this is no longer my blog

Sunday, November 27, 2005


birthday gospel

I've seen it in a couple of different spots, so I thought I'd try it out here.
Here's what you do: You take the month and day of your birthday, which in my case would be April 4th (4/4), and then you look up that chapter and verse in the four Gospels. Here is what I came up with (according to the NRSV):

Matthew 4.4
But he answered, ‘It is written,“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

Mark 4.4
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Luke 4.4
Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.” ’

John 4.4
But he had to go through Samaria.


i'm back

So, I've returned from Thanksgiving with the family. It was good to see them all, as the last time I saw them was a year ago when my maternal grandfather passed away. Needless to say, a lot has changed since then. For instance, one of my nieces was born, and the other walks around unaided and now is saying all sorts of fun things. It was fun to spend time with them, and play with my two year old niece, and to hold my newest niece. Oh yeah, spending time with my parents and brother and sister-in-law was good, too.
Anyway, it's back to the grind now, with a paper being due Tuesday and then another due on December 5th and then another one due sometime soon after that. Ugh. Double ugh. And I'm supposed to show my room to a prospective student this Tuesday and right now my room is a sty, and I have no idea why I agreed to show off my room. I'm deficient.
So, rather than working on that paper or cleaning my room or anything else productive, I'm watching MTV and typing in my blog.
I am a champion of time management.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


elca bloggers?

Okay, first, I guess I actually am finding time to blog today, so those of you who read all of next weeks blog entries in one sitting actually do have something else to read now. Although, it probably only pertains to a small portion of you (so, probably 1 out of the 10 of you that actually read my blog...).
I have noticed that there are webrings for episcopalians and methodists and other denominational bloggers. I was thinking about starting one for those of us who claim the ELCA as our church home. I'm not sure if there already is one, or not. Does anyone know? If not, would you be interested in joining one? And would you then spread the word to all of the other ELCA bloggers that you know?
Let me know if there is one, or if there is interest for one, and we can go from there!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


something redeemable about today

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it's happening again...

It's not logical, really. I mean, it's 40 degrees outside and rainy. There's nothing that should really be causing these feelings to resurface. Although, I suppose, it was time. I mean it HAS been a while since I've gotten one of these urges, and they do come around pretty often. I just thought the way things are going right now that I would be thinking about the too many other things that are going on in my life, and what with the gloomy weather, I didn't think there would be anything that would spark these feelings for a while, or at least as strongly as they have been sparked right now.



So, I suppose you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, right? Well, my friends, that would be camp. Lately I have just been hearing that little voice say, "Church camp rocks. You should totally work there full time. Wouldn't that be awesome? A lot of the things you love - church, youth, outdoors, ministry, God - all rolled up into one exciting, messy, awesome, fantastic, crazy burrito." (Yes, the voice used a burrito as a metaphor for camp)



So I've been spending my freetime looking through scrapbooks of my time spent at camp and various youth events. I've been checking webpages of some of my favorite places on earth, as well as reading the newsletters I get in the mail. I've been hoping that these little things will give me my "camp fix" however that just doesn't seem to be helping. If anything, it is more like adding kindling to the spark and making it an actual fire. Ugh.



Saturday, November 12, 2005


perhaps some follow up

It seems as if an entry so optimistic and lovely as my previous one deserves some follow up.

I took some medicine and my head ache went away.

After my day really got started, I wasn't tired anymore.

My clothes got washed.

My car got cleaned out (it wasn't as messy as I thought, so it didn't take as long).

I showered.

And the day was busy but there are a lot of great people here. Almost 25 prospective students, and if you add significant others and friends and family, then we're up to about 34 or so. That's pretty good. The ones that I have met and had a chance to talk to and whose stories I have gotten to hear are great and wonderful and amazing children of God. If a third of these people end up coming to our school, then we will be tremendously blessed. Praise and thanks be to God, for God continues to raise up good and faithful leaders to carry out the mission of God's Church. Alleluia!

