Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Where Were You in Two-thousand Two?" My Farewell to Boyce College

Where were you in 2002? On May 3, 2002, Spider-Man released in theatres and I was at the earliest possible showing in the city: 10:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time, Dothan, Alabama.

Alabama, you say? And what the heck does this have to do with Boyce? Spidey-senses tingling!

Fair questions both. My joyous watching of Sam Raimi's film came at the end of a trip of discovery. Just a week and a half earlier, my family had flown into Atlanta, Ga, and driven the five-ish hours north to Louisville to check out this young, up-and-coming Bible college my father had read about. I had read the catalog and such and was captivated by the thought of forgoing math to study the New Testament. (I would be greatly let-down when math was inserted into the catalog, later.) Boyce would be the only school I visited, and my first trek to River City would begin a long relationship with what was originally known as the James P. Boyce College of the Bible.

Boyce's name changed (for the better) and so did I. A perusing of the archives of this blog (or worse, a visit to www.xanga.com/WarriorPoetJedi) will provide a bit of prospective on how radical the change has been. I would, over time, learn to out grow some of my old predispositions and embrace hard truths. I became involved, becoming a Resident Leader in my fourth semester, (a post I would hold until graduation). I became popular (if only the old gang back in AZ could have seen me then). I became attached.

Graduation introduced me into a new world and though I struggled some, I was excited for the change and eager to move on with life, finish Seminary in three years (what was I thinking?), and move on to the next challenge. All of that changed with a single offer, though. Would I become Resident Director of Boyce College?

I assumed a post that I was shocked to hold. As a Resident Leader, I had revered my supervisor (then called Resident Supervisor), Aaron "Flip" Filippone. Fortunately, I loved him too much to try and be him. I led as I felt best and under the leadership of another hero, Dr. Chip Collins, I was able to make changes. I had the privilige and blessing of leading men and women whom I had once served alongside, and this past semester was the best yet.

Nevertheless, I knew that I would leave this job one day, but last Wednesday, I learned that day was far sooner than supposed. The Seminary is in a budget crisis and 35 staff members are being laid off. Sadly, the Resident Director position is one of those being deleted, and with it, my time at Boyce has come to an end. I was blessed to study here for four years (and humbled to be honored as I was) and was blessed as well to serve here for these past three semesters. I leave Boyce, at long last, on January 30, but many dear memories will come with me. By God's grace, my name remains etched and stitched in the Patio Room.

What more can I say? I would be lying if I assumed that any good that has come to me since 2002 (or for that mattter, since 1985) has been because of my doing or my own hands. No! It has been God's grace from start to finished, engineered by him according to the counsel of his will. I leave Boyce but I know that my life continues.

I am excited for the next chapter. God has provided a place for me to live in Shelby Park, near The 930, which is my church's building. I look forward to participating more in our missional work in that neighborhood as well as to giving my attention to other things that have neglected for a while, namely my Community Group I lead and my master's work at Southern.

I could rant on for a while, but let me end with a simple, "God bless." May God bless everyone at Boyce College, especially the student body. It has been my honor and privilige to have known you for these many years and may God keep you safe until we meet again.

2 Comments:

At 2:26 PM , Blogger Jacob E. said...

Wow Pablo, What a touching post. Your going to have to send me your new address so i can send you a wedding invite.

-Jacob

 
At 2:19 PM , Anonymous Jessica Sampler said...

Paul,

Wow...it has truly been an incredible journey serving at Boyce (and attending Boyce) alongside you. Thank you for your leadership and friendship.

Justin and I know God will continue to use you greatly as you serve Him wherever He leads you next. I'm sure we'll see you soon at Sojourn when we're visiting or on campus.

Blessing to you, Paul!

Jessica Sampler

 

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