Work Talk

Things have been developing steadily since the conference session last month. I had a dream somewhere in the back of my mind as to what would be the perfect outcome of the session for me personally and how it might change my work but I didn't want to talk about it much as I was very afraid of disappointment. Only a few friends knew what I really had in mind. So the conference session came and it went and it all happened so quickly I didn't even have time to blink my eyes before it was all over. And then when I reflected on the decisions made at the session I realised the outcome for me was the best one I could have asked for. I was appointed the leader of the Sabbath School department in addition to the personal ministries and the educational department I was already leading before the session. Then only one more change needed to be made. The increasing work load on the conference's level had to result in some sort of decrease somewhere else. And there's only one 'somewhere else' for me - the local church. So it was that I was waiting for the first meeting of the newly appointed conference board with growing anticipation because only the board could make a decision about my role in the local church. And finally, last Wednesday the decision was made about me: I will finish working in Tallinn's church in the end of August and then I'll continue working only for the conference. After only three years in pastoral ministry I'm done with it, well, for the time being, that is. And I have to admit, I received the news with a quiet sigh of relief. Not that I don't like what I'm doing but I think I can be more useful to the church leading these departments. And honestly, I don't think I make a good pastor. Really.

The conference board is also a new thing for me. It was a very interesting day last Wednesday when the board met for the first time. The board itself is quite something - seven members out of twelve are under 40 years of age. I think we might be the youngest conference board around here. And in general I enjoyed the meeting. There were many decisions to be made that were purely administrative. But I felt very, I don't know, insecure when we had to discuss things and make decisions about people. It was then that the realisation of the weight of the responsibility hit me. Heavens, we need to make decisions which have direct effect on people's actual lives, their future! I don't feel confident at all in this role. I guess that's something I need to get used to - the decision making and the responsibility that comes with it.

But in general, things are good. I go to work every morning with a smile on my face and with a silent "whoop whoop!" in my head. And now, a month after the conference session, I've finally understood - this is my time. This is my time to work, to dream, to cast visions, to succeed and to fail, to try new things, to give my very best, and also yes, to take the responsibility for all of it. There is no future I need to wait for. This is it - the opportunity is now and the opportunity is mine. I'm lovin' it.


Alicia Keys, One Thing. Oh, so smooth!


My two weeks of bliss are over now, I've just arrived back in Tallinn with my suitcase full of dirty clothes and my mind full of wonderful memories. They were good weeks, nay, they were actually wonderful weeks, so wonderful that when I passed Tartu last Friday and had an hour to spare there, I went to St John's church and lit another candle (the one I had promised to lit I had already done a week earlier) to show my appreciation to the Almighty for all the good things I was able to enjoy during my vacation. I sat in a pew for a while, listened to one of the best Estonian pianist who happened to practice there for his evening concert (it is a church highly valued by many classical musicians), and was just grateful. I don't sit in the gratitude bubble very often but I did then.

If there's one thing worth telling from the past week then it is probably the mighty thunderstorm that hit us and its aftermath. It was Sunday morning a week ago when we were having a late and lazy breakfast of pancakes on my cousin's porch when we realised that the weather was turning bad. It didn't seem as anything too serious at first but when it started to get really dark, we decided to bring everything inside. And then the wind hit. And then the hail. And then the rain. We barely managed to get inside when a storm of such magnitude broke loose that it left us all breathless. We all stood at the big window, mouths open in awe and surprise, and there was nothing else to see other than the white of hail and rain. Two trees fell very close to the porch, the outdoor furniture flew as if it was made of paper and the electricity was cut. And it was the only time in my life when I've wondered about the strength of the roof and the quality of its construction... The storm didn't last for long, luckily. Once we had recovered from the initial surprise - things like that don't happen often in this corner of the world - and had gathered ourselves, we walked to the nearby village, only to see many many trees blocking the road and to find the village shop closed because of the power cut. So we spent the evening in candle light and without the groceries we had wanted to buy. We still heated the sauna though - you don't need any electricity for that! But things got even better the next day when my cousin's family had to leave the summer house for two days and they left me there alone. Once again I walked 4 km to the village shop only to find it closed again. So I walked back and searched for more candles. I was beginning to run out of food, there was some bread in the cupboard and a can of chick peas. The stuff that was in the fridge I did't dare to touch as it was already the second day without electricity and thunder can have a strange effect on dairy products (I'm serious). So I turned off my phone to save the batteries, I went swimming, I sat at the lake and read a book until it got dark. I felt like I was as far from civilisation as one could possibly be. It was like a real adventure for a city kid like me, nothing like this could ever happen in Tallinn! So it was with a bit of relief and with a bit of sadness that I realised the next morning that the electricity had come back. It had also come back in the village so the store was open once again and I bought way too much candy in the celebration of its re-opening (some candy are still somewhere in my suitcase). I could charge my phone again. I was back in the civilisation.

Other than that, what could be said about those weeks? I went swimming 13 days in a row. I read 3,5 books (the fourth one I still need to finish). I found two new wonderful restaurants in Pärnu. I ate too many pancakes. And I spent time with some of my very favourite people in this world: my cousin R. and his family, my dad, K. and I. in Pärnu, A. and L. in Türi who always welcome me at their place so kindly (and, oh, those late night conversations!!!!), and the Pathfinders camp people I spent this past Sabbath with... There's a lot to be thankful for.

And until tomorrow morning I can ignore the fact that I need to preach three sermons this coming weekend and I have 30 unanswered emails in my mail box.


Here's a song I discovered last week: Robyn Sherwell's version of Landslide. Ain't it beautiful?