From The Rev. Dr. Stephen Kinney
THE FRONT PORCH
When I began to do The Front Porch in earnest, I was about 53. Now I’m 64. Sixty-four is an auspicious number, even before the Beatles made it so famous: it’s the square of 8, the cube of 4 and the sixth power of 2; it’s the total number of squares on a chessboard.
The normal age for retirement in Texas is 65. So I’m on a cusp of sorts. I don’t know about the retirement part, but I’m excited about getting older--even as I’m aware that there is a lot more sand at the bottom of my hourglass than on the top. I’m at least much more mindful now that life is precious.
At the start of a new year and new decade, I’ve been musing about the life I’ve lived for the past 11 years, ever since we began hosting Front Porch events and building the Front Porch community. On reflection, I’m astonished by all the amazing people in Austin that I’ve had the chance to meet and know and collaborate with on the porch! And we’ve done some very cool things--week in, week out; year in and year out.
Now, as I contemplate the future of The Front Porch, I’m going to embark on a new experiment. First, starting with the Feast of Epiphany on January 6th, I began a fast of sorts: no alcohol, no sugar, and few carbs until Easter. During that time, I’ll be resetting my intentions, keeping a journal, and reading deeply. Mostly, I’ll be opening myself up to the Spirit, waiting on God. That’s the experiment.
Second, thanks to All Saints’ support for my part-time position, I’ll be available to assist as often as needed for Sunday services, to help coordinate and support the parish’s missional outreach to the greater community and assist Lane and Cynthia as needed with pastoral care.
The Front Porch will also be hosting the 5th Annual Easter Vigil at Sam’s Town Point, like last year, along with helping to produce the upcoming New Story Festival (newstoryfestival.com). We are also helping our neighbors across the street, the Fiji fraternity, by leading the charge to build two new mini houses this spring at the Community First Village.
It is a privilege and pleasure to be part of this holy community at All Saints’!