Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Meet Dan, Maria & Lyla Harrington!

by Tim K. Snyder

Dispatches from Texas...

[insert pics here]

Years ago now, I was leading an alternative worship on the campus of Texas Lutheran University called Intermission. I got an email from a Methodist Youth Director in town and he wanted to hear about it so we had coffee. That's how I met Dan Harrington. Dan and I soon began to collaborate and a close friendship formed. I met his wife, Maria, shortly after that and together they were even better. Then we both did our Rites of Passage together and I worked for him as his summer Youth Ministry Intern. After that he was like a brother to me.

Early on when we were creating a "council of elders" at The Netzer Co-Op, and we knew we wanted a young couple on board, I could think of no two better than Dan & Maria. Dan soon left the church he was working at and became a candidate for ministry in the United Methodist Church and began studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Now on top of everything else we could nerd out over systematic theology. Poor Maria.

So, when I left Texas it was really hard to leave friends who had become family to me. Maria and Dan were expecting their first child and Maria told me I wasn't allowed to leave until after the baby was born. Well that was true, but little Lyla Grace was born the day I left. I got a text with the news from a friend literally as the last box was being loaded onto the Uhaul (I was five hours behind schedule!).

That's often the most challenging dynamic of Seminary — leaving behind friends and family. But, we've gotten to stay in touch a bit with Skype (a free internet video phone application). It was just like being in their living room. I spent two and a half hours last night with the Harringtons via phone/then Skype. Maria and I got to catch up on life and her work (she works for my friend, Paul Soupiset!) and struggles and joys. Dan and I got to talk church. I got to smile I Lyla and soak in her beauty. I even got to "be" there for bathtime.

SIDE NOTE: Someone should start working on how we will cope with the psychological impact of having our baby pics broadcast over social media. It is bad enough when mom and dad post baby pics. But what about video streams live in real time?!?!

But this isn't just a post about my wonderful friends. Its about relationships and friendships and how it is that we build community in an extraordinarily connected world. This could change things ya know...


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