However, now I have some reading to do and a few other odds and ends that didn't get done today. So I must go and do them. And then there is the sleeping. Great and mighty shall be the sleeping.

p.s. We did Holden Evening Prayer by Marty Haugen tonight [aka, for those in the know, Vespers '86*]. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Holden Evening Prayer. Takes me back to my days in college, when we'd meet every Wednesday evening to worship. It just gives me such a feeling of God's presence to hear the gathered community sing such profound words to such moving music.

* Holden Evening Prayer was written by Marty Haugen in 1986 for the community at Holden Village near Chelan, Washington. They still continue to worship using this liturgy at least once a week. However, they call it Vespers '86, because it is a service of vespers written for that community in 1986. Makes sense, don'tcha think?


off to a great start

I have a head ache, I'm tired, I forgot to wash my clothes for today, I still have to clean out my car so that I can take a few prospective students out to breakfast, I haven't showered yet, and in an hour and a half one of the busiest weekends of my life as an admissions assistant at seminary is about to start.

Things can only go up from here, right?


Friday, November 11, 2005


i survived... however, NOW comes the big decision!

The lock in went surprisingly quickly and surprisingly easy. It was a testament to the youth here on campus how well they were able to get along, despite the discrepancy in their ages. We had four fifth graders, a sixth grader, a handful of seventh and eighth graders and then a sizable group of high schoolers. Not once did I see anyone being mistreated for being younger or anything like that, in fact the high schoolers were very good at including the younger youth. The only reason we opened it up to the younger grades was because we were unsure if we would get much of a turn out from the older grades. When such a large group of them showed up, I began to get nervous how the dynamics would be, but they turned out wonderful.

However, here comes the big decision. I did not sleep at all last night. I just finished my hour and a half of work in the admissions office (my work study) getting ready for the prospective student weekend that starts tomorrow. I have nothing else going on today, except for a lunch meeting and then staffing the youth room at 3:30. I could use, and definitely wouldn't mind taking, a nap. However, we have one senior preach every week during chapel. Normally they are on Thursdays, however due to a convocation on inclusive/expansive language yesterday, the senior preacher was bumped to Friday. I have the need/desire to show up at every senior preacher's chapel to show my support for them. However, I am in my room now, and chapel started about one minute ago (it's about a 15 second walk from my room) and my bed looks very comfortable right about now. I'm thinking I might cave in to my weak, broken, human nature and crawl to that nice welcoming bed instead of going to support my colleague.

Is that bad?

Thursday, November 10, 2005


saint, or glutton?

Please pray for me now, and at the hour of my death... but ESPECIALLY from 7:00pm tonight until about 7:00am tomorrow because I will be at

the lock in!!!

Now, am I a saint because I am taking time out of my busy schedule to spend 12 hours with these youth? Or am I a glutton (for punishment) because I'm taking time out of my busy schedule to spend 12 hours with these youth? Is it a both/and thing and not an either/or thing at all?

Because of the way the age groups break down amongst the kids (children of seminary students) the lock in is open for all 5th-12th graders and they are allowed to bring one friend. There is no RSVP or registration deadline. They bring all their paperwork with them when they come. So, we have no absolute idea of how many kids we are looking at showing up. We've heard from the kids that come to the youth room regularly if they are coming or not, but not if they are bringing friends. The youth that don't come to the youth room all the time... Well, your guess is as good as mine, really.

So, yeah. I'm going to be busy this evening (of course, I love lock ins, and so I think that might be something that makes me think I'm more of a glutton than a saint). So, remember me kindly in your thoughts and prayers. I'll let you know if I make it out alive.


super hero clergy shirts

So, I'm not tired and I just read some of the comments from my previous post, and my friend J's comments reminded me of something that happened my first year of seminary.

In the past, senior pictures were a very big deal. A copy of your photo was sent out with your paperwork to all of the bishops. When they looked at what your gifts and growing edges and ministry preferences and ideal locations, they also looked at your smiling face.

