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Have Red Shoes, Will Move to the Midwest

By now, it’s become social-media official:  as of August 1, I am leaving Flagstaff for the flatlands of the mid-Midwest, and a new call in Kansas City, Missouri.  I will be the Assistant Rector, and Day School Chaplain at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City.

I am excited about this, I really am.  The new parish is awesome.  They announced my birthday on Facebook with a math riddle.  They think my social media habits are amusing, and not terrifying.  When I shrieked like a toddler over discovering that the start of the Oregon Trail video game was actually in Kansas City, which meant that MY OXEN TEAM WAS NOT DEAD YET, OH MY GOSH, they did not count this against my obvious maturity and ability to be a functioning ordained person in God’s one, holy, and apostolic church.  (Gold star. Seriously.)  And they also have an amazing commitment to outreach and social justice, and sense of humor, and I can’t wait to work with them.  
But while I’m thrilled to start this new chapter, this also means I have to leave.  And I do not care for leaving.  Leaving means goodbyes, goodbyes imply loss.  
Leaving is never pleasant.  
For one thing, because moving requires me to truly come to grips with how many shoes and books I own, and reveal that information to unsympathetic movers.  (When I moved to Flagstaff, the mover made me promise to never move to a walkup higher than first floor again.  Or else sell every single book I owned, “because, lady, this is excessive”)
But most especially because leaving a place that I have liked as much as this one is never easy. 
The quirky, sweet parishes, the supportive and wise ministry colleagues, and the amazing, inspiring students, who have all conspired to make this job a joy-filled one each day, and who have taught me so much about persistence and bravery, faith and community.
I have been blessed beyond words to have been the chaplain here in Northern Arizona for the past few years, and part of the story of this place.  Now the story of the chaplaincy here moves on, and my own story moves on.  
But the wonder of stories like this is that they never end, not truly, and nothing is really lost.  As God spins out our stories, they carry forward all the fragments of who and where we were before, into the future that God envisions.   
So the imprints of the people we meet, the experiences we have are never far–even as we move on.  It always gets woven in to the next chapter, and the next and the next after that.
Whatever exactly comes next, it will be an adventure.  But I also know that this adventure will be accompanied by the mischievous love of God, which is nothing if not adventurous, and possessed of a better sense of humor than I ever will be.  
So here I go!

About megancastellan

Episcopal priest, writer, wearer of fancy shoes.

12 responses »

  1. Megan… I am sure you will have a wonderful time in KS! Just hold on tight to prevent being carried away by tornadoes. Willl watch your blog with interest as you and Toto swirl off into Kansas! Blessings and good luck! You were such a hit with ESC Day school. Delighted that you will be connected… they are not much different than college students!

  2. Click the heels of those red shoes together to come and visit sometime soon, now that you are a thousand miles or so closer!

  3. as you ease East and onto the plains…and understanding that you may only interpret this in the context of a “prairie schooner”…I wish you “fair winds and following seas”. Enjoy the journey!

  4. I’ve been enjoying your blog since I found it during Lenten Madness–welcome to West Mo Diocese! It’s a beautiful church and I hope to meet you someday!

  5. Congratulations as you prepare for the next chapter of your story. I also dislike leavings – mine or those of friends – and will keep your words in mind when I experience the inevitability of future ones. Enjoy your time at St. Paul’s – I know they will enjoy you!

  6. Sorry to hear you are leaving Province VIII, but we wish you all the best. Hope you will keep up your blog!

  7. Jessica Kerrigan

    We are looking forward to your arrival Megan! Bring all your shoes, and all your books, and most importantly, your yarn!

  8. I, too, found you during Len Madness, but with the death of google reader (+ RIP), somehow am not a faithful reader of your blog. But, as part of the diocese of West Missouri, I hope you’ll have reason to come visit the Southern Deanery sometime! Jeanne Goolsby, who commented above, runs a mean Bed and Breakfast. I hope there will be an opportunity sometime to cross paths IRL. Loved your reflections on/additions to RHE’s millennial gen article. Good luck moving and hope you settle into your new role quickly!

  9. er, Lent Madness.

  10. Guytie Runnels

    Looking forward to meeting you. At our house….I am the one with the shoes! Yes, one pair is Red and Stan is the one with the books. Well, some of them!

  11. Megan we are excited for your arrival in KC! The more shoes the better! You never know what the weather will be so it is best to be prepared with shoes for every possibe situation. That is how I look at it!


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