One of the greatest gifts of serving the United Methodist Church as Director of Communications for an Annual Conference is the opportunity to work as a team again. I didn't realize until I was appointed to Extension Ministry, how lonely it is in parish ministry. I think this is because boundary training is very clear that pastors and their parishioners are not to get too chummy, for fear that it may blur the lines when it comes to pastoral care and authority. And while I get this, it also then can prevent laity and clergy from forming a strong bond as a team. (Of course, this is not always the case, I had a wonderful church staff/team in parish ministry...but there was still something lacking.) In my current context, I serve with 3 other directors in the West Virginia Conference, and we work really well as a team. Our team is focused on living into the vision and mission of the conference: "We are a Christ-led, spiritual breath of fresh air that changes the world.