I'll start putting the most recent news at the top of the page.
So after I was released from the High Council in November 2002, I was called to serve with Jill as a ward family history consultant. I decided to become an expert in Personal Ancestral File, the Church's genealogy program. I think I know quite a bit about it now. Jill and I taught a Sunday School class and were able to help quite a few find their ancestors and take them to the temple. It was quite a rewarding calling. Jill, Jerica and I also staffed the Family History Center one Saturday per month.
In July 2003 Jill and I did a fairly unexpected thing and moved. When Jill's former co-worker and her husband, Jessica and Carl Mulle, offered to buy our Edina home, we decided it was time to move on and find a smaller one. We found a nice place and had our bid accepted in Eagan. It needed a bit of work, and we have accomplished quite a bit (with the help of Funfar Landscaping and Oakland Remodeling) since we moved in. We did quite a bit of work ourselves too.
On September 28 I was called to serve as the high priests group leader in the Eagan Ward. I'm trying to learn who all the high priests are as well as the families that are assigned to us to home teach. This calling will be a bit of a challenge, but I'm grateful to be able to work with some great people.
I was released as bishop of the Bloomington Ward on May 7, 2000, after having served in that calling for 5.25 years (I was called on February 12, 1995). Though it was very difficult for me to serve in that capacity, and I never felt capable of the requirements of the office, it continues to be difficult to let go. I think of myself as a wind-up toy, having taken a long, difficult time to get wound up, but when the event is over, it likewise is difficult to shut down. After being connected to so many strings, trying to keep them all running freely and untangled, it is difficult to just let go and hope the next bishop can grab hold.
When Bishop Arbuckle was sustained, I felt very strongly that he was the right one to take over. I have been impressed with how he is taking the helm. He is very different from me, and will clearly be a different leader than I was, but in many ways that's good.
I continue to be grateful for the opportunity I had to serve and to learn, and to be involved in the lives and progress of the members of the Bloomington Ward.
I have subsequently been called to serve on the stake high council, where I have been asked to direct the Sunday Schools, the teacher improvement programs, the libraries, and to be a liaison to the Eden Prairie Ward. I have enjoyed working again with some of my old friends in the Eden Prairie Ward. I am struggling to get involved with the other areas of my assignment. (12 Aug 2000)
My high council assignment was changed in late 2001 to be involved in family history and temple work. I enjoyed working with Susan Ogilvie, the stake family history center director, Ginger Hamer, the stake family history consultant, and others helping in family history efforts. I also had my ward assignment changed early 1992 to the Prior Lake Ward. It was hard saying good-bye to the Eden Prairie Ward, that had become like a second ward to me, but it was great working with the faithful and enthusiastic members of the Prior Lake Ward.
On November 5, 2002, the stake president, President Payne, called me in and released me from the high council. He thanked me for all my work, but felt that my time to move on had come. But he didn't have anything for me to move on to, but indicated that he and Bishop Arbuckle were working on a new calling for me. In December Bishop Arbuckle asked me to serve as a ward family history consultant. So now I get to work with Jill in the "trenches", helping individuals get going with their family history. That will be great! (26 Dec 2002)