Exciting News!!!

This is the 100th post I have made on this blog, and it seems like a perfect opportunity to share some exciting news!

I received the official word this morning that the people of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Schuyler, NE, have decided to call me as their pastor — and I have accepted!!!  I am so excited for this call, which will start on August 1.  We’re still working on pinning down a date, but I anticipate being ordained sometime in the latter half of August!

I am so grateful to God for the privilege of this call and for the movement of the Spirit in bringing all this together.  I am grateful to all the people who have walked alongside me on this journey and helped form me to be the best leader in this church I can be.  And I am both stoked and humbled to get to serve the people of St. John’s — and looking forward with eager anticipation to the ministry we will do together!

God is good!!!

jesus-says-im-excited

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Internship Project Report

 

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This is the report from my internship project, which I actually submitted a few months back, but there’s some good stuff in here, I think, and some resources that other folks might be able to use.  In a nutshell, the goal of my project was to start laying some of the groundwork for bilingual ministry at my internship congregation, Peace Lutheran in Las Cruces, NM.  Overall, it was very successful!

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Please help me go to seminary!

Well, folks, I made it unscathed through the first stage of Candidacy in the ELCA — I’ve officially been “Entranced.”  Since then, I’ve been setting about finding a way to fund my seminary education at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  While I have been granted a full tuition scholarship along with generous support from my church, Grace Lutheran in Lincoln, I still find myself coming up way short for living expenses; and am also finding that scholarship opportunities are incredibly slim for first year seminary students.  For that reason, I have started a gofundme.com page, hoping to cover more of the deficit I anticipate in my living expenses in Chicago.  I’ve received my first donation of $20 and am grateful for any contribution of any size.

As I’ve written many times in this blog, I am so excited to be part of the future of this church, and I really do feel like I have been blessed with many gifts that I will put to good use in ministry.  Please consider helping me fund my education so that I may become a more effective leader in the ELCA.  Thank you.

Getting grounded

“My heart overflows with noble words;
to the king I must speak the song I have made!”
Psalm 45:1

What an amazing, exciting, and wonderfully grace-filled few days it’s been!  I just got back from a candidacy retreat at my favorite place in the world — Camp Carol Joy Holling — and I can feel myself just bursting at the seams with gratitude and joy.

I got to meet many more members of the candidacy committee — the folks who walk alongside those who are considering a call to ministry and make the decision on whether they are a good fit for the role.  I also met several other candidates further along in the journey, most at various stages of seminary.  We heard several presentations around the inspiring theme of being “grounded in Grace,” talking about self-care and setting boundaries and sinking our roots deep into love.  And I found myself fascinated just listening to the conversations going on around the table!  To hear the ways that people talk about church and about evangelism and mission and stewardship and all of these different things was just totally enthralling to me. Continue reading

Entrance essay for candidacy

I will be continuing to post some of the things I’ve already written; I hope to get around to creating new content for this blog.  What I’m posting here is the essay I had to write as part of the first step of candidacy — it outlines the major chapters of my “call story” and gives some insight into why I chose to begin this process in the first place.

Entrance Essay

“My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”  James 1:2-4

Faith has always been an integral part of my life, but my relationship with religion has been a little complicated.  Continue reading