One senior decided it would be a good idea to get his picture taken in a Spiderman clergy shirt. He thought it looked good as well as demonstrated his personality. And, since he was paying for the pictures, he decided it would be okay for him to wear the shirt in his pictures.

The faculty and administration had other ideas, I guess.

I don't know specifics, but I do know that there was a pretty big stink about his choice of wardrobe. The F&A didn't like the fact that this picture of him in a Spiderman shirt would be what was sent out to all of the bishops. First, they didn't think it reflected well on him as a potential leader and pastor. Second, and probably most importantly, I don't think they thought that it was a good reflection on the Mothership. And so, they required him to get his picture retaken. I do not know if he had to pay the sitting fee again, or not, but he ended up getting his picture retaken and that is what was displayed on the wall in the composite of his class.

I do not know, with the advent of internet forms and all of those high techie things, if our photos are still sent out with our paperwork or not. However, I like to pick and choose the things I want to make waves about. I did not think that wearing a super hero themed clergy shirt was a wave worth making.

Well, that and I don't have a super hero themed clergy shirt... or a hawaiian print one, either (Sorry, rwk).

I assume that this story is what my friend J was referring to in his comment to my previous post, seeing as how that would have been the class that he ended up graduating with. I just thought that I'd take this moment of sleeplessness to fill in the rest of my loyal readers and share a fun story in the process.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


is this really happening?

Today I took another step on the road to graduation. A very important step, I might add.

I got my senior picture taken.

There was a lot of time put into this process by many of my classmates. Painstakingly choosing which outfit to wear, and calling on the insight of friends to determine the best choices of shirts and jackets and sweaters and collars. Women made hair appointments, got haircuts and dye jobs and styled. Men got haircuts and used more products than normal. I, on the other hand, got my haircut a week or two ago, so that by this point it would have had time to grow out and look a little more natural. I went back and forth as to what clergy shirt to wear - black shirt with the full collar LWF-Hanson_Council_2002_big or purple (bishop) shirt with the tab collarbishoppurple? In the end, I went with the black shirt with the full collar, just because I think I like that better.

So, after all this work and decision making and primping and whatnot, we had to go to this classroom at our appointed times. At 3:00 today I walked down, all decked out in my pastor clothes, walked into the room, paid my $25 sitting fee, sat down, the photographer took two quick pictures, told me to face the other way, took two more pictures and I was done. In two minutes. We spent all this time getting ready, making sure we looked our best, for two minutes of photos.

But, I suppose it's worth it because this picture will be around for a long time. I'll always be able to look at it and say, "This is how I looked my senior year of seminary. Damn I was fine."

Sunday, November 06, 2005


my latest dilemma

I think it has been a while since I've had and posted about a dilemma in my life. It's not for lack of having a dilemma, I mean, I have PLENTY of those. I guess it has just been a while since I've posted about any of my various dilemmas. So, I thought I would do so today. Here we go:

As a senior, about ready to graduate and enter the First Call process, I have a lot of paperwork to fill out. Information about myself, my gifts and growing edges, what kind of ministry I feel called to, what location I feel called to... a lot of information.

The parts about myself are not too difficult. I know most of the stuff that I need to write down, it's just a matter of making myself sit down and put in the work required to answer all of the questions. The kind of ministry question isn't that tough, either. It's just a matter of sitting down and articulating that I feel most called to be an associate pastor in a staff, ideally with some youth/young adult responsibilities as well as preaching and presiding responsibilities. As far as location, well, here is where the dilemma comes in.

I legitimately feel like I would bloom wherever I'm planted, depending on if I get the type of ministry to which I feel most called. Besides having family and friends in a few places, there is nothing that really ties me to one location. If you look at the First Call paperwork, there is a box that you can check that says that you are open to going anywhere. The next option is open to going anywhere with a few preferences, which you are given the opportunity to list. As I was looking over the paperwork, the "open to all" option seemed like the best option. I felt as if I was giving it up to God by letting the church know that I was willing to go where my gifts would best be utilized. Then I would be opening myself up to an adventure of going just about anywhere in these United States.

