An Open Letter to Friends of the Co-Op from Tim Snyder, curator.
This is both a difficult and yet exciting announcement for me. For the past month I have been engaged in some intense discernment. This past spring has been a difficult season -- with two intense vocations: seminary study and serving as developer at The Co-Op. At the initial request of my bishop, I began to discern the possibility of transitioning into full-time study. After lots of conversation with my family, close friends, mentors/pastors, and finally the Co-Op community, I've decide to move to St. Paul, MN in August to pursue full-time study at Luther Seminary.
This decision comes with some deep grief. I have invested three years into this project we've called The Netzer Co-Op. It has come at a great cost to me personally, and yet I wouldn't have had it any other way. This community has changed me. While being a part of this community has been deeply affirming, it has also been a (long) season of much self-sacrifice. As I discerned this decision, one thing was clear to me: I have lots of public belonging, and yet very little social, personal or intimate belonging. It is time for me to move into a season that is more holistic.
This decision does not come easy and it was never my plan to leave this community so soon. But God would have it another way. Frankly, I'm not sure why I was okay with the suggestion to pursue full-time study, other than to say, that it came from a deep place in my soul where I have yearned for a more simplistic and focused life. Of course, there is never a good way to say goodbye, and yet we all must follow where it is that God is leading us.
In this transition, I will be taking some space to discern my involvement in all my other side projects. What has emerged in my discernment is that I am really being called to a season of focused simplicity. I'll be take the next several months to discern my involvement in a variety of side projects including Luthermergent, Generate Magazine, Emergent, blogging, networking, etc.
But what is also clear to me in this decision is that I have always been surrounded by an incredible family, circles of friends and mentors, and a gracious community. I've been reminded just how blessed I am. The move to St. Paul brings with it incredible opportunities for me to learn, to study, to refine my own theology, to broaden and deepen my convictions and finally to be transformed by the crucible that is seminary. I am very sad to leave, but leaving with a great sense of anticipation about where ever it is that God is calling me.
As I prepare to leave, I am excited to join our bishop and our mission director in affirming and lifting up Brianna as an incredibly gifted and talented leader in this community. She will continue to serve as a Curator and she will lead this community to new places. She will take over many of the responsibilities that I had as Curator and the community remains committed to shared ownership and leadership. The Co-Op community will certainly continue under Bri's leadership and with the full support of our Board of Directors and the ELCA. As we transition together in the month of July, I hope to have many conversations to thank all of you in the community who've been part such an important part of my life. I will worship for the last time with the community on August 9th and will be moving that following week.
Though I leave this post as a developer of this community, I'm confident these relationship will continue for years to come. Thanks for everything...
Tim K. Snyder
Curator & Mission Developer
The Netzer Co-Op