Hit a milestone today. I cracked 100 "friends" on my Facebook page. The strange thing about this is that I only had about 50 friends about two days ago. But, somebody added me, and then another, and then I added a few back, and PRESTO.... we're at 100 friends in no time flat.
So the question is, do I know one thing about each one of my 100 Facebook friends? We'll give 'er a whirl.
1) Jaziel Agunia: Amada Cooley's nephew who lives in Mexico. A talented musician and Latin heartbreaker.
2) Dean Altstaetter: Former youth and contemporary music director at Shawnee UMC and current member of the Hepcats.
3) Dave Beckett: UMC pastor whose lived in Alaska since 1992. Married my wife and I.
4) Jacob Berns: Bernsie is in a couple of my fantasy sports leagues. He's a college buddy of Brother Esq.
5) Troy Blubaugh: Former member at Shawnee UMC who was in my youth group back in the day. Was good friends with his folks who I dragged all over creation as counselors.
6) Craig Broadwater: Goes to our church, and his son Wade is a Marine.
7) Shelley Montgomery Buch: Former youth groupee at Shawnee back in the day. I did her wedding, which is notable in the fact that two days before it was supposed to happen, straight line winds knocked down all the power poles on Shawnee Road stretching a mile north and mile south of the church. We had no power for two weeks. I had to call South Side Christian Church to see if we could do Shelley's wedding there. They agreed. Crisis averted. Bride goes from panicked to happy.
8) Rachel Burns: Current youth pastor at Trinity UMC in Lima where her father, Dave Harris, is the senior pastor.
9) Jenny Carson: Former secretary at the Beeson Center.
10) April Casperson: I have no idea who this person is, but I think I added her because she's somehow connected with the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (Methesco), where I completed my MDiv.
11) Jenna Elizabeth Chapman: A current member of Shawnee UMC's youth group who posts a lot of MySpace bulletins and loves her church.
12) Paul Chilcote: Currently a member of the faculty at Ashland Theological Seminary. Taught my first UM polity class at Methesco and provided me with some helpful info on Francis Asbury when I first started my doctoral dissertation (which reminds me, I still owe him a pound of coffee for his time).
13) Alicia Coltzer: Fellow Beeson Pastor, former carrel-mate, pastor in Houston, Texas at Shepherds Drive UMC, and the one who tried to teach me how to get in touch with my inner-princess.
14) Kevin Connor: Real quiet guy who's married to Michelle Mumma Connor.
15) Michelle Mumma Connor: Old friend who sometimes sings at my church, has refused repeated job offers on my part to work in our children's ministry, and secretly owns a lake house at an undisclosed location. Oh, I also sing the first line of the Beatles "Michelle" whenever I see her.
16) Joshua Cunningham: Program director for Clear Channel in Washington D.C. and former manager of OAR who grew up in Lima. Hangs with guys like 50 Cent cause he's of the entertainment world.
17) Nick Daniels: Friend of Eric Dill's who used to do some stuff with Shawnee UMC's youth group back in the day. I remember him as an unfailingly polite young man who was co-developer of the game "Torpedo Dads". The game was played on a trampoline, upon which a number of water-filled two-liter bottles (that had once contained Dads Rootbeer, hence the game's name) rested. The idea was to jump up and down in such a way as to propel the bottles into the groin area of your opponent. How can I make this up?
18) Julian A. Davies: Founding pastor of the University Church in Toledo and the smartest ordained Elder in the universe. I will bring him to Shawnee to do some teaching very soon.
19) Tina Dietsch: T is a former roommate of Alicia's, a former associate pastor at Trinity UMC, and a good friend who will not call you back unless you impersonate her Bishop and make her think she's in trouble.
20) Joanne Ha Dill: Married to Eric Dill, living in Boston. Met her once at the Star Spangled Spectacular about four years ago.
21) J Leigh Ditto: Current youth pastor at Shawnee who is expecting her first child and is a huge Buckeye fan.
22) Susanna Haines Donald: Married to Nolan Donald, fellow Beeson Pastor, and quite possibly the funniest person on the face of the planet. She has plans to write a book about her experience as a middle school English. If she does, I'll make sure you know where to get a copy. She writes a blog, but only close personal friends are allowed to read it (so there).
23) Nolan Donald: Currently the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at a big honkin' church in Houston who is about to be the founding pastor of a church named something like "WordServe UMC", a name which sounds stolen from Bill Gates. One smart funny dude who is a passionate Auburn fan. Too bad they haven't been relevant in college football since Bo Jackson took the backfield. "Bo knows two decades of futility."
