A Farewell

Cody Lail, Executive Director of TCM

When I moved to Tacoma six years ago to begin working with TCM, I could not have imagined how much this ministry would come to mean to me. Serving TCM and the students of Lighthouse has been one of the greatest honors, joys, and responsibilities of my life. It has brought me some of my closest relationships, my fondest memories, my deepest belly laughs, and my greatest encounters with God.

Students have entrusted me with their stories about faith, friendship, romance, pain, and disappointment. I’ve been blessed to serve alongside 33 different creative and thoughtful student leaders, 33 different compassionate and generous Core Group leaders, 5 inspiring and compassionate interns, one hardworking and passionate administrator, and 16 of the most wise, supportive, and committed board members a nonprofit director could want.

I am proud of so much that we have done together. I’m proud of our programs that have expanded, the student leaders we’ve mentored, the thousands of hours our students have spent serving Tacoma, the growth of our interfaith dinners, the vulnerability displayed in our Core Groups, and the deep spiritual formation I’ve witnessed in so many individuals.

While this opportunity has been an incredible blessing to me and my family, I have long dreamt of becoming a therapist when the time was right. Over the last couple of years, I have felt myself drawn to invest more deeply in the spiritual, emotional, and social health of individuals, and feel that I’m ready for that change. I’ve been hearing that familiar Voice pulling my spirit in a new direction, and I’m excited to see where this new path will lead.

As I get ready to pass the baton, I’m thrilled about the bright future of TCM and the community of Lighthouse. The next director will take the helm of an emotionally healthy, well-supported, financially secure, spiritually mature organization with an incredible Board of Directors and devoted Student Leadership team.

TCM is well-prepared to welcome the fresh vision, ideas, and energy that our next director will bring as we continue to invite students to live and love more like Jesus on this campus and in this city.

Tacoma College Ministry has evolved and changed throughout the years. In fact, I think that one of our greatest strengths is the openness with which we have approached the campus of Puget Sound, eager to engage the ever-changing questions and challenges that our students face.

Like many of you, as we have sought to follow the Spirit of God in the 21st century, we have had to ask new questions about who God is calling us to be. Through dialogue, practices of discernment, the study of scripture, and prayer, we have grown and changed. Among other things, we have become a more inclusive community, and hopefully a radically inclusive one, paying special attention to the experiences of people of color, women, those from other faiths, and LGBTQ students. We have also come to see our doubts and faith struggles as a healthy part of a maturing faith journey, and have sought to build a Christian community that welcomes the whole of our students – bruises, differences, doubts and all.

These movements have happened gradually over time, but they have come to define much of the work that we do. For that reason, last summer the Board of Directors set out to craft a new faith statement to guide TCM in coming years. At the time, none of us expected any major changes in leadership, but wanted to solidify our sense of direction, and name more clearly the path of Jesus that we invite our students to follow.

As I prepare for this transition, I’m excited to be a part of the team that is handing forward a faith statement that students and leadership at all levels will gather around in casting their vision for the next leg of the journey. I hope that you’ll be as enthusiastic about the future of this ministry as I am.

My family and I have fallen in love not only with TCM, but with this city. Both have been and will continue to remain incredibly important to us. We’re excited to support TCM in the next phase of its life, and will continue to serve alongside so many of you in the city that has so generously welcomed us.

I am filled with gratitude to all of you who have come alongside this work and alongside me personally – mentors, friends, donors, Core Group leaders, board members, students, student leaders, interns, families of students, local churches and pastors, Puget Sound staff, and the campus community. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do!