Friday, September 28, 2012

What A Week

It is Friday and another week is in the books. I cannot believe how fast it has gone. It has been an unbelievable week that has been filled from sunrise to sunset.

Sunday was a great day of worship and then after worship, I jumped over to the university to watch some football. After an hour or so of football watching, I headed back to the church to prepare for the Theological Conference. I joined 150 +/- pastors in Alexandria for 3 days of training and worship.

Then on Wednesday, we came back to a full evening of confirmation and high school ministry. In confirmation, I am a huddle leader for a 6th grade group. For our high school ministry, we had 11 high school students and we begin to throw out ideas for ministry and for our summer trip. Belize is jumping to the top.

On Thursday, it was catch up day for the church and the university with being out of the office for the first three days. I then went over to Esther's Kitchen (community dinner) for supper before I headed back to the church for our new members class.

Today was a little low key. I was in the church office for awhile and now I am over at the university (Campus Religious Center). The Cathloic Campus Ministry is here cooking desserts. Tonight, I am headed to the Marshall high school football game and then I am headed back to the center for a university game night.

What a week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great First Week

It has been a great week in Marshall. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of getting to know individuals at the church and at the university.

Two of the simple highlights have been the high school group on Wednesday night and playing ultimate frisbee with 12 of the university students on Thursday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Marshall

Yesterday, I drove 806 miles from Fishers, Indiana to Marshall, Minnesota. Thus, the adventure has begun. Last night, i checked into the Comfort Inn. I stayed there last night and will be staying there tonight. I am not sure where I am laying my head after tonight. I might be sleeping at camp. I might be staying in a house of a former member of the church who is living in a different city or i may be staying in my office and showering at the Y. I am not sure - kinda odd but kinda exciting.

Today was my first day at St. Stephen and it was a great day. They have a traditional and a contemporary service with Sunday School in-between. they had baptisms at both services. There are numerous things that I saw or observed that made me glad that I am here. They are the following:

- education opportunities for almost everyone on Sunday mornings
- Sunday afternoon / evenings are "down time"
- children remain in the worship service for the entire time
- very active milestone ministry
- low-key / relaxed feel (tough to explain)
- the use of the lectionary

This morning, I sat in on the Junior High SS class that was led by an adult named Jeff who has been teaching and involved in youth programming for six years. Sunday School at St. Stephen is more low-key and fun than educational. They use it for their social component of ministry. Their transform/education/cathecism is on Wednesday nights. However, even though they had high emphasis on social - snowball fight - Jeff re-emphasized the Small Catechism and had them answering questions about it, the church and Martin Luther.

I am looking forward to confirmation. I am not the "main teacher" as I have been in the past. Instead, I am a small group leader with Brenda. That should be a blast.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Countdown Is On

In 11 days, I will be making the drive to Minnesota to begin a new ministry. I am looking forward to the opportunity. Yes, there is still uncertainty about not having my family with me for awhile. It is going to be very tough. Thankfully, we live in a time where we can connect through blogs, facebook, phone, text messages, skype and more.

Over the last few days, I learned that one of the things that will be added to my plate will be a huddle leader for confirmation class. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to partner with another adult and lead a huddle group. This will be a great way to hit the ground running. Speaking of hitting the ground running ....

I am going to partner with two aspects of the ELCA very quickly. This excites me beyond measures. The first opportunity will be my second day on the "job". I will be going with the church staff to a synod staff day. Then the second week that I am there, I will have the opportunity to be attend a 3 day Theological Conference provided by the synod and not only get great training but get to meet Pastors and leaders from all over the synod. This will be a great in-road to meet/connect/network as I begin building relationships to share the work of the campus ministry that is being done on Southwest Minnesota State University campus.