This year our family did something new when it came to decorating for Christmas....
I am writing this article on the last day that we will have our office in Goleta, CA. The movers came yesterday to take a lot of our stuff to Dallas, and today the people are removing the items that aren’t going with us. In a week, several of us will be out in Dallas to receive our shipments and begin setting up the new office. This is a huge move. All that comes along with it has caused me to reflect a little bit upon the past, present, and future of ECO.
It was actually 10 years ago that I took this role and moved to California. At that time, we had thought ECO would be more closely tied with the Fellowship of Presbyterians. The Fellowship was handling most of our administrative functions. They were in Louisville, KY and it was nice to be a little more spread out in the country. I borrowed a back room in a friend’s real estate office for the first two years I worked here. When it became clear that ECO would need its own administrative staff, we rented a suite in our current building which is only available for not-for-profits. The rent was ¼ of the going rate. We have moved suites a couple of times over the last 8 years, but have remained in the same building.
It feels like we are heading into a new and exciting season in the life of the ECO movement. The move to Dallas is both in response to the things we have already done nationally, such as ordination and various trainings, as well as anticipating future needs for ECO as well as Flourish Institute of Theology. In a sense, we are “growing up” as an organization. We understand how organizations can begin to turn inward and we want to fight hard against that impulse. We want to keep our core DNA where we can focus on healthy flourishing leaders and congregations. Our hope and prayer is that this move will help us to focus on supporting you and your ministries flourish to an even greater extent.
We had very few people visit our office in California, but we look forward to hosting many of you in this wonderful space in Texas. Our office includes a large “training room” that will accommodate ordination retreats and presbytery leader gatherings. It has a room that is sufficient size for filming FIT courses and was modified to be fairly protected from other sound in the office. We are dreaming of other ways to gather various groups of people such as church planters, turn-around pastors, and first-call solo pastors to name a few. This space will greatly reduce obstacles to hold these types of meetings with abundant nearby hotels and restaurants and easy access to both DFW and Love Field airports.
We do ask that you pray for us in the midst of the transition. Some staff will be moving over the course of the next year, others will remain remote. Even more than logistics, we ask for prayer for our movement to fulfill its purpose. I think back to the beginning with the number of people who even questioned if ECO would be around after 10 years. We are here and we are flourishing! Pray that God would use this next season to enhance your ministries to your communities and that our facilities would truly serve as a place that will build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. We can’t wait to see you soon!