Sunday, July 29, 2012

Universally Called to Word & Service: Ministry for the World

After reading a number of posts on Facebook regarding diakonia (service) ministries in the ELCA, I stopped & questioned "What is God up to right now?"

Stop & think about that for a moment. Maybe for you it's nothing. I've definitely had moments of the last year that I really didn't feel God doing much - and it honestly scared me and angered me quite a bit. Maybe God is puking love all around you in a new life of marriage or a new job or town to be part in. Maybe God is holding you still where you are and keeping life quiet. Whether we realize it or not, God is all around and in everything and everyone.

My mind wondered to this place because yet again Z & I find ourselves in a time of transition. Two weeks from today we say g'bye to our Northwoods home & move back to graduate school for our senior year. As we transition, naturally we reflect. In the postings about diakonia there was one person that put a stop to what had been - and thankfully continued to be - a fruitful conversation about the knowledge in local parishes about the communities of Diaconal Ministry, Deaconess, & Associates in Ministry. Often over the past number of years - even before starting seminary - I have wondered why I was called to Diaconal Ministry/a ministry that is misunderstood & often simply not known. I've come to understand the struggle of the understanding as our numbers are fewer in all 3 rosters compared to the roster of pastor, but also because in all 3 rosters (Diaconal Minister (DM), Deaconess, & Associates in Minister (AIM)) our calls are to Word & Service. Word & Service is a broad definition, but it focuses on the ministries served by DMs, Deaconesses, & AIMs. In a sense all people - as the body of Christ - are called to Word & Service ministry. We are all called to work in bridging the world in which we live and the church in which we worship.

Z & I are both preparing for our final evaluations of our year of internship/field work as well as our final major essay for the candidacy process in the ELCA, known as the "approval essay." As we transition, reflect, & plan for our future careers in ministry I am blown away by the Spirit & the reassurance that God is with me as I was, am, and will be. How do I know this? Through the faith gifted to me by God on account of Jesus in the Holy Spirit. Also through the constant love of the larger family of Jesus. We recently returned from our vacation to CA for LSquared's wedding - which was wonderful & beautiful - and got to spend some great time with my side of our family. Then we returned & got showered with some love from Pa & Ma N & then we drove back to our intern site one last time before we move & have been over come with the support & love of congregants & coworkers. All of these people have impacted our last year of being interns & will forever be with us in our memories if nothing more.

Thank you Lord for your call to service in your Word!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Road Trips, 1 year anniversary, & Photos

June was possibly the fastest month of the last year. We started with a visit from Pa & Ma P, had separate trips in the middle, & came back to prepare for July.

Here's a picture of S, H, & I overlooking the Missouri River in Bismarck.

I had a wonderful few days visiting with S, H, & T in Bismarck. S & I got out & went to see Snow White and the Huntsmen which we decided was just ok. H provided lots of smiles & laughter. And as always it was good to connect with a fellow Diaconal Minister friend & hear about her call.

Z & I out hiking on our one year anniversary

The next trip lead us up the North Shore of Lake Superior to Lutsen Resort. It was a last minute change in our trip as the area we were supposed to go camping was closed due to recent severe flooding. The Resort - we stayed at the Mountain Inn - reminded me of the resort in Dirty Dancing.

Bonus that it's located right on the shore of Lake Superior

We spent a few days hiking, exploring Lutsen & the surrounding area, & eating really well.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to us! Here we are at Blue Fin Bay

A few other highlights that were intermixed with these travels are outdoor movie night at church, impromptu dinner & boat rides, 4th of July fireworks, our attempts at emptying out our freezer/fridge, & being able to attend the wedding of N & A.

Minnesota sure is pretty, but so are other parts of the country & world.

Next week we head to CA (not by road) for L2's wedding! Yay for family reunions!