A black fog has hung over this day and, no, it's not because seventeen years ago today Pete Rose was banished from baseball. But since you brought it up, let me quickly reset that day. It was a rainy summer morning and I was working with my dad, fixing an air conditioner in Delhi [why does everything this week revolve around Delhi?]. It was the house of an older lady who had her TV tuned into Channel 5. When the news came on all three of us glued our eyes to the set as Pete's fate was released. "They're not being fair to him," the lady uttered. "He was a great ballplayer." And she was very correct. Crazy how you remember things like that, huh? My take: sure he's flawed but if they let these steroid users into the Hall of Fame, Pete's gotta be in there too.

Anyway, that's not why I feel a sense of sadness today. Right about now Emily Hill is leaving on a jet plane, coming back in two years. She's moving to London where an incredible time awaits her. We're saddened but thrilled at the same time, but we know that these 24 months will soar by.

It should be noted that, if it weren't for Emily, we might not have started Echo in Walnut Hills. A few years ago she told us of her plan to buy a condo near downtown to see what might happen. She wasn't certain why God was urging her to do it, but it helped us become aware of this part of town and this neighborhood and imagine the possibility of a church here. Sure enough, we bought a place right down the street and found the Walnut Hills Christian Church just a few blocks away. Maybe the Spirit's leading was all so that Echo could be in the community.

I know Emily's a little heartbroken that she won't be able to see the immediate results of our relaunch but I pray that, when she returns in 2008, that God will amaze her with what her faith accomplished.

Travel safe, Emily. We'll see you soon.

p.s. Emily, did you like how I was somehow able to connect you with Pete Rose? That's homegrown westside talent there.