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My wife Brenda and I, along with the Foundation team about a year ago, began discussing the requests and needs we were receiving from our friends across the pond (the United Kingdom) and throughout Europe. As my involvement with the United Nations has increased over the past three years there were many organizations, people, institutions and churches asking for the assistance of The Marin Foundation. We have had the privilege of doing some work throughout the UK and Europe and have seen incredible responses—including the launch of almost ten Living in the Tension groups abroad. It is humbling to see this work spread across the globe.I remember discussing the possibility of Andrew studying at the University of St. Andrews last summer when visiting him and his wife last summer. It was an exciting opportunity and I'm glad they decided to go for it. In fact, I'm envious!
It was last summer when I was approached by the University of St. Andrews (in St. Andrews, Scotland) with an opportunity to complete my PhD in Cultural Theology; studying under some of the world’s foremost living theologians—including Steve Holmes, NT Wright and John Webster.
Brenda and I, along with our team at the Foundation began prayerfully reflecting and discussing if this was an opportunity that would be appropriate for both me, and for the sustainability of The Marin Foundation. During this discernment time we met with, among many others, our dear friend and pastor Michael Kimpan, and his fiancée Katie. Together we discussed and dreamed about what it would look like if Michael came on board with the Foundation to be my right hand man. Brenda and I also shared with them the potential opportunity of us going to Scotland and what that would mean for Michael’s future responsibilities for The Marin Foundation.
After a quick few discussions Michael’s excitement overflowed for this opportunity, and we hired him as The Marin Foundation’s Associate Director. Michael was a very successful businessperson who left for the pastorate, and now we are fortunate enough to have him in Chicago since January. Michael has been an incredible asset and is already showing to be not only very capable, but a compassionate and productive leader for our team. He has seamlessly transitioned into Boystown, living just a few blocks away from where I live. I have enjoyed introducing him to all of our neighborhood’s leadership and he has already done multiple speaking engagements for us across the country, to rave reviews...
Michael was the answer; the final piece that we were looking for regarding the leadership and potential transition for the Foundation to this new opportunity that opened up in St. Andrews. As I completed the forms letting the University of St. Andrews know that I am accepting their offer, my excitement grew thinking of what the next few years will bring. I can’t wait to see what doors will open for The Marin Foundation, and personally, through this decision.
For the next three years I will split time between St. Andrews, Scotland and Boystown, focusing on my PhD and handling all of the international work; and Michael will be based in Boystown, handling all of the domestic work. We now have an opportunity to uniquely concentrate on spreading this bridge building message more thoroughly across the globe. Our new situation will not only enhance our impact as cutting-edge practitioners, but also our credibility as thought leaders via this educational opportunity.
I will be a major part in our new live interactive video lectures, called The Tension Series. Stay tuned for more information regarding this next-level continuing education launching this Fall! However, the day to day leadership of The Marin Foundation will be Michael’s responsibility.
Finally, it is important that each of you know that my commitment is to reconciliation, bringing Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven. As I follow the example of Jesus my goal is to continue to learn how to live and love in real time. My prayer is that this time investing in my PhD will only enhance our reach and ability to bring reconciliation to contentious areas at home and around the world.
I really wish both Andrew and Brenda well with their new journey!