24) CJ Dugan: Wife's cousin whose marriage ceremony I performed a couple years ago. Just welcomed his son Spencer into the world (congrats CJ and Jill).
25) Ann Dukeman Lehman: Former youth groupite at Shawnee back in the day, now currently living with her husband in Columbus. The baby of the three Dukeman sisters.
26) Trent Elmquist: Our families both went to Trinity UMC, but Trent was quite a bit younger than I. I knew his brother Kirk really well, and his sister Michelle (who is Craig Broadwater's wife) attends Shawnee and heads up our Centrum Decoration Team. He's a great guy.
27) Jonathan Epperson: Former member of youth group at Epworth UMC during my short 18 month tenure there. I remember he played soccer, had a sister, and liked to hang out with Kevin Gray.
28) Char Evans: Former youth groupite at Shawnee UMC back in the day whose wedding I'll be doing next June. Her grandparents used to own Clyde Evans Markets. The summer before I left for college I delivered pizzas for Dominos. Because the Evans knew me from Trinity, they used to request me as their delivery guy every Friday night when they had over friends play cards. They always left me a killer tip. There's a S-A-V-E in Evans!
29) Kim Faler: Former youth groupite at Shawnee UMC back in the day who liked Danny Kinley and whose brother, Brian, was a good friend in high school. Now she's an artist living in Amherst, Massachusettes. Check out her work at www.kimfaler.com It's good stuff! Buy yourself a Faler for your collection. I am. (seriously, I am!)
30) Whitney Fischer: Current member of Shawnee UMC and it's youth ministry. A fellow Spartan who is off to Ohio Wesleyan University in the fall to study Early Childhood Education. Together, as fellow Lima Senior alums, we make Facebook 40% cooler because we're on it. It's scientifically proven.
31) Ellen Dukeman Gartland: Sister to Anne, Ellen was by far the brightest student I ever pastored back in my days as a youth pastor. She pushed me theologically (in many ways that I couldn't explain until years after her graduation), pushed me ministry-wise (she started our tutoring ministry at the Bradfield Center), and did a good job pointing out the BS in Christian church (which she probably still does). Was living in New York working in the Advertising game, but I think is now moving elsewhere.
32) Rhea Gray: Former youth groupite at Epworth UMC in Toledo. A sweet girl who went to Kent State, and now is engaged and living in North Carolina. One of the truly good people I've met in my life.
33) Kevon Gray: Former youth groupite at Epworth UMC (brother of Rhea) who played drums in what was our awful, yet spirited youth band. Now active in ministry through The Vineyard in Columbus.
34) Kristen Harrand: Former youth groupite (a Beckstedt) who just adopted a daughter with her husband Greg. They live in Lima and attend Shawnee.
35) Greg Harrand: Married to Kristen, Greg just finished coaching the Jr. Acme Baseball team here in Shawnee with Eric Miller. A baseball team coached by an accountant and orthopedic surgeon. At least the stats were straight and all foot and ankle injuries taken care of immediately.
36) Kaylee Hayes: For the life of me I don't know who this person is. I think she's another Methesco person, but don't quote me (if she reads this, maybe she can tell me who she is, or maybe she'll just delete me down to 99 friends... only time will tell).
37) Seth Heckaman: Hang onto your hats Shawneeites. Remember Chris Heckaman, who was a pastor at Shawnee back in the day. And remember he and Lisa had a bunch of kids. And their oldest was this cute little boy named Seth. Well, now Seth will be a senior at Sidney High School, and he just started a ministry to help get children out of the sex trade in Tijuana. No joke. Feel both old, and impressed.
38) Keith Hefner: Son of Charlotte Hefner, my associate pastor, Keith just graduated and is heading off to Marietta College in the fall where he'll study and play baseball (in that order, if he knows what's good for him).
39) Elizabeth Hefner: Dauther-in-law to Charlotte, wife of Dustin, sister-in-law to Keith, and mother of Cade. Member at Shawnee UMC, and computer geek for the Shawnee Weekday Early Childhood Learning Center.
40) Katie Jackson: Youth pastor at St. Paul UCC in Wapak and drag racing freak.
41) Alaina Jenkins: Middle-school aged daughter of Steve and Anne who went to Middle School Lakeside, and, I am told, loved it.
42) Stephen Jenkins: Member of Shawnee UMC and volunteer in the youth ministry at the church, who is also a social worker at SAFY here in Allen County. He has a motorcycle in his garage, and despite the fact that gas is $4 a gallon, hasn't yet pulled it out into the sunlight.
43) Ann Jenkins: Wife of Stephen, she was the housemom for Shawnee UMC at Senior High Lakeside, which makes her special.
