The partnership with bridgeWORKS began in November of ’07 at OFF the MAP in Seattle… a crew of us Central Oregonians went to a pub conversation (The Shepherd and the Knucklehead) hosted by parker (just …parker) at the Wilde Rover in Kirkland. There I saw this goofy guy inviting everyone into conversation and letting us go as “the wyld goose flies over-head settling where he will.” Well, the magic happened there at our table and I went home thankful for the experience.
A month later, parker sends me an email wanting to do a ShepKnuck in Bend. We talked beer | Celtic Spirituality | men’s stuff | relational work… the rest is history. We at First Pres partnered up with parker to begin hosting the ShepKnuck, I as the priest.poet in training, and we started in February. Since then, parker and I have listened, laughed, learned, and shared much. Our friendship grew strong and realized our vision for life-work | ministry was very close. As my time working for a church was coming to a close, it seemed right for me to continue what I was doing as part of bridgeWORKS, the non-profit that he launched 18 years ago. (www.bridgworks.org)
bridgeWORKS is really about two things. Dialog, via the Shepherd and the Knucklehead gatherings and others… and strengthening the family through working out the fatherhood stuff with men (FatherHEART conferences). parker’s passion, and our shared vision, is to serve our neighborhoods and cities as community architects and organizers. As we move into this next chapter, our hope is to expand the scope with which we are able to serve our neighborhoods by building bridges and doing the kingdom work.