i just got back a little bit ago from a meeting of area Lutheran (ELCA) clergy, and i have to admit that i enjoyed myself. pastors may not have the collective reputation of being hip or with-it or any of that, but i think as a whole they are a pretty good group of people. i mean, i think it takes someone unique to be a pastor: work in a church all day, put up with all sorts of crazy politics, follow where they believe/discern God is calling them, try to preach God's word to a gathered group of people the majority of which probably have no deep desire to REALLY hear what God has to say to them (but will listen as long as God says what they want to hear), and the position of pastor definitely does NOT have the status that it once had. but still there are faithful people who believe that God is authentically calling them to minister to God's people, and they pursue the position of pastor out of a deep desire/hunger/need/call to serve God and serve others and serve God by serving others... so yeah, i think i hung out with a bunch of those type of people today. it was fun. and i can only hope/pray/strive to be one of those types of people, too.