Posted by: ritagone | January 13, 2010

A Change For CA

We’re rapidly approaching Monday, the 18th of January, when a momentous event for Christian Associates will take place: Linus Morris will step down as President (and Founder) of Christian Associates and into his new role as Founder/Missional Catalyst, and Rob Fairbanks will become CA’s second President!

Since the Board of Directors has already officially voted to install Rob as the new President, what will happen after the quarterly board meeting takes place will be a ceremonial event, and it looks to be not only emotional but very relevant to where CA is going into the future.  We (the planning committee for the day) have some wonderful participation planned: Scripture readings, prayers, and some other ceremonial pieces that we feel will touch everyone and make clear what this means to all of us.  We as a board are representing you – the staff, friends of CA, and anyone else who cares about what will be taking place here – and we take this role seriously.  People are coming from all over the country and Europe to attend.

There will be a luscious dinner catered for us by Vanessa Block, a French woman who is a friend of mine and a baby believer.  I’m excited personally for Vanessa to be exposed to so many dynamic Christians in the same room, so there’s an ulterior motive to my having hired her for this gig.  (Not to mention that she is a fabulous chef and has a delicious meal planned for us.)  Now to figure out where to seat everyone!!  Since it’s predicted to rain on Monday (wouldn’t you know it!), eating outside is probably out of the question, so we might be eating in close quarters.  But eat and fellowship we will, and however crowded we are, we’ll make do.  And after the dinner will be another “program” along with a dessert, so the guestlist expands a bit more.  We’ll have some friends of CA join us for this part of the day’s activities.  We’ll have some music: Karli Fairbanks and my daughter Dana Rouse will both entertain us with solos, we’ll sing a hymn together.  There will be short messages from a few of us.

By the end of the evening, we will have a new face as the face of CA.  Linus will move into his new role as de facto ambassador for CA wherever he goes, whatever he does.  (Not to worry: you will continue to see him at CA functions.)

And so life goes: new challenges, new insights, new ways of doing some things and yet keeping what works, what identifies CA and displays our DNA to the world.

About seven years ago, my husband Michael retired from the television business after over 25 years.  It was a game changer for our lives.  All of a sudden he went from long hours at the studio five days a week to being home…all the time.  He wanted to know what I was doing for lunch on any given day.  What I was doing for lunch was what I always did…I was getting on with my life and my social calendar, as nothing much had changed for my daily weekday schedule.  But all of a sudden there was this person hovering, a little needy because his world had changed so much.  Believe me, it took quite a few months (years?) for us to work out this new agenda, this new role for him and relationship with me.  Now I can’t remember when he wasn’t around during the day.  We have offices across the hall from one another, we go our separate ways and often come back to lunch together, to check up on each other’s day, to laugh about something, to take on a task.  (Light bulbs get changed a lot sooner around the house now!)  This retirement business isn’t half as bad as I thought it was seven years ago when we were adjusting to it.

So take a minute to pray for Linus and Sharon, whose lives will be changing very soon.  Not that Linus will be sitting around on the porch in the swing, as he has a busy schedule looming, but it will be an adjustment to new activities, new roles.   The good news is that Linus and Sharon are on the same page about all of this, which always makes matters easier.  Both of them felt even several years ago that God’s timing was right for Linus to make this move, which has helped immensely in the transition.

Change.  We all dread it at times, because it upsets our status quo.  We avoid it, we criticize it, we run from it.  But change is good if it accomplishes the right things, and I’m convinced that this change for CA will be a blessing to many going forward.  So while you’re praying for Linus and Sharon, please remember to pray also for Rob and Robi Fairbanks and their family.  For Rob, there are some pretty big shoes to fill.  It can only work if everyone who has anything to do with CA is willing to commit this transition, this new role to prayer.

Wish you could be with us if you’re reading this and unable to attend Monday’s festivities.  We will have coverage of the day to show at the Leadership Summit and CONNECT this summer, so if you’re reading this and saying, “Gosh, I’d like to be there but can’t get there,” be comforted by the fact that you’re going to see what happened via the next best thing: video.  And oh yes, I’ll let you know about it in next week’s Rita’s Ramblings.

Until then, pray.  Rejoice.  Be thankful.  Good things are happening in CA.

Regards,  Rita


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