2013 Christmas Card & Newsletter

Pam writes a Christmas/New Year newsletter each year to send out with our Christmas Cards (I say “Christmas/New Year” because it depends upon when we get them out). Below is the one she wrote this year.

New Year’s greetings to you and yours!

Being as the end of the university semester with all of the associated grading corresponds with the holiday season, my ambitions for Christmas cards turned into New Year’s cards and ultimately morphed into “I’ll get them in the mail sometime in January 2014” cards. And so it goes…

2013 brought about changes, excitement, and blessings. For starters, in addition to continuing as the pastor of Tapestry Church, Robert also began working 2 days a week for Corporate Chaplains of America, as (you guessed it!) a corporate chaplain. This is a perfect answer to prayer as it enables him to use his ministry, counseling, and chaplaincy education and training, as well as his background in business management. He has a territory in central Wisconsin that includes businesses such as a grocery store, software company, and pallet shop–blue and white collar. He provides spiritual counseling and support as an employee benefit and is given free reign to openly share his faith. He is enjoying the work, it is flexible and doesn’t interfere with pastoring and church responsibilities, and it meets a financial need with one kid in college and another headed that way in a year and a half. Robert also fills in occasionally for a friend at her chocolate shop/stationary store just because he likes interacting with the downtown community. Plus, he brings me home truffles! After many year of hard work, Robert also graduated in December with his Doctorate of Ministry (D. Min.) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It has been a banner year for him!

I have had a good year as well. I finally achieved tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a promotion to Associate Professor. I will also be the new graduate coordinator starting this summer, a change in title only, plus a move to a bigger corner office with a real window. I am loving my job and am always challenged to think more deeply by my students and colleagues alike, plus they are all so much fun. We have had a exceptionally close, friendly, and wonderful 2012-2014 grad class and will all be sad when they graduate in May. In my spare time I have been crocheting, refashioning old clothes, completing various Pinterest projects, and working on simplifying life and stuff. I’m on my way to becoming n almost-minimalist. I have finally gotten Robert on board with downsizing square footage and lot size, so we will be spending the next several months preparing the house to sell. The plan is to buy a smaller, older, character-filled, (hopefully Craftsman-style) house in Stevens Point and live closer to the university and downtown so that we can walk and bike more.

Adam is now a sophomore in college and will be 20 in March. I’m not quite sure when or how this has happened. He finished his freshman year at Northland College, but since it is a very small (~600 students) environmental liberal arts college and he decided against an environmental type of major, he transferred this year to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is now majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, much to the thrill of his mother’s heart. However, he is more interested in audiology right now, due to all of his experience with deaf and hard-of-hearing community through his summer job of the past 3 years with Minnesota Conservation Corps. This past summer, he was a crew leader, including a deaf crew. In college, he already knew so much American Sign Language through immersion that he was able to bypass ASL 1 and go to 2. His professor said that his grammar was good enough to skip to ASL 3, but his vocabulary was lacking. He could sign things like, “Go over to that trail and remove that invasive species,” but not “I live in a DORM and have a ROOMMATE.” Adam has also gotten very involved in his dorm and InterVarsity on campus and is playing bass and cajón in the worship band. Music is his life and he is looking forward to one concert/month for the first 6 months of the year.

Noah is a junior in high school and one of the tallest kids in school. We now have to special order his jeans and he is always getting asked if he plays basketball. He does, but he decided to play intramural this year rather than try out of the team, due to the time commitment. He spends much of his time hanging our with his posse, playing video games, and biking during the warmer months. Noah seems to be enjoying his current classes and he really gotten into reading again. He is especially interested in science right now and is thinking that he may focus on some kind of science-related major in college. We’ll start college tours this spring, which will include some schools around WI and MN, as well as the University of Missouri. Noah has also become interested in photography and putzing around with the camera and he amuses us with his spot-on impressions ranging from Obama to Sofia Vergara to Tim Gunn.

Our other baby, Tapestry Church, turned 5 years old this past September and is still going strong. We have developed a committed core of young adults who came as college students and have married and decided to stay in the area, much to our delight. 2012-2013 was the year of weddings and 2014 is shaping up to be the year of baby dedications. There are many ways to grow a church and procreation is one of them! Ironically, since we are a church primarily of college students and 20-somethings, we have been opposite of most churches in that we desired senior adults to offer diversity, wisdom, experience, and stability. Fortunately, we are growing in that direction too, with a new senior adult couple and a few more middle-aged folks.

We continue to love Wisconsin, from the glorious and temperate summers to the beautiful, frozen winters. The Packers and mass quantities of delicious cheese and ice cream don’t hurt either.

We hope that 2014 brings you just enough struggle to help you stretch, grow, and learn, but much more joy, contentment, peace, and love.

Much love and blessings of the new year!
Robert, Pam, Adam, and Noah Terrell

By the way the above image is the Christmas card we sent out this year. You can view the full image here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.