The Pastor Challenge

The Pastor Challenge

The Assist Pregnancy Center's Walk-Run-Ride for Life is coming up in May and this year I am challenging myself in order to challenge all of you! I am challenging myself to ride a "Metric Century" (100 kilometers) in four hours, and if I can ride farther than I ever have at one time before, I challenge all of you to support me more than ever before. I set my goal this year at $5,000, and our team (Lutherans for Life) at $7,500! If I can do it, you can do it. Assist helps so many mothers and babies, and they are expanding their facility to help even more - and so need our help more than ever, especially coming out of this pandemic. So please help! CLICK HERE to go to my sponsor page to sponsor me, or you can sponsor anyone else who joins the team, or the team as a whole.

Will you step up to the challenge??

Sunday, April 29, 2018

District Convention - Day 4

Today we finished up all the convention business. Had some more elections, considered all the resolutions, and heard the final reports. It was a long day, but good to get everything done - that means I can leave earlier than expected tomorrow and get home sooner! :-)

Yesterday was the Synodical President's report and Q&A session. He's a good speaker. Not many questions asked him. Last night was the Memorial Service for those from the District who died this past triennium - including one of our District President Emeriti. His wife was able to come up from Florida to be with us for the service and it was good to see her again.

Lots of folks had to leave a little early yesterday and so won't be here today - that's too bad. But good reasons. So, two services today with brunch in between, then the long drive home. It'll be good to get home and get some rest!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

District Convention - Days 2-3

Day two here in Cleveland was Day 1 of the Convention. The Board met in the morning and spent the afternoon connecting with people and preparing for the convention. My lay delegate had his pre-seminary interview (which he passed and was accepted later that day). But the day was spent mostly in conversation and preparation. The Opening Service was Thursday night and went well. Stayed up WAY too late talking and visiting, so was pretty tired for . . .

Day 2 of the Convention. Began by passing a revision of the District by-laws, which went much smoother and quicker than expected, honestly, probably because people hadn't read them and weren't prepared. After that, reports from the District President, Vice Presidents and Circuit Visitors were all quickly taken care of, so our Circuit Forums could meet - each circuit electing their Circuit Visitor for the next three years, and then also their delegates and alternate delegates for the Synodical Convention next year. As expected, I was re-elected as Circuit Visitor, but then (not so expected) I was also elected as the delegate to the Synodical Convention.

After lunch, we were able to begin the elections - a whole day ahead of time, according to the schedule. (Though we really aren't following the schedule at all!) But everything has been going quicker than scheduled. First, we elected a new District President. That in itself wasn't shocking, but that it was on the first ballot was quite unexpected. Yes, I was on the ballot, but did not expect to be elected - I was working hard for the man who did win, Rev. Waldemar Vinovskis. He is a good choice and will do a good job. It was a shocking moment for the Convention and it took a little bit for them to catch their breath. After that, the VP elections then went smoothly, two of the three on the first ballot.

During the elections we heard a bunch of reports and also passed the District Work Program (read: budget) for the next three years. Then came dinner (we eat WAY too much here!) and the closing service. The evening was spent in fellowship and conversation - not as late as the first night, but still wanted to get to sleep a little sooner than I did!

The service thus far have been good. The guys who have preached have done a good job. Tomorrow will be the rest of the elections, the Synodical President's report, and resolutions.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

District Convention - Day 1

We're in Cleveland for the SELC District Convention. Drove here with my lay delegate yesterday. Pleasant conversation in the car, though it was rainy and drizzly for most of the drive. It's a bit colder here than in DC, so I wish I had brought along some warmer clothes!

Today is just a bunch of preliminary stuff. The District Board meets this morning, committees in the afternoon, and then the Opening Service tonight. My delegate will have his pre-Seminary interview this afternoon while the committees are meeting - the last thing he needs to get done to finish his application process. I'll use the afternoon to talk to folks, get some reading and writing done, and relax a bit.

As for the hotel, we're at the Marriott by the airport. You can tell it's an older building, but the rooms have been renovated and are pretty nice. The exercise room is big and well-equipped, and the machines actually are in good working order! (I've been to many a hotel where this is not the case.)

So not much to report yet . . .

Friday, April 20, 2018

You Know You Live in Washington . . .

. . . when "Light traffic in your area" means "Delays up to 29 minutes!"
(Yes, an actual screenshot of my phone!)

And . . .

. . . when walking in DC you find a store selling nesting dolls of Bill Clinton and the women he fooled around with!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Yes, They Did It Again!

Champions again! Second time in three years. Awesome. Just wish my Dad was in a little better state of mind so he could really enjoy this too. He is a Villanova alum from way back in the day, which is why we are Villanova fans. I didn't fill out any brackets this year - just didn't have time that week, but enjoyed watching the games. (Actually, while I saw most of the semi-final game on Friday night, I fell asleep for most of the second half on Monday! I woke up just in time for the final minute and the celebration. :-)

And the future looks bright  . . .  Here's to a couple more trophies . . .

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Story I Wish Was in the Bible . . .

On Easter, Paul told us that after His resurrection the Lord appeared to over 500 brothers at the same time (1 Corinthians 15:6). I wish that story was in the Bible! Where did that happen? How? What happened? What was the reaction?

Another question for the next life . . .  :-)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Lent and Easter Reflections

What a glorious day yesterday, celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. It just never gets old.

This was a rather weird Lenten season for me, though. Not the usual. I cannot tell you why. It just wasn't the same for me. Maybe because we are still not in our regular church building - 8 months out now! I never would have guessed that, that it would take that long. Maybe it was because of other busyness I had to attend to, and all the trips I wound up taking. Maybe it was just satan playing with me, pushing my buttons. I cannot tell you, just that it was somehow different for me this year. I wasn't even as busy this year - at least, during Holy Week. I usually have to go to the rental place and pick up some chairs, and then have to haul all our church stuff to where we will be having our Holy Week services. Didn't have to do that this year, since we've been in our "temporary" location for 8 months now (did I mention that?). We also didn't have a Good Friday noontime service this year. The woman who reserves that room for us has been recovering from illness and a stroke all the season of Lent and was unable to do that.

So I got to Holy Week this year, and it just didn't seem right. But Holy Week . . . that just put everything right again. :-) I love Holy Week, soaking in the Word all week, thinking, writing. This was weird too - usually I cannot write my Easter sermon until Saturday, after I have been through all the other services of Holy Week. But this year, I was able to write it on Friday morning. Again, not sure why. Just the way it was for me this year.

And then our Divine Service yesterday! Our keyboardist who played yesterday is just awesome. I love all our musicians, just she just has a way. Sadly, she and her husband will be leaving our congregation soon, beginning a new time of life. I will miss them! And I think I was probably one of only a handful of pastors in the United States who didn't use April Fools Day in my sermon! (Click here to listen.) But getting all the parts of the liturgy back from our liturgical Lenten fast, getting all the chanting back, the wonderful hymns and readings . . . just great.

So now another 7 weeks to celebrate our Lord's resurrection! Some things getting back to normal, some new ventures begun . . .