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A Sad Yet Thankful 'Goodbye'

Serving as your editor these last 13 months has been amazing, but it's time for me to pursue my next adventure.

After playing 127 games for the Birmingham Barons at the age of 31, Michael Jordan had a .202 batting average, 51 RBI and 30 stolen bases—pretty impressive for a guy who hadn’t played competitive baseball since high school.

But, no matter how hard he tried, Jordan couldn’t escape the fact that at his core, he was a basketball player—one of the best ever.

For me, Jordan’s baseball story rings true in my life.

Since launching Severn Patch in the fall of 2010 and then taking over Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch in January 2012, I’ve written approximately 2,200 Patch posts and edited probably another 2,500. During that time, I’ve grown a lot as a journalist and professional, and to be honest, I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Whether it’s breaking tragic stories or writing playful posts, working for Patch has been an incredibly enriching experience. I’ve been surrounded by an amazing team of people who despite all the curves and turns of working for a media company, they’ve stayed strong, true, hard working and committed to the goal of creating an informed citizenship in Anne Arundel County.

But for me, much like Jordan experienced with baseball, I realized that at the core of who I am, I’m not designed to be a full-time journalist—at least not right now.

A new journey

Over the past few months, I’ve been spending a lot of time figuring out how I want to spend my life, and what I want to do with it. And for me, part of that meant figuring out how I can best impact the people around me by utilizing my gifts to their highest potential. I love people, I love working with people, and ultimately, I care about helping people.

That’s why I’ll be leaving Patch, effective Saturday, to go work as a full-time staff member for Mosaic Christian Church, a church designed for people who don’t “go to church.”

If you’ve read my “About Me” page here on Patch, you know my personal faith in Jesus Christ is at the very core of who I am, and that’s a huge part of why I’ll be leaving to go work for this church.

There’s a long and remarkable back story as to how I ended up getting hired at Mosaic, but that’s for another time. The big reason I’ve felt called to leave Patch is this:

I don’t want to be the writer anymore. I want to live a life worth writing about.

Journalism is an admirable profession. At its core, it’s one of the foundations of democracy and helps the United States be the great country it is. But in this season of life, for me, I know it isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing.

A challenge for the future

My fellow Patch editors are an incredible bunch with passion, drive and determination. But like any tough job that demands a lot of your time and energy, if you’re heart isn’t in it, you won’t last much longer. So as I conclude this longwinded goodbye to all of you amazing readers who’ve helped make Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch so incredible, I wanted to offer a challenge to each of you:

Demand better.

There are plenty of media outlets crying out for your readership. I get that. But I want to encourage each and every one of you to demand excellence.

Don’t settle for simple copy and pasting. Don’t allow “outlets” to post incorrect information without any sort of standard to be met. Don’t let Patch off the hook when a story needs more digging, more context and more analysis.

I know it’s easy for me to say all this now as I’m leaving, but Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch is one of the best sites around because it has some of the most engaged and informed citizens. Don’t ever let up, don’t ever settle for less, and use your voice and readership to shape your community and help us all reach that oh-so desired goal of creating a powerful and informed citizenship here in Anne Arundel County.

To all of you who have been there, thank you.

And one more thing…

Go Ravens.

Chris Edmonds January 19, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Good 4 u ! Nothing better than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ" God Bless u for listening 2 ur heart. Im sure God will use ur talents for His will! We will miss u at Edgewater Patch.
GG Chet January 19, 2013 at 01:37 AM
Best of luck. Full time ministry is such an amazing calling...they are so lucky to be getting you. Praise God for folks like you who will speak of his faith....these are the folks our young people need to look up to. Blessings;)
Jonathan, I am so happy for you! The career counselor in me is delighted that you'll begin a new journey which is so meaningful to you and allows you to use your gifts in a way that aligns with your life today. We will miss you a *great deal* and I hope you will keep in touch. Your wonderful style, personality, and talent (and yes, the gift you have for working with people) have made our local Patch simply amazing -- and a great resource. Thank you! You have made a positive and real difference in this community, and I know you'll continue to do the same wherever you'll be.
Trish Walsh January 19, 2013 at 02:31 AM
Best wishes to you, Jonathan, as you begin a new and exciting chapter of your life!
Bob Mosier January 19, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Jonathan, On behalf of all of us at Anne Arundel County Public Schools who have had the pleasure of working with you, I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. Your work at Patch is well-respected and admired both among your readers and sources. Thanks for all your hard work and fair and accurate reporting about our school system and our children. Bob Mosier Public Information Officer Anne Arundel County Public Schools

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