44) Shay Furness Kearns: When I first met Shay, Shay was a college student at Grace College majoring in youth ministry. I hired Shay as my youth intern. Since then, Shay has become a seminary student (who owns an Apple laptop whose power supply went kapluey this year, hence the former boss making an early graduation gift in March) at Union Theological Seminary (NYC). Shay is married to Steph, and living in New Jersey.
45) Jenny Kleffman: After a tough divorce, Jenny is now happily married with kids, living on the other side of Ohio. One of the first people from Goshen, Indiana I ever met, and long before I ever thought I'd live there.
46) Karen Kreutzberg: Former youth groupite at Epworth UMC. Her dad managed a theater that musicals and such somewhere in southern Michigan.
47) Logan Latimer: Currently in the Air Force, and stationed at Wright Pattterson Air Force Base in Dayton. He sometimes helps with our youth ministry and occasionally plays bass on Sunday morning worship.
48) Erik Lodermeier: A former part-time Shawnee youth groupite from back in the day who now lives in Colorado and knows a whole lot about music I've never heard of, but I am learning to enjoy (you are expanding my world Erik L).
49) Robert Lopez: I think Robert is an alum at Asbury.
50) Kara Lucas: The former Kara Hastings, I'm pretty much sure that I hadn't heard heads or tails from her for 15 years until she made me a Facebook friend. I had to go back into the wayback machine to place the face. A Shawnee youth groupite from way back in the day.
(whew.... gotta speed this up)
51) Thomas Lyons: Future seminary student who I wrote a multitude of recommendations for in the last two years. All I have to say is that given all the writing I did, he'd better do well in class. On staff at Vineyard Church in Sugarland, Texas.
52) Angie Lysght: Drawing a blank. Another Methesco student. I must have a soft spot for Methesco students.
53) Andy Machin: Former youth groupite at Epworth UMC who is now pursuing a MDiv at one of our 13 UM seminaries. I owe him an email. I promise to write and send it soon.
54) James Thomas Martin: Fellow Beeson Pastor, and founding pastor of a church in Katy, Texas. I bet if you met him a grocery store and talked to him for ten minutes you'd never guess he was a pastor. Not in a million years.
55) Andrew Maurer: Current slav... er, intern at Shawnee UMC. Hurt himself twirling at church camp. (sigh)
56) Jenna Mayer: Student at Bluffton University and all-around good egg.
57) Hayley Mitchell: My niece living in New Bern, NC. I don't care if she is 16, she needs to forget about boys, concentrate on her studies, and forget about boys. Likes to play HORSE with her overweight uncle.
58) Michelle Mitchell: My sister-in-law, and Hayley's mother. She's a nurse anesthetist, so essentially she gets paid to pass gas. Get ready Aunt Shelly cause the boys want to come see their cousins and the ocean. This won't come to pass this summer, but it's coming sooner than later. May you and your home be spared.
59) Justin Modica: Musician, chemist, graduate student studying stuff I'll never understand, and former part-time youth groupite at Shawnee from back in the day.
60) Jeff Moore: Site pastor for Life Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I used to babysit Jeff before he started nursery school. Man am I old.
61) Beth Moore: Sister of Jeff. Wasn't even born when I used to babysit her brothers. Man I am really, really old.
62) Nichelle Morris: We graduated the same year (1987) from Lima Senior High School. We ran in different crowds so I didn't know her all that well. But as fate would have it, I ended up moving in next to her father and mother three years ago. She lives in Atlanta and is recently engaged.
63) Travis Muse: Fellow Beeson pastor, baseball freak, father to two boys, and the senior pastor at Marlow UMC in Marlow, Oklahoma. The church he served in the appointment before Marlow was in Oklahoma City, and bigger than the city of Marlow. Pretty big change. Pray for his mother-in-law who is fighting cancer.
64) Steven Neidich: Senior at Shawnee High School who is in the band and active at our church. Will hate to see him graduate and leave next year. A great kid.
65) Lelah Norris: Student at Wright State University and grand-daughter to Marty Hutchison.
66) Amy Orwick: Ummmm.... I think I need a little help here.
67) Naveen Pai: One of the genuine unexpected welcomed surprises of this whole Facebook thing. Naveen played drums in Fpoon, which was a band made up also of Tyler Derryberry, Matt Parish, and Eric Hicks. Back in the day, Naveen used to come to church and play drums for us on occasion at youth group and at the worship service, which was a big deal cause his family is actually Hindu. I have a great story about him but I'll save it for another post) He eventually graduated from Stanford and I think is now working on a graduate degree in a field I'll know nothing about.
