I Have Some Things To Tell You: A Pastor Says Goodbye During a Pandemic

Well, here we go! Toward the end of March, I got an email from a publishing company with a pass on a proposal I’d sent their way. I felt relieved. Odd response for something I’d worked on for two years.  Within a few hours, an idea emerged. What if I wrote a book to my church as a way to say goodbye? I can’t see them. We can’t hug or share stories in person. Maybe this is one way I can make sense of why these five years in Marysville have meant so much to me.  Yes. It was either pack or write a book. Easy choice. So I set aside a few hours each morning to write, remember, celebrate and cry. I went through multiple boxes of tissues as I pulled together journal entries, sermons, funny quotes from my kids, poetry and new essays. As I got to the end and wrote a few special letters to the people I spent the most time with, I realized something.  Yes, this book is for Marysville United Methodist Church in Washington state. And, it’s for me. It’s the story of reckoning with fear until it spills forth the gifts of freedom on the other side. Which means, it’s also for you. So we’re going to share this with all our friends! I told my church on Sunday and now I get to tell you. So many of you have been with me for the last few years as we’ve walked this palms up path together. I’m deeply thankful for your encouragement and response to this work. It’s a bit ridiculous and wild to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic. But there’s a story to be told and now might be the perfect time. A couple weeks ago, I got a coaching call with Rob Bell on Zoom and he shared about leading his grandmother’s funeral service. Later, he was standing by her graveside with his dad. Everyone left, Rob’s dad turned to him and said, “There are some things I need to tell you about what happened.” I felt the gravity of that statement. The sentence came up several times in the call. There are some things I have to say about what happened in these five years. There was a whole other story unfolding that must be told before I can let go and move on. So, with a big shoutout to Rob Bell, my title is: 


I Have Some Things To Tell You: A Pastor Says Goodbye During a Pandemic


There once was an itinerant pastor who couldn’t say goodbye to her church because of a pandemic. No hugs, no long chats over coffee, no meaningful stories shared in person. So she wrote them a book. She thought it was for them. But it wasn’t. It was for her.


“I Have Some Things to Tell You” is part memoir, part leadership guide, and part love letter to a community who allowed a pastor to be fully human. When she fell apart, they caught her. But they never knew the full story, until now. This is the story of a woman reckoning with identity, power, gender, mental health, relationships, spirituality, and what it means to lead others while she’s rumbling with a whole new life.


Available on Amazon on June 1, 2020!


Yay! Let’s birth a book into the world! Palms up,



 

 

© 2020 by Jenny Smith

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