It’s hard to believe that our (mine and Connie’s) big weekend was only four years ago. Four years ago today friends and family from all over came for a long weekend. The festivities started on a Friday with my ordination (by that time I had been serving at Salem for about a month). Representatives from Salem made the 2 1/2 hour trip up to Dawson to be there for the ordination service as well. The council president processed in with Salem’s processional cross and recessed out with it (I had heard of that idea from a classmate of mine). My grandma read scripture (she said she was almost in tears as she read, which misted up my eyes). My mom and dad presented my stole to Bishop Jon (a stole my mom had specially made for me). Then Bishop Jon did something that I will always remember. After the pastors came forward to lay hands on me, Bishop Jon invited my family to come forward to do the same thing. It was such a powerful moment for me. It wasn’t just one select person laying hands on me, but the Church; the community of believers; my family. I will forever remember that moment and day.
But I would be in a lot of trouble if I did not mention the BIG part of the fun weekend. July 2 is my ordination anniversary, but July 3 is my wedding anniversary (4 years married to my lovely bride). Like I said…it was a big and fun weekend. Connie figured that since family was coming for the wedding anyway that we might as well have my ordination that same weekend. And of all the people involved, I think my mom was the happiest about that arrangement. Since my mom really didn’t have much to do with the wedding planning, my mom took charge of my ordination planning (I planned the worship and mom took everything else). And my mom did a great job. Before the service, my folks hosted a BBQ at the house and after the worship service, mom arranged a ice cream social outside the church on the sidewalk. Leave it to my mom to get creative like that.
But as I look back…the past four years have flown right by. Connie and I have had some wonderful moments here and we can definitely see having many more years of wonderful moments here in Jackson. We have made some lifelong friends here and the longer we are here the more Jackson feels like home.
How many more years will we be here? That’s a tough question to answer. The litmus test for me is this: Does God have work for me to do here? And as of now the answer is “Yes”. So with that I continue my ministry and our life here in Jackson at Salem and Belmont Lutheran Churches. And hopefully…in a year…you will find me writing about a wonderful five years of ministry here in Jackson, MN.