A couple days ago we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; a victory won FOR YOU and FOR ME. We sang our praises; we heard the Word proclaimed; we participated in the Lord’s Supper.
Now all seems quiet. Almost eerie. And kind of nice.
Don’t get me wrong…I love Lent and Easter even though it is extremely busy and sometimes stressful. And I think this year it was busier and more stressful than others though. I am not sure why but it just was. Half way through Lent I was “knocked down” for a couple days. I had to cancel a couple small groups and just rest…but I was ready to go for Wednesday evening worship that week. The rest of Lent I could still feel the effects of that mid-Lent hit. I had my good moments and my bad moments. But praise be to God…the Holy Spirit gave me strength to continue in my ministry. Satan took his best shot but lost.
Now it is the Tuesday after Easter. I am sitting on my couch enjoying the very beginning of a 2 week vacation. And it almost feels strange, but I feel more relaxed than I have for a couple months. And despite my love for Lent and Easter I am enjoying this feeling of having nothing pressing on my to-do list other than:
~ Working in the yard
~ Running some errands
~ Watching some TV
~ Catching up on some reading
~ Sitting by the river
~ and enjoying some time with my wife
So even though I love the Lenten small group studies, the mid-week worships and the Holy week schedule going into Easter Sunday…and that on top of my normal weekly duties, I am also enjoying this time down. But once again…don’t get me wrong. I love being a pastor. And in some strange way I also love the busyness and stress:
~ I love the hustle and bustle of ministry.
~ I love running around visiting people.
~ I love the lesson planning.
~ I love the worship/sermon prep
~ I love dealing with the day-to-day demands.
~ I love the proclamation of the gospel.
So BECAUSE I love being a pastor, and all that goes with it, I am going to enjoy this time away. I am going to take full advantage of this rest. I am going to make the most of this vacation. And if you see me anywhere near the church building for any other reason than to get my mail…kick me out. I won’t be offended…because I know that with the proper rest these next couple weeks I will come back even stronger on April 23; ready to take on the world and all that goes into being a pastor in this small town in SW MN.
So in the mean time, continue to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. Continue to proclaim this victory. Continue on with “business” as usual.
Now…it’s time to return to my next vacation agenda item. Let’s see what’s next…Hmmm…NOTHING. Sounds good to me 🙂
Hi there…my name is Eric…
OK…enough of that…<“we all know you haven’t been around for a while”>. I hope it doesn’t worry you that I was just talking to myself. Maybe I need a longer post Easter vacation. Maybe I need some more coffee (which doesn’t sound like a bad idea). Maybe I need…well…we could go on for a while here so I won’t bore you.
In any case…Easter is done (at least the day of Easter is, we are still in the Easter season) and my vacation is over. Now I am back in the office and I was greeted with another death in the congregation. Nothing quite like being thrown into the fire right away. But hey…the life of a pastor.
I spent the morning attempting to clear off my desk (notice the word “attempting”) and now the call of this 70 degree day is tempting me to leave the office.
Wow…this post has turned strange very quickly. Maybe I DO need some more coffee 🙂
Anyway…I just wanted to check in with you and share a couple things that you will be seeing here shortly:
(1) I am working on an adult class on Paul’s letter to the Romans. I have always been intrigued with this book and decided I wanted to dive deeper into this with some people.
(2) I am continuing my preparations for my educational event that I will be attending in June at Virginia Theological Seminary. I have a case study to write, a book to read and a couple congregational projects to do. And this is all due on June 15. I need to get to work. I hope to share some insights with you here.
(3) More ponderings as a pastor (me) serving in a rural context. Now that the program year is coming to a close in a month or so, I am hoping to do some more writing.
OK…enough rambling for now. Hopefully you long time readers aren’t too worried about me. And hopefully you first time readers aren’t being scared away. I am really quite “normal” (whatever that means).
So with that…God bless your day…and I hope to see you again soon 🙂
It is Monday (or it WAS Monday…since I wrote this yesterday and am finishing this post today) and I am back in the office. As you know from my last post my wife and I were out in Washington visiting my internship congregation. It was such a relaxing time…visiting with friends, hiking, shopping, eating AWESOME seafood, gazing at the beautiful scenery and spending time with my wife. It was just what the doctor ordered.
So now…as I sit here in my office…I am feeling refreshed (never mind feeling overwhelmed yesterday morning trying to catch up); ready to get back into the swing of things:
I am ready to get back to the craft of preaching.
I am ready to write some lesson plans.
I am ready to begin getting caught up with people here.
I am ready to begin planning the end of the program year.
I am ready to lead this congregation once again.
I am ready to breath the air of SW MN once again with a renewed sense of ministry.
I am ready…
I have talked with people who think vacations are not a priority; that they are a waste of time and money (especially in our struggling economy now days), but I do not regret spending the money I did these past two weeks. I do not regret it because I feel blessed and since that is the case I need to take care of myself and my wife. I need to be able to continue the ministry God has given me to do. And I am ready once again to take on the challenges that are ahead and for that I give thanks and praise to God.
So with that I must move forward…because…I am now ready.
Praise be to God!
I apologize for the inactivity of this blog but Holy Week kept me busy as usual and now I am on vacation. I’ll see you all the week of April 27.
Take care and God bless.
Greetings and salutations…
I am sitting here in the Holiday Inn in Willmar as my wife visits the fitness center here. Since I am by myself for a little while, I thought I would take this opportunity to check in.
It has been a fun an exciting few days. On Sunday I flew to Chicago for a meeting at ELCA headquarters. It was called the Synod Mission Table Pilot Project. Thirteen of the 65 synods from around the ELCA were invited to gather and talk about mission strategy. I was invited to attend this meeting with three others from the synod office including our bishop, a synod minister and the synod council V.P. We heard some amazing presenters and spent some quality time together discussing some mission strategy for the synod. I was honored to be included in this meeting and discussion. We have a tough road ahead of us as SW MN is a synod that is declining in population and worship attendance. We definitely need to rethink how we do mission and have to do something to encourage our people to be who they were created to be: evangelists. I think we have a pretty good plan in place and I look forward to writing more about our efforts as things unfold.
On Tuesday I flew back home and headed up north to the St. Cloud area to join Connie and her family for some time at a resort. We had some great weather and some fun times together. Last night we packed up and head our separate directions. On the way home to Dawson, Connie and I decided to stop in Willmar at a hotel and have some time together and do some shopping before we head to Dawson on Friday. On Saturday I am running a 18.6 mile road race called the Wild Goose chase. This will be a great tune up for the Twin Cities Marathon in October.
Anyway…I probably should sign off and pack a little bit. We have a fun day ahead of us. I will be back next week for my regular posts. In the mean time, God bless you and I look forward to our continued conversations.