68) Matt Parish: Former youth groupite at Shawnee UMC from back in the day, he's now the lead lyricist for the post-punk band Ho-Ag. Based in Boston, Matt also writes and does other stuff to make a living. As a kid he was deep beyond deep. Still true today.
69) Joe Pisel: Another back in the day Shawneeite who was one of the notorious "Pisel Twins". Talk about keeping a youth pastor jumping.... yikes. Now, he's a father of a set of twins himself, and about to realize the full force of the verse, "you reap what you sow". Lives in the Lima area and works with his dad and twin brother in the sign business.
70) Kara Place: A fellow Spartan who graduated a year behind me (I think), Kara now is the choir director at North Middle School in Lima. Her show choir sang for our Older Adult group at Christmas. They were great!
71) Paul Rebelo: Pauly is the guy who rescued me from sleeping in my car when we went to seminary together way back in the early nineties. My dearest friend, I take no crap off him, and he no crap off of me. Has helped save my sanity as a pastor. Someday when the kids are grown, we will take a couple of weeks, disappear, and wreak havoc in some unsuspecting locale. That's all you need to know.
72) Tammy Jo Reiser: Current West Ohio Conference Director of Youth Ministry. Met her at Annual Conference this year.
73) Kent Reynolds: Kent Reynolds once baptized 3000 people in a remote part of Qatar in a pool he created with his staff in the middle of the desert. Kent Reynolds healed 200 lepers living on an island off the coast of India from his living room in Athens, Georgia on a bet. Kent Reynolds gives wisdom pointers. Kent Reynolds is the Pastor-In-Residence at the Beeson Center in Wilmore, Kentucky when he isn't walking on water or turning water into pecan pies.
74) Tyler Rhodes: Tyler just graduated from Shawnee HS, and will attend the University of Findlay this fall majoring in something, and also playing football. He told me once that he really likes hitting people, which is why he plays football. I'll just take his world for it cause he's a big dude.
75) Christa Roberts: One of my wife's best friends in High School. An accomplished harpist (who knew Lima Senior turned out harpists), she now lives in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
76) Ian Rockwood: Another one of Brother Esq's buddies in my various fantasy leagues.
77) Amy Roush: A fellow member of the class of 1987, her, I, and her twin brother are also all Miami University grads circa 1991. I used to hang out with them in elementary and junior high school when they'd stay at their Dad's house (he lived across the street) on the weekends. Their dad is a dentist, and his was the only house that gave out toothbrushes during Halloween. Amy now lives in Atlanta.
78) Darin Rumer: A really good-hearted but goofy kid, Darin was in the vaunted W-Squad of the Lima Senior High School Spartan Marching Pride. He ended up following a girl he liked to Bob Jones University, but I see on his Facebook page that he ended up graduating from Clemson in 1997. We need to catch up.
79) Andrea Sanford: Andrea is a wonderful person. She lived down the street from where I live now, but now lives in Nashville where she works in the record industry. She probably has brunch with Michael W. Smith and Dana Key on a regular basis. I hope she finds happiness in all she does.
80) Matt Scholl: Fellow Beeson Pastor and pastor of Aley UMC in Beavercreek UMC. I'm partially responsible for Matt jumping ship from his native South Indiana Conference to West Ohio by talking about him to a DS looking to pilfer Beeson Pastors to the WOC. Matt doesn't know this, but originally that DS wanted to appoint him to Shawnee UMC to be my associate (an idea I shot down by the way because, if anything, I should be Matt's associate). He has a wife and two kids.
81) Jennifer Shaw: A student and track/cross country runner at Ohio University because she apparently couldn't get into college (that joke, for a Miami grad, never gets old). Her mother is the organist at our church and her father is the chair of the Board of Trustees.
82) Keri Shryock: Keri and her brothers were youth groupites at Epworth UMC during my short tenure there. Her mother, a sweet, patient woman, had the unfortunate assignment of being my SPRC rep at a time in my life when I was very dissatisfied with my job. Sorry you took the brunt of that Mrs. Shryock. I am very, very sorry.
83) Brent Sloan: A former youth pastor at Shawnee UMC, we hired Brent fresh out of bible college. He was a great guy who loved the Lord, but was pretty green when it came to ministry. Just about the time he was just starting to figure out what he was doing, he left us for another opportunity (against my advice, I might add). But, married with a child on the way, he seems satisfied with the direction the Lord has taken him. A more faithful disciple of Jesus you will never meet.
