Enten and Mary's Home Page
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Greetings... you have reached Enten Eller's Home Page... soon to be retrofitted to be Enten and Mary's Page! But here is what I had previously, until I get it updated....
I thought I'd put up a simple web presence for myself... this will allow me to share files and photos with family and friends, and help those with whom I have lost touch over the past years who may be trying to find me via the web. (Guess what? you found me!)
There have been many transitions in my life in the past decade, and particularly the last couple of years, including my struggles with being completely disabled by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 1999, moving back to California, and the painful tearing apart of my marriage of fourteen years early in 2005. These were followed by miracles in my life: suddenly starting to recover my health in the Fall of 2005, being offered a job in Indiana early in 2006, and being gifted through wonderful relationships with friends and family.
I have journeyed through my challenges and pain, I have delighted in the joys that have come my way, and I feel as if I have been supported and protected through it all--and I am grateful. I have grown much, I have been given many good gifts... and I like who I am, who I choose to be, and who I continue to become. I began this year of 2007 in the midst of tremendous change and some loss, yet even then I wrote that I was still choosing to be looking forward, not backward, anticipating the good that I trusted would come my way as I lived openly and whole-heartedly.
And the good has come! So many good things! There was so much up in the air at that time: vehicle, housing, future, relationship... and while there are still questions about what the future holds--and may it always be so--much has fallen into place in ways at which I still marvel. There have been sad times, particularly when my father, Vernard Eller, passed away in June from Alzheimer's Disease. But we celebrated his life and ministry, and I was still able to participate as a member of the Church of the Brethren Sudan Initiative's Assessment Team, traveling throughout southern Sudan during July and into August (a very powerful, yet somewhat rugged, trip).
That said, allow me to catch you up to the present. I am currently living in Richmond, Indiana, where I work at Bethany Theological Seminary--long ago a dream of mine, which I had mostly given up even before I became disabled, and so it is a joy to be here, and be making a difference, as I serve as the Director of Distributed Education and Electronic Communication. In April I was able to purchase a home here, just a stone's throw away from the Seminary, and so I am beginning to settle in to the Richmond area. And in August I became engaged to a wonderful woman, Mary Schiavoni, of Elizabethtown, PA. We plan to be married November 24. The wedding will be at the Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, PA, and we intend to settle back in Richmond.
But rather than me just going on and on, allow me to simply list a few of the things that I have participated in recently . . . this will give you an idea of what is going on in my life. You can always take the time to be in touch if you'd like to know more (that's why that information is at the top of the page!).
Blessings . . . and peace be . . .
Some of the things to which I currently give time and energy include...
My relationship with Mary
Mary and I are delighted to have found each other--actually, she found me first--and are looking forward to marrying each other soon. Mary is a wonderfully supportive partner, and a great fit for me, as we support each others' ministries and callings. Mary has served for the past six years as the Program Coordinator and Registrar for the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC). SVMC is a ministry training center, a multi-district project and Bethany Seminary satellite [which is how we met, as I now serve on their Board as part of my Bethany work], located on the Elizabethtown College campus. Mary is the only employee in the office, and their only full-time staff. Mary also works part time as Coordinator of Children's Ministries at the Spring Creek Church of the Brethren in Hershey, PA (where we will be married), not far from where she grew up on one of the Milton Hershey farms that her father managed. Her background is Lutheran, but she joined the Church of the Brethren 15 years ago or so, and has been a licensed minister for the last several years. One of her dreams is to complete her M.Div. degree, and moving to Richmond will make that a natural. (For the fun of it, here is a photo of her while we getting ready to go flying in a small Cessna this summer.)
Bethany Theological Seminary (www.BethanySeminary.edu)
My new career, as of July 2006, is working here as Director of Distributed Education and Electronic Communication. Bethany is the seminary of the Church of the Brethren, training women and men in ministry and theological studies. I am responsible for Connections, the distance education Masters degree program, as well as other distance education initiatives, among which I intend to include course offerings to students in other countries as well, extending Bethany's education internationally. I am also responsible for the seminary website, among other things. I am very fortunate to have this position which combines my commitment to the church and ministry with my technical and computer skills. (It is the very nature of this work that allows me to accomplish what I need to do wherever I can get an internet connection, whether that is in my Bethany office or anywhere else in the world.)
Church of the Brethren Sudan Initiative (www.brethren.org/genbd/global_mission/Sudan)
After serving on the Assessment Team, traveling in southern Sudan throughout July 2007, I continue to support this outreach effort of ministry and mission. Mary and I have been invited to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider going to Sudan to live there as part of this ministry... and at some point in the future, we just might. In the meantime, we are glad to help share the vision with others, and support those who are already choosing to go.
