Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I found it disturbing that in a recent issue of the PO a comment was made about the EPC. The quote went something like this, as one minister spoke to another about the new wineskins presbyterians coming together with the EPC: "You can do what you want with your church and by the time anybody notices you'll be retired."
It hit me in the face like cold water and then burned. What makes any pastor think the church is theirs? It is only the community you have been called to serve. It is not yours. It does not belong to you. You are there to serve. To me, that doesn't mean doing what I want, but through prayer, discernment and listening to God, what God is calling us to do together.
Not only is this an egotistical statement which I find chilling, but furthermore, it displays an absolute disregard for accountability to a higher governing body, which burns me up.
I think back on my ordination vows, specifically:
Will you be a minister of the Word and Sacrament in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture and continually guided by our confessions?
Will you be governed by our church's polity and will you abid by its discipline? Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God's Word and Spirit?
Apparently, those vows mean little to this gent who feels he can do anything he wants with his church and then has the gall to tell another to go and do likewise.
I found the comment and the attitude very disturbing and hope that others in the church found it so as well.
Did others of you catch it and were you as disturbed as I was?

Monday, February 26, 2007

(as usual a few days late!!!)

As we take the beginning steps of our journey through Lent, who would we take as a companion? Name five people, real or imaginary, you might like to have with you as guide or guardian or simply good friend.

1. LH - because we travel together in life as husband and wife and best
friends. And he makes the journey all the better.

2. Roz - a clergy colleague who is wise and gracious and I enjoy
being with her and in her company

3. Another friend, Donna - who is vivacious, full of the Spirit's energy,
and plays a wonderful oboe, music to
and friendship to accompany me on the

4. Walt Wangerin, Jr or Garrison Keillor - a story teller to deepen and
enliven the journey

5. My Greys - Ben and Jett - the follow me all around the house and I
would miss their loving companionship
if they didn't journey with me. Besides,
they are warm, fuzzy and loving, and that's
something I always need.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Thaw

Finally, have begun to thaw from the snowstorm and frigid temperatures.
LH made his way slowly through PA to get to Elite Seminary and actually made it even though the Sem was closed on Wed. LH even made it home Sat. afternoon after being detoured on secondary roads in PA.
I was left to defend our home against the onslaught of snow, which I did admirably; shoveling a long sloped driveway, sidewalks, stairs and porch, twice. By Wednesday morning you couldn't tell that I had really shoveled at all. I began the Sysiphisian task of shoveling the driveway. I managed the walk from driveway to porch, the steps and porch. I struggled with shoveling nearly a quarter of the drive from the garage down and it was a new impossibility. I looked longly at the snowthrower in the garage which I had no clue in how to use. (LH wasn't sure the gas/oil mix was still any good.)
God was gracious and merciful in sending my next door neighbor with a powerful snowthrower over and he blew the whole driveway while I shoveled the little leftovers.
That afternoon, I baked some fine chocolate chip cookies (with 60% cacao - only the best will do) and baked a traditional Swiss bread.
With a heart full of gratitude and thanks, I brought them to my neighbor with a $ donation for the gas used. They sent me home with a ziploc bag of beef vege soup!!
It is good to be back and on to a more normal routine. I spent Ash Wednesday afternoon making two needed home visits to two elderly and not healthy parishioners. My heart aches for them. Then there was the evening service with the neighbor Methodists. I put the liturgy together with some input and resources from Methodist Gal Pastor, but I typed it all up, ordered the bulletin covers, etc. and then preached as well.
Attendence was low in this rural Anabaptist conservative area where Ash Wednesday was never much observed. Yet, I could not help but feel that folks seem to busy to stop, and don't want to be in touch with their own mortality. It's easier not to think about it or deal with it, until some awful tragedy happens. Entertain me in church and make me feel good, seems to be what many want. But just below the feel-good, don't-want-to-think-about-it way of living, lurks those deeper needs, the wounds that need healing, the guilt of our sins, the gulf of our sin.
I wished we could have broadcasted the service out into the street, reminding folks to stop for a moment, to consider, to confess, to come back and before God and to be in touch with our own mortality and lack of control of our lives. Do we merely walk through this season without thought and reflection, skipping our way to Easter?
Are we willing to drink the cup, to walk with our Lord Jesus Christ all the way to the cross? It asks much of us and transforms us all along the journey. How to reach the people and to let them live in this season, as difficult and uncomfortable as it can and yet be touched in ways they can not even begin to imagine? That is the hard task of this Lenten season and indeed, of every season.
Presbyterian or Lutheran - You Decide!

You are 75% Lutheran! This is most certainly true.

Not a perfect score. What does this mean? You have room for growth in understanding Lutheran terminology and culture. Good thing Salvation is by Grace and not by merit. We can add nothing to what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. But it never hurts to learn a little more about the church on earth. Thanks for taking the quiz!

How Lutheran Are You?
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Monday, February 12, 2007


I mean really, why did Blogger have to switch to the new version?
I am having more trouble logging on and leaving comments. Is anyone out there having the same trouble?
Things were going along quite nicely and then wham, a mandatory change and it's a bigger pain in-the-you-know-where and has certainly deflated the fun of this.
Change is like that at times. Usually, one hopes that on the other side of change is not disappointment but a newness of possibility and of hope. Of satisfaction of surviving the change, of lessons learned, and growth in our life and faith.
Some changes are a real struggle, kinda like Jacob wrestling the angel.
We may battle change and be changed, even be won over by change.
And sometimes, we end up with a slight limp, or a bruise from change. In the end, we just hope to be better off by the changes in our lives.
Those of us in faith, seek God, in these changes, our anchor in turbulent times. Or we look to God for the meaning and truth behind change.
Sometimes, change just sucks.
So I will continue to struggle and deal with this new version as best I can and apologize for my comments not getting posted. I really do care and pray for all of you at RGBP!

Monday, February 05, 2007


I can't remember it ever being THIS cold!!! I pulled out from the garage where the reading in my van said, 19 degrees, by the time I turned out of the development the numbers tumbled down to 0. When I crossed the RR tracks, it was -2, and at the first stop sign, it settled in at -3.
It's time to go out and I'n not looking forward to stepping out even if the sun is shining. The van won't even heat by the time I get to the old folk's home barely a mile away.
How I long to join my greys on the couch, snoozing and catching up on my reading. All the schools were cancelled and probably will tomorrow as well. The teachers are off. Sigh. When do Pastor's get an extra day off, or a freebie day off? We don't even get all the holidays off. There's New Year's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Well, I suppose 6 out 10 isn't too bad. It's just a long time from New Year's to Memorial Day!
Oh well, time to start piling on the coat, hat, scarf and gloves. I forgot to put on my boots this morning and I miss the fuzzy warmth on my feet!
This arctic cold is a bit too much for me. A trip to the Caribbean sounds wonderful right now!!!!!! Dreaming of palm trees, sand and surf and the warmth of the sun, and the warmth of the sun.