But then, some of the Bishops came to campus to meet and talk with students, primarily the seniors. In the panel discussion, one of them mentioned how he was not a big fan of candidates that checked the "open to all" box. He said he knows that students have preferences, and he would like to know what they are. He said he doesn't want to call someone to his synod who said they were open to everything, but then was upset when they got called to his synod, and that they'd rather have some input from the students as to where they see themselves serving. So when it was opened for questions, I raised my hand and asked the other bishops how they felt about checking the "open to all" box. They all agreed with him. They said that they know we have preferences, so why not list them.

After the panel discussion, we had time for some more informal conversation with the bishops at a wine and cheese reception. I gravitated towards one of the bishops from a northeastern state that will remain nameless (although it rhymes with Transylvania). After a couple of glasses of wine, I got to be pretty chatty with him. We talked about how I was thinking of checking the "open to all" box, because I really thought that would give me a greater chance of being placed somewhere based on my ministry preferences, and that I am really open to the adventure of going somewhere new and exciting. He discouraged that, and said that I should put down as preferences the synods in which I know I would most likely get into an urban setting and that had congregations large enough to have multiple staff. He recommended his own synod, which includes the city that means something about love between brothers. He even took my name so that he could remember to request me when the time came. I was extremely excited about the prospect of moving out there for my first call. It would be a great experience. However, after time, I have to admit the excitement ebbed. A part of me thought it would be scary to move so far away from what and who I know. The farthest east I have ever lived would be about 100 miles west of Chicago. I mean, I've visited east. I've been to Rhode Island and some other places out there. But I've never, by myself, moved somewhere so far away from my "home territory. " It kinda freaks me out, although, I have to admit, the idea of living in such a busy, diverse, exciting place makes me giddy sometimes.

So, my dilemma is that since the bishops say we should put preferences, I am going to put preferences. I just don't know what those preferences will be. Do I put down my home synod, where I will be close to family and many friends and in a place where I am well known both because of my dad and also because of my own work within that synod? Or do I put the synod where my good friend Mr Awesome and his family lives? Or do I put the synod in which I did internship, which would be a good place to live and in which to do ministry? Or do I put the synod in which a large portion of my extended family lives, whom I don't get to see very often? Or do I put down some exciting and far away locales that would provide great and diverse ministry experiences? I don't know!!!! I can't put them all, because we are only allowed to put down three regions we prefer, and then three synods that we prefer within those regions, and the places and people are so far spread out that I would inevitably have to leave someone out. Who do I leave out? Who and where do I include? Do I base my decisions on who I'd be close to, or do I base them on where I'd be and who I'd be serving?


Friday, November 04, 2005


commitment or insight?

I think there is something to be said about having a commitment to regularly updating one's blog. It is often a good way to process/vent/brainstorm/idealize/mentally vomit. Also, if one has great aspirations to being one of those "blogbusters" (get it? like blockbuster? you know, those movies that do EXTREMELY well in the theaters), then it behooves one to consistently update their blog. This way, people don't get discouraged because there is never anything new to read when they check, so they just stop checking. Being consistent is a way to encourage people to come back and continue reading. Although, I'm not sure I want to be a "blogbuster." Not sure I'm ready or able to write for that kind of an audience. Also, it's a good practice in following through with something. I've decided to start this blog, so I'm going to do my best to continue with it.
There are plenty of reasons to consistently update my blog.

But then that begs the question: Should I update even when I don't feel that I have anything worth releasing into the blogoverse? Do I update even if I don't/can't think of anything to write?

In case you couldn't tell, today is one of those days. I felt as if I had neglected my blog for long enough and that I should come back and write something. However, I don't know that I have anything worth sharing.

I guess my question is this: Update regularly? Or only when I feel I have some that is of the quality worth sharing?


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