Memory Lane: An Uptown Run

Friday night I stayed packing up my office after six years of ministry with First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte.  Called there in the summer of 2007, I remember touring the campus with Dr. Wood as he pointed to the skyline of Charlotte’s emerging uptown condos while we discussed the tremendous opportunity to reach out and share the gospel in this city.!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

After loading the last box, I decided I would do one last uptown run.  This zig-zag map hit some of the highlights of my uptown ministry.

1)  I ran to the apartment Ellie, Lindsay and I shared when we first arrived.  Wanting to be “Uptown Cool” we found a fully furnished condo with concrete floors and brick walls.  The only problem…I found the condo on craigslist and never toured the place, so the “one bedroom” apartment actually was one giant room because the 12 foot walls did not reach the 18 foot ceilings.  This meant that 6 month old Ellie’s cries, or my watching the Panther’s lose was audible throughout the entire condo.
Not to mention the Subway across the hall so we would awake to the smell of Asiago Cheese-bread.

2)  Then I ran through Elmwood cemetery, were I had the opportunity to officiate a funeral.  Running among headstones, I was also able to connect with families and names in the city who have touched my ministry.

3)  Huffing past the Gateway YMCA and on down to Ray’s Splash Planet, I recalled the Wednesday night runs I was introduced to by Kevin Griffith as my daughter practiced choir.  As well as the #RichieRun of F3.

4)  Heading off the trail, I went past the 3rd Ward home where we had a staff retreat last year when we anxiously wondered who the new person to lead FPC would be.

5)  Passing through the campus of Johnson and Wales, I remembered meeting students on moving week and welcoming them to Charlotte.

6)  Then I turned off to visit the old condo of good friends–the Smithwicks.

7)  By now I discovered something new–the tunnel to Bank of American Stadium.  Realizing I will lose the benefits of free parking for Panther games, I started scouting how I could get to the games.

8)  As Catalyst, Avenue and Trademark came into Vue, I thought about each of the members and visitors and young adults I had met over the years.

9)  And then finally, I went past the old sights for Theology on Tap (or after the Catholics sued me Untapped Theology): Cans, Feast, Press.

The run was an encouragement to see how my ministry had touched many different parts of this 4.25 mile run.

And how God is sending me off into a new (ad)venture in the same town!

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