28 January 2014

The Most Thankless Job in the ELCA

"I was stunned to see the cartoon (December, page 45) of Mary and Joseph at the inn with a note on the door reading 'Closed forXmas.'  I would never have expected a Christian publication to "X" out Christ in Christmas.  Shame on you."  Kathleen Mayberry, Austin, TX.

24 January 2014

Friday Five: Church Olympians

This week's Friday Five (surprise - I'm playing again!), posted by Deb at RevGalBlogPals:
With the Olympic Games in Sochi just around the corner, I started thinking about all the athletes who attend the Games and never win a medal. The hours of practicing, sacrifice and dedication don’t get noticed by the media. Yet, for the love of their sport, they persevere.
Then I began to reminisce about the “Olympians” in the Church. Perhaps you can think of faithful ones who never get up to preach, sing or read, but faithfully come, week after week, to serve. It seems to me they deserve a medal of sorts.
So, for this week’s Friday Five, share stories or memories of those “medalists” of the Church who have encouraged you in their faithfulness.

23 January 2014

It's Not Work, Even When It's Work

I wrote this blog a while ago but held off on publishing out of respect for some grieving families.  I'm writing here about meaning and what this daily work as a pastor is like for us.  In the midst of life-altering experiences for families, pastors who minister to them are still dealing with deadlines, office issues, the annoyances that come with every job on the planet.  I didn't deal well with one such day a while back.  Here's the story.

Today was not the best day.  It started with an early morning call from the chaplain at our local nursing home, letting me know that one of our church members had just passed away.  As I was at the church assembling funeral planning materials before meeting with the family, I received another call from another family, letting me know that another member who had been in hospice care had passed away while I was in the office.