I’m looking for a new staff member.

tim at wash-u

That guy on the stairs – probably not a candidate!

Finding staff candidates for GFM is a big challenge.  It’s tempting to think they just “Grow on under-grad ministry trees.”  The orchards are R1 campuses where IV undergrad is thriving.  You show up, look for ripe fruit and coax a couple of experienced undergrad staff “to join the dark side.”  Honestly… it sometimes works.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need to try harder than that in this case.

At Washington University in St. Louis I am losing the part of my staff team that has been leading our Graduate Student Fellowship. This week I launched my first ministry trip of the fall to St. Louis and points in between.  I’m networking intensively now in hopes of filling the position later this academic year.  Between dark-o-clock Sunday morning and late Tuesday night I was able to meet with about 15 people mostly in St. Louis (also Columbia and Kansas City).  My appointments all started with the same line: “So, I’m looking for a new GFM staff member at Wash-U.  Can you help me network and discover potential candidates?”

I met with 5 Wash-U faculty members, 4 Wash-U students, a pastor, an alumni couple, two InterVarsity staff members and administrators at two seminaries.  I need connections, insight into what we need at Wash-U and further direction in the recruitment process for this important hire.  Here is the job opening as it appears on InterVarsity’s web-site.  If you have a minute to open this link I’d appreciate any feedback you may have for me – an idea or a person I should talk to.

head statue wash-u

My staff couple, Ryan and Keli Weed, who have been leading the GSF (Graduate Student Fellowship) at Wash-U for the past 5 years, will be re-locating their family to the Nashville area.  The grad student group they leave behind is part of several InterVarsity groups at Wash-U including two faculty groups, an undergrad group and a ministry to international students.  Wash-U is also home to the Carver Project – see previous blogs.  It’s an important place to staff well because of the strategic nature of such an elite institution.  In addition to local and regional networking, I’m working with my Regional and National leaders to help the need be more visible.  Please pray for our recruiting efforts this year.  Let me know if you have input for us.

Email me here: tim.perry@intervarsity.org


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After 90 years, a new roof!

summer 19 roof collageI hesitate to include this, but it took such a huge bite out of my life this summer.  Our home was built in 1929.  From The Boiler Room where I write this blog to the attic three floors up, this house has stood firm under its original Ludowici tile roof for 90 years!  It was about time something happened.  Two consecutive summers of hail storms (and a homeowners insurance claim) have totalled the roof.  Scaffolding completely surrounded our house on July 8th.  On July 15th the old roof was torn off.  38 days later, the new roof is almost completed.  Composite shingle roofs on houses are typically replaced in two long workdays.

Building something to last isn’t quite what it used to be.  Yet, somehow Ludowici still makes the same shingles.  Same color.  Same size and shape.  Its sobering to think that not only did the last roof outlive everyone who installed it by decades, it will most likely outlive most new homes being built today.  That just blows my mind.  I know there’s a sermon somewhere for that illustration.  I’ll leave it up to the reader to reverse engineer as you like.  We’re really grateful.  It’s reassuring to know that if this roof lasts as long as the original, Silas will be 108 years old when it needs to be replaced!

More posts coming this week.

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Ok! Where’d my summer go?

summer 19 family fun

When we were kids, us Perry boys would hunker down weekend afternoons to watch ABC’s Wide World of Sports.  “The thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat.”  Anyone remember the video clip that went with that?  A ski-jumper hops out on the steep ramp, accelerates downward, then…crashes off to the side.  Our summer has felt just about like that.  Moving fast down a steep hill.  Picking up speed every second.  But fortunately it turned out to be mostly thrill.  Not too much agony.  No crash at the end of the ramp!

The next couple of posts will catch you up so I can take you with me into a fresh semester.  Our summer was just about exactly what the Perry family needed.  Our Poppy deficit was critical – so good to spend time with Aaron and Savannah and our grand daughter.  It’s really hard to tell whose face lights up the brightest.  I think Poppy gets her unusually magnetic countenance from her Amma.  While they are almost too friendly individually, they’re definitely over the top when they are together.  Stand back if you’re around when Poppy and Cheryl first see each other after a few weeks apart!  Aaron, Sav and Poppy live in Urbana, Illinois where Aaron is a grad student in aerospace engineering.

Our daughter Phoebe also came home to celebrate Silas Perry Birthday-Week-Fest!  She caught a break from her performance schedule with the San Diego Ballet and flew back to the nest.  We took the birthday boy to the Nelson’s Produce Farm – Phoebe and Silas have worked for the Nelsons.  Employee reunion meets petting zoo.  Phoebe is the one getting smooched by the goat.

The other pics above – Silas and his date Kate headed to the Central High Prom.  They got to hang out a lot this summer.   Silas experienced Lake Okoboji with Kate’s family.  Cheryl and I are atop Sandia Peak looking 6.5K feet down on Albuquerque (another mile-high city).  What a gorgeous place!  Hung out a couple days with the St. Pierre family for a niece’s wedding.

We get refreshed by time with our family.  My travel and Cheryl’s endless school prep takes a toll on us.   We’re so grateful for several weeks of home.  We long to live close to all of our kids someday (which probably only happens in our dreams).  For the meanwhile we love it when they come back to roost.  Ten more weeks of summer, please!  BTW that was apparently Cheryl’s favorite shirt this summer.

If there’s something from your summer you need to let me know about, please email me!  We hope everyone on our support team has experienced more thrill than agony this summer.  If we’re somehow out of the loop please reach out!



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