Thursday, July 11, 2019

I am the Lord

I've been thinking about that phrase this week, appearing as it does multiple times in the Old Testament reading from Leviticus that will be read on Sunday. I am the Lord. How do you hear those words?

I am the Lord = I am sovereign, almighty, so do as I say!

or

I am the Lord = I am the one who brought you out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and am leading you to the promised land.

Big difference there! Law and Gospel. And I think mostly we hear those words the first way, rather than the second. But I think they mean the second.

So that's in the sermon for Sunday. Make sure you come and listen! :-) Or if you cannot, listen later online here or here.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Higher Things, Days 4-5

The last day of the conference each year doesn't have much going on . . . breakfast, Matins, final plenary, lunch, closing Divine Service. In between, packing and check-out. The second plenary speaker (who did the 3rd and 4th plenaries) was good. I really liked how he thought and presented things, his examples and explanations . . . it's just, well, he was like trying to get a drink from a fire hose! I cannot think of how he could have packed anything more into each hour session he had! So it was a little hard to absorb. But good. Really good stuff.

The closing Divine Service is always a highlight, with the choir and orchestra and lots and lots of good music. Really good closing sermon, too. Then off to the train station for us.


Shot of Chicago as our Uber driver approaches Union Station.


The Gold Cup final (soccer, for you non-soccer fans) is in Chicago on Sunday, so they had a big display in Union Station. Here's a giant mock up of the trophy.


And this is the actual trophy itself. (And yes, there were ropes around it and a guard so you couldn't get too close to it.)


The train ride home was uneventful. I was pretty wiped out from two long weeks, so after eating dinner, I pretty much passed out! Got to enjoy the morning, though, watching scenery go by. This picture is back at Union Station, DC. So all-in-all, a good week. :-)

Next year, will travel to either Knoxville, TN or Grand Rapids, MI for "Watermarked."

Friday, July 5, 2019

Higher Things Day 3

I must say, the weather here has been great for the last two days. The first day was all hot, humid, and rainy, and we got worried the whole week was going to be like that. But we needn't have worried! The last two days have been glorious! This campus is also pretty small, so not a ton of walking, like at some of our others.

I taught my second breakout session yesterday afternoon. Meh. Not my best. I received some good feedback, though, so that's good. It's been a great week getting to hang out and have fun with my daughter. And I get two more days to do it! ;-)

And couple more pictures  . . .


"Higher Things nectar."  :-)


Looking for fireworks in the sky.


Trivia game show. This one was a lot of fun, though it was hard to understand the questions he was asking - he talked really fast and the microphone and speakers weren't the best.

So today we have the final Matins and plenary in the morning, and then the closing Divine Service after lunch. Then it's back on an Uber to Union Station and the train ride home.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Higher Things Day 2

Day 2 is our first full day at Higher Things. Matins, Vespers, Evening Prayer, and Compline. Second plenary session. 3 Breakout sessions. Eating - lots of eating! And free time. All in all a pretty good day.


Today was "wear your conference t-shirt day." So lots of blue!

Today I also taught the first of my two breakout sessions. It went okay. A little rough, which the first time always is. I'll be on again this afternoon, and hopefully some of the rough edges will be smoothed out. The good news was no rain today!

The food has been so-so. Some of the other colleges we've been to, the food has been really good. This is back to college food as you know it. It's been fine, but nothing to write home about.

I also usually post pictures of pastor friends I get to see again while here, so here's your rogues gallery for this year!


This is a new friend, Peter Burfiend. He was Athanasian Neely Owen's fieldwork supervisor his first two years at seminary.


A classmate from yesteryear (and more "yester" than either of us want to admit!).


Pastor Houser from Nebraska.


Pastor Ill. Was a vicar in my circuit back in the day. All around good guy.


Pastor and missionary David Bush. He taught me sign language at the seminary and was one of my fieldwork supervisors as I worked under him at the deaf congregation in Ft. Wayne.


Curate Dreyer. He just turns up everywhere!

The conference is halfway done. Today is the last full day. People start to get tired, and a little wackier . . .

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Higher Things Days 0-1

Day 0? Well, that's the travel day. :-) This year, it's just my daughter and I traveling to Chicago. (We have a couple other youth from the congregation going to the conference in Wisconsin.) So, we decided to take the train instead of driving. About the same time, but much more relaxing.


On the train, Union Station, DC.


Off the train, Union Station, Chicago!

It rained quite a bit our first day here, but we somehow managed to be in the right place and the right time and stay mostly dry.

Day 1 at the conference is the Opening Divine Service, followed by the first plenary presentation, dinner, Evening Prayer, first Breakout session, then free time. We had a late lunch, so not too hungry for dinner. And for the first time in a while, I was NOT assigned to teach during the first Breakout session! I almost always get that slot. But this year, I'm not on until Wednesday night, and then again on Thursday afternoon.

So, some pics from our day . . .


In the chapel.



Free time!


This is one of the new free time activities this year - escape rooms! They will have new ones each night, so maybe we'll do it again. We got put together with some other folks, and yes, managed to escape. It actually wasn't too hard - there were some smart folks on our team! But we did contribute, too.

Friday, June 28, 2019

VBS Day 5

Well, another one in the books. A good last day. Always sad when it ends, but always good to be able to rest, too! I wanted to take our group picture yesterday when I knew more people would be there, but alas! I forgot. So we took it today, even though not everyone was able to be there.


If you want to read the daily newspaper we sent home with the kids everyday, click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

VBS Day 4

Only one more day of VBS! Adults are tired and kids are sad. It's always a full and fun-filled week. Controlled chaos. Hopefully, anyway. :-)

Some more pictures . . .


Awesome teachers!


Helpers worth their weight in gold.


Something fishy in this picture!


How cool is this craft?! And all you need is paper, glue, and a clothespin!


Buddies working together.


My new assistant.