84) Jenny Beckett Smith: Jenny is married, a student at United and on staff at Stillwater UMC in suburban Dayton. She was a little kid when her family moved from Lima to Alaska so her Dad, Dave, could follow his dream of pastoring on the final frontier. So, in short, she left a little girl in pig tales, and came back married and in the ministry. Once again, I feel very old.
85) Robbi Helser Spanoudis: Robbi grew up at Shawnee UMC, and after faithfully serving in the youth ministry, ended up getting hired by me to be an intern while she was in college. Robbi's heart is huge. So is her sister's, and so are their parents. Robbi is now living in Columbus, and (I'm told) is looking to break back into the youth ministry game.
86) Sophie Starr: A senior at Shawnee UMC, Sophie has more musical talent in her pinky than most people do in their whole body. A truly great young lady.
87) Joe Steele: I think my wife knew Joe back in high school, but I can't say I know him all that well. He's now in the ministry, and he too I owe an email.
88) Eric Stone: Eric is the chaplain at the University of Michigan Wesley Foundation. We went not only to seminary together, but we both ended up getting hosed by the leadership of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference. He frequently writes disparaging comments on my wall about Jim Tressel and what a cheater he is while lifting up the virtues of Michigan's program. Well, welcome to the "Rich Rod" era of Michigan Football, Eric. Good luck.
89) Lauren Stubbs: A former youth groupite from Shawnee UMC back in the day, Lauren now teaches Phys Ed in Nashville, and is seriously sweet on some boy down there. We once had a two hour conversation on the nature of baptism.
90) Noel Tabora: Another former Shawneeite from back in the day, Noel is working in advertising in New York City. Another one of my faves from my youth ministry experience. My memories of him still make me smile.
91) Lisa Tordiff: Lisa is another Shawnee youth groupite from back in the day. She is working on a MACE at Methesco, is a Christian Ed director at a church in Columbus, and another deranged person who wants to pursue youth ministry as a career. She'll be a good one.
92) Brian Vinson: A fellow Elder in the UMC, "The Thief" pastors a church in suburban Columbus, loves to play soccer, runs marathons, and enjoys Thai food. His wife is also a professional musician. He was ordained out of the Independent Christian Church movement while on staff at Southland Christian Church in Lexington, which is a huge megachurch. Now he's a United Methodist. A more interesting person you will not meet.
93) Amy Walters: A mother of four, a good friend to my wife, and apparently now the owner of multiple cows, we wish Amy and Joe would move to Lima. It'll never happen, though. The cows won't leave Goshen.
94) Courtney Montgomery Wanat: Another former Shawnee UMC youth groupite from back in the day, I did Courtney's wedding about ten days after I returned to the church back in 2004. I think her mother asked me to do it about ten seconds after the announcement was made that we were returning. She is a teacher, active at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, and married to a fireman. She lives in Columbus.
95) Michael Wanat: A fireman married to Courtney. See, this one was short.
96) John Whirledge: A student at Indiana Wesleyan, John is one of the few Goshen youth groupites I'm connected to now via Facebook. I always dug John and his family, but given my (for Goshen) liberal theology and long-hair, I think they kinda didn't know what to do with me. They always treated us well, but I think they kept a close eye and ear on me during my five year tenure at Goshen First UMC to make sure I didn't introduce full-blown heresy into the midst. John is dating a girl who is an intern at Chris Heckaman's church in Sidney.
97) Chris Whitney: I know Chris through his dad, Neil. A good guy, Chris works as a physical therapist at the Orthopedic Institute here in Lima. Girls dig him, but he's still single, so for them there is still hope.
98) Trav Wilson: Another fellow Beeson Pastor, Trav is the founding pastor of ChristGarden UMC in Birmingham, Alabama. He is married to the lovely Becca, who worked for years with terminally ill children at a hospital in Pittsburgh. They have a lovely daughter. Trav too is a misguided Auburn fan, wasting his college football fan prime on a program that hasn't been nationally relevant since Bo Jackson took the backfield. "Bo knows continued mediocrity."
99) Aaron Wymer: Another fellow Beeson Pastor, Aaron is the senior pastor of THE Grandview Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee. Did I also mention that he was my next door neighbor in 2006-07 during our Beeson experience in Wilmore, Kentucky. Did I also mention he is a University of Florida grad. Did I also mention that we were rooming together the day the Gators defeated the Buckeyes in yet another National Championship game. I will now light myself on fire.
100) Megan Wymer: Daughter of Aaron. Good kid. Reinvented herself during our year in Wilmore. Hope some of that reinvention stuck when she went back to Johnson City.
That's it! 100 friends. If you've made it this far, you had far too much free time on your hands. You need your own Facebook page. Go get one now!