs of the Iona Community to the people who come on pilgrimage, and to foster the pilgrims' musical talents, finding ways to use those talents in worship. I look forward to being there again (I was a housekeeper there about 4 years ago and visited again this summer), and I look forward to being paid to do music full time. I love the music of the Iona Community (it is widely known internationally as some of the best worship music in the world), so it will be an honor to teach it and to be in the middle of it. I love living in community as a lifestyle and I was wondering if I would get a chance to do it again after Gould Farm. I am also quite ready to leave Gould Farm, as I am getting slightly too big for the community and slightly tired.

However, after having gotten the job, I then applied for a visa and have not heard back from the British Embassy in NY. So I have trained my replacement in my current job (they hired her shortly after I announced I would be leaving), and my last day of work is today. I have two-ish weeks to get out of my apartment and one month before my health insurance runs out. Thankfully, I haven't sold my car yet... All of this, and I have no visa to actually go to Scotland.

So my backup plan is to go to seminary at Andover Newton Theological School in Boston for a year -- I got accepted and have been trying to delay my commitment there until as late as possible. The catch there is that classes started at the beginning of this week and the add-drop day is this coming Monday.

In the mean time, I can't really pack and store my stuff away, as I don't know where I'm going -- Scotland and Boston require entirely different sets of clothes, supplies, etc. So my apartment is in shambles at the moment. Also, Iona is trying to be patient without a musician, but they are having to stretch really far to cover it. So they are re-advertising the position and will start interviews again on Sept 23. They didn't say it, but the implication is that I have until then to hear something about my visa before they hire someone else.

So here's my plan -- I have a US Representative willing to help me who will call the Embassy on Friday for me. I plan to go sit in on classes next week and, if I don't hear about the visa (I will continue to get any Senator / Representative possible to come to my aid), I will either go to Boston to begin classes or find another job in the area (depending on financial stuff). Any of these choices seem okay to me, especially as I have a support network here and elsewhere that is not going to allow me to fall flat on my face. But I really really really still want to go to Iona... so I'm praying that all of that works out. If you have prayers to offer in that direction, please do. And if you have advice about how to deal with the British Embassy, I'm totally game for that, as well.

Also, as I am moving to who-knows-where, I hope to keep up a bit more on this blog -- hopefully twice a month or perhaps more. So keep checking it, all you who have given up on my ever writing again...

And, some of you have asked how I am going to run the marathon if I am in Scotland... well, if I don't get a visa in time, I'll try to still run the Cape Cod Marathon, but if I do get a visa, depending on when I hear about it and when I go to Scotland, I will run the Loch Ness Marathon that runs the length of Loch Ness. If that doesn't work out, I'll try to just run 26.2 on my own in solidarity with the Gould Farm marathoners. Our blog is run4gouldfarm.blogspot.com , and from there you can donate on our firstgiving secure online donation website. So far so good on fundraising -- thank you to all who have supported our efforts already!

That's enough for now. Let me know if you have questions or wonderings or such...
Much love!