“Street theologian”, “Dr. NJ”, educator, storyteller, healer, “the sex guy”, laugher, crier, lover, “soul play”, “beloved”, “kairos” “that weird dude who wears dress socks and Birkenstocks…”
Believe us when we say these are just a few of the things our father has been called or associated with over the years. For as long as we can remember Dad has passionately worked to connect not only with people, but to the human spirit as well. Over the span of multiple decades, Terry has built a successful body of work on his ability to reach people with his words. Recently, he has flirted with writing a book, but often becomes consumed by his hectic schedule and is unable to genuinely start the process.
Our immediate family has expressed unflinching support in this endeavor, and we have every faith (no pun intended) the result—regardless of financial success—will deeply move people. One of my father’s and my favorite quotes eloquently decries, “The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” I pray his dream to write a complete body of work does not become a precaution. There are countless reasons why this book could fade into a fleeting idea, rather than come to fruition. I think the amount of time, organization, and planning required to write a book intimidates him. I have no doubt our father vehemently believes in his work—you see it in his face every time he eagerly takes the stage in front of a rabid group of blood-thirsty 8th graders, as if saying “bring it on.” This Christmas, we are asking Terry’s family and friends to reach out and shower him with the support and motivation needed to stare this project in the eye and exclaim, “bring it on!” You are receiving this letter because Terry has been intimately connected to your life at one time or another, and we want you to be included in this process. And how fitting, if we demonstrate our solidarity with him through the very medium he plans to use: the written word…
At a time when society pushes families to spend exorbitant amounts of money on the next best thing, we want to give our father a gift money cannot touch. We humbly request a few minutes, or more, of your time to give Terry the extra push he needs to embark on this journey. It can be as short as a few sentences, to as long as a couple pages—any support will be greatly appreciated. The following are a few questions we created to help ignite the creative spark in you. Please feel free to answer any or all of them.
-How has Terry impacted your life and how do others stand to benefit from reading his book?
-If you had a book by TNJ, would you recommend it to other people? Who would you recommend it to?
-Why do you think Terry should write a book? What topics would you enjoy seeing him write about? What do you think he would enjoy writing about?
As many of you know, our father has a serious affinity for journaling. Consequently, we plan to compile all your responses into a professionally bound journal and present it to him this Christmas. As it will surely take a few days to organize everyone’s responses, we graciously ask you reply by Saturday, December 22nd. Also, please refrain from letting TNJ know about our mischievous, backdoor Christmas actions, as we hope to surprise him.
Please email your words of encouragement to the sender of this email (I.E. Clare or myself).
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either one of us, as we are more than willing to help. Thank you for your time, generosity, and effort in helping us make this dream a reality.