Eller Computer Services (www.EllerComputerServices.com)
This is the computer consulting business I have run for over 23 years, where I am still Senior Consultant and owner. I specialize in troubleshooting and technical support for both hardware and software issues on Windows-based PCs and small to mid-sized networks; teaching person-to-person with individuals or groups; programming (including web design, database functions, and other data services); and recommending, selling, and setting up quality computer equipment, peripherals, accessories, and software according to my customers' needs, and have served customers in at least 18 countries. I do relatively little of this work now that I am devoting my time to Bethany, but still assist those I know when needed from time to time.
Gidan Salama International House (www.GidanSalama.com)
I intentionally created a small international community in my home in California by inviting students from other countries to share living space with me. As I make the full transition to Indiana, I have been closing out this ministry and anticipate selling the house soon. While that is the close of a chapter, it was a good chapter of my life.
One of my important roles while in La Verne from 2002-2006 was being close to my mother and father, Phyllis and Vernard Eller, and my brother Sander, who still lives at home. With my father's death this past June, I do not spend as much time in California, but try to keep in touch with my mom by phone and email, and I am glad for her to be able to be visiting out Indiana-way more often, as she can come and see both my sister and her family as well as me. (My sister, Rosanna McFadden, lives in Goshen, Indiana--only about 3-1/2 hours north of me.)
Church Participation and Ministry
As a former pastor and ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, I am an active member of the Richmond (IN) Church of the Brethren, and participate in the church's life and ministry in the ways that I am able. As I have moved back into ministry, I anticipate being ordained again this December.
Music and Singing
Music is important to me, and making music touches me in important ways. I am participating with the church choirs, and the seminary choir, and with a double male quartet that is based out of Dayton, Ohio. While I'm not doing much instrumentally at this time, the thought is still there....
It is clear that my heart is still tied to peacemaking, in whatever ways I find it, especially given our current political situation. Maintaining Gidan Salama was but one way; participating with peace groups is another; supporting others, particularly those wrestling with registration and draft issues, is another; and I was blessed to be asked to provide part of the leadership for the Church of the Brethren's Christian Citizenship Seminar in New York and Washington, D.C. in 2005. I participate with the Peace Studies Forum at Bethany, and continue to find ways of expressing these convictions.
Facilitation, Communication, and Conflict Resolution
While I do not have a formal venue to exercise the skills and training in conflict resolution that I have developed (such as I have done formerly with the Church of the Brethren Ministry of Reconciliation or as serving as the Executive Director of the Mediation Services of Tippecanoe County), I continue to try to share skills through meeting facilitation, and informally in interpersonal situations.
Children's Disaster Services (f.k.a. Disaster Child Care)
Now that I have renewed my certification as a Church of the Brethren Disaster Child Care giver, I am one of a group that is on-call to respond to disasters in the Southern California area (a bit difficult for me geographically for now!), as well as the entire country. Children's Disaster Services is a group that partners with the Red Cross and FEMA to care for the needs of children in times of disasters.
American Red Cross
I am also a volunteer with the American Red Cross, having spent nearly a month in Montgomery, AL responding to Hurricane Katrina devastation (DR-871) in Oct/Nov 2005. It turns out that my technology skills are fairly rare in the group of Red Cross volunteers, and the additional training I received while in Alabama means that there may be times that I will have a role to play a part of the Red Cross' Response Technology Team. Furthermore, I am now certified to respond with the Emergency Communication Response Vehicles (ECRVs), a customized SUV crammed with half a million dollars of dozens of radios and satellite internet and other such technology, and so am joining an elite group that is called upon as a disaster first strikes to provide emergency communications (here's a picture of one of the only nine ECRVs in the entire country).
...and not the least of all, Myself
I have learned, and am still learning, to set aside time and energy for myself. I pray that my heart continues to open and expand, that I continue to grow in my life's journey, and that I continue to learn the lessons that are before me as I travel on. Those friends that are close to my heart are an important part of this for me, but so is the self-work and reflection that forms the basis for deepening who I am, playing counterpoint to the reaching out that I do in so many ways.
I plan to begin to bicycle again--bicycling was my main hobby before I became disabled--and I now own three tandems (yes, I do like partnering!). I also intend to explore other fun things . . . perhaps kayaking, hiking . . and I try to fit in surfing on visits back to California . . . and reading, music, and concerts . . . there are a multitude of options open to me.
As I journey into this time, I not only look for the good that awaits me... I have found it. I am so very, very grateful!
In addition to those mentioned above, the other members of my immediate family are my pets, who still live in my California home. (Belle left to live elsewhere in January 2007, but I still share her photo here.)
|Belle (my beagle)||Muffin||Tigger||Cinco|
A Final Word...
While the Church of the Brethren tag line that appears on the bottom of my personal card was created for and adopted by the entire denomination, I also claim it as my own, as a standard by which I journey through life: "Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together." May it be so, and may the Love who longs to accept and support all of us, all humanity and all creation, show through in the way I interact with each and every one.
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