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So, it's been a while...
The tricky thing about tent-making ministry is that sometimes it is the season to actually make tents. For me that season precisely overlaps with the season to be jolly, because where St Paul made tents to pay the rent, I hang (and unhang) Christmas decorations to pay mine.
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
For a number of years now I’ve worked with a visual merchandising company who installs and dismantles Christmas decorations, Santa sets and Christmas trees in large shopping centres throughout my state. That I spend the months of October, November and January working 6-7 days per week, 10-16 hours per day (I mean, night), peering at inscrutable floor plans while walking 15-20km each shift in endless loops around empty shopping malls becoming ever more covered in glitter is not particularly conducive to writing. Or thinking. Or sleeping. But it is conducive to my otherwise empty bank coffers, and so it has that going for it!
But Christmas (and its aftermath) is now over for another year and I’m finally emerging bleary eyed from the vortex. Here is what is going on for me:
Two days before Christmas I submitted the full 100,000 word draft manuscript of my book (The End of Singleness) to my editor at IVP! 7 years ago I embarked on PhD research in order to be able to make a thoughtful and faithful contribution to the church on this topic. My hope is that this book will be a very significant part of that contribution. It’s going to be some time before I receive the first round of editorial comments, and at least another 12 months before it appears on any bookshelves. Nevertheless hitting ‘upload attachment’ and ‘send’ was both an exciting (and somewhat surreal) moment.
I’ve been busily working on a bunch of exciting 2022 (and beyond) plans for Single Minded, the para-church ministry I direct. What started off as a one-off conference in 2018 has continued to grow into an increasingly valuable and valued ministry throughout Australia and beyond. You can access all of our resources for free on our website. For the past 5 years I’ve directed Single Minded on a largely volunteer basis (hence, my whole Christmas elf gig). However, this year we have big prayers and plans to grow the ministry and its resources even further. Doing that requires taking the big step of actually employing me, which requires the big step of increasing our financial partnership base, which requires getting a lot of big ducks in order first. Would you please pray for us in the coming weeks as we work through all of this?
Speaking of Single Minded… we’re absolutely delighted that Sam Allberry will be coming to Australia to speak at our 2022 conference titled, Being a Body. Sam will be speaking in Sydney on July 30th and Brisbane on August 6th. Livestream will be available for those who are interested in attending but not located in either of those cities.
Beyond all of that, I plan to spend the “rest” of my time in 2022 continuing to research, write, speak and resource in the realms of singleness, sexuality, cultural analysis and so on… including getting back to my “Mythbusting Celibacy” series on here (those poor eunuchs have been left hanging for months now!). While I hope to author a couple of academic papers (and especially one on the “gift of singleness”), the main project I have in mind is writing the popular level version of my book. One working title seems to be always running through my mind - Singleness: Still More to Say. There are already so many Christian books out there on singleness, is there really anything still left to say? I suspect you know my answer to that question! Then again, I also like my alternative working title - Single Christians: Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door ;)
So anyway, all of this is to say that I’m back and you can expect to start seeing semi-regular posts from me land in your inbox again.
Of course, if semi-regular me isn’t quite enough me for you, feel free to follow me on Twitter where I more frequently post a mixture of silly, serious and speculatory ponderings.