Post Convention June Update.
The last few weeks have been momentous ones for the Mudge family.
1) Lydia has been accepted into the Bridger program with SAMS, with an eye towards working with orphans in Honduras. She begins missionary training in the latter part of July at SAMS, and then begins her fundraising. The Bridger program is for mission work lasting from one month to a year.
2) We had an event filled Diocese of Albany Convention; one of the highlights of the Convention was "Mudge" row at the display tables: Hannah with Oaks of Righteousness (local mission), next to her was Julie and myself with SAMS (long term foreign mission, focusing on Belize), and next to us was Lydia with her display (shorter term mission) for Honduras.
And then it dawned on me.
Where is the Mudge family currently making the biggest impact for the Gospel?
Not just in missions – in all kinds of missions!
Domestic, international, longer term, shorter term, in teaching, with kids, with the poor, and with the sick.
Our family is a microcosm of the mission work of the Diocese of Albany.
3) New Models:
In missions, there is no "one formula fits all", no "one model" that works for all time. New realities mean new ways of doing things. We are creating new models, new opportunities to reach people in ways that meet the demands of the times.
And just as we create new models, we also are looking for new ways to fund those models and ourselves.
So God, Julie, and I got together, and we came up with a strategy.
What we are continuing to look at is the creative model of varying-dual-income full-time mission work. A) Part of our mission work continues to be self-funded (as in "other income from a variety of sources") and B) part continues to be support-based (continuing contributions to SAMS - i.e., we could not do it without you). It's not the 1950s any more, and while the need for reaching out with the Gospel is as great now as in any generation, the dual source of funding continues to be the way that God has decided to provide for us (every approach has its plusses and minuses, and is tailored to the mission work involved). Your support continues to be an important part of enabling us to do what we do in missions.
4) What does this mean for us?
For Shaw: no change. I keep full time mission status with SAMS, doing the work the God has called me to do in the mission field. Missions is my full-time vocation. I plan to touch base with congregations and other clergy from the Diocese as I have in the past, to continue to spread the word about what God is doing. When I make visits, you will hear about the mission work, and such plans for the future as the expansion into Central America, and possibly elsewhere. It means a lot to us as missionaries to maintain contact with folks by way of parish visits.
Please continue to support this mission work. Please. Please. Please.
For Julie: Julie is being called into a new mission field: hospital chaplaincy.
She has accepted a position as Director of Pastoral Care at two hospitals in the Manchester area of Connecticut. She truly sees this as fulfilling the Gospel mandate to minister to the sick. Many people no longer connect with churches for their spiritual needs, and when they end up in the hospital or when they end up in crisis, they have no connections for the meeting of those spiritual needs. She has spent the last year and a half training, and is now ready to enter this important mission field.
We move to the Manchester, CT area by August 15th. Her position begins on June 30th, and she continues with her CPE program into the middle of August. Shaw's missionary base camp online operations continues to follow Julie, wherever she goes.
Doing things this way enables us to continue to do international mission work (on the ground in other countries, as well as telecommuting with other countries), and at the same time will provide us with affordable health insurance. It also allows Shaw to help take care of his aging mother.
The Diocese of Albany: We continue to maintain our canonical status with the Diocese of Albany, even in such far-off places as Connecticut. In fact, we continue to be geographically closer to the diocesan offices at the Spiritual Life Center from where we will be in Connecticut than we would be if we lived in quite a few places in the Diocese of Albany.
Simply put, The Diocese of Albany is our spiritual home. We love you guys. We need you guys.
Church: Where will we be going to church? We have landed in a great parish: Trinity Church in Tariffville, CT. We will be helping out there as our other work allows.
By allowing us the privilege of spreading the Gospel and keeping you informed through presentations and newsletters, your generosity and fellowship makes you part of a strategic missionary alliance, reaching out into the community of the world. The formula is simple. We show up, God does something.
Your generosity and fellowship continues to play an important part in making disciples who make a difference.
Thank you and God bless you,
Shaw, and on behalf of Julie
Pray, please continue to make checks out to: "SAMS", and put "Mudge" in the memo.
SAMS, P. O. Box 399,
Ambridge, PA 15003-0399.
Or on-line, at http://goo.gl/nll8ut