This Week’s Diary: What does your pastor do all day? Written with the intention of being transparent to Ascension Lutheran church folks about the rich details of a pastor's life...
· Invited to attend the free rostered pastor’s retreat at Camp Calumet (Feb. 4-6); bishop is there, the first time ever; but I decided that I needed to be at Ascension to attend to synod business and ALC Administration, among other duties.
· Worked on two annual synodical reports—the congregational report, which gives worship and attendance statistics and financial data to the synod, and the clergy report, which is more personal, on the life of the parish and the pastor.
· As Environmental Liaison to the synod, gave the synod Communications director my ideas to make the Go Green portion of the synod website more effective in leadership building for congregational effectiveness
· Worked on our final report to the Lilly Endowment on our sabbatical grant
· Continued pastoral outreach to parishioners, with the hope of visiting with parishioners whom I see in passing but haven’t sat down with for a while.
· Participated in the Interfaith Power and Light board meeting (chaired by Sam Swanson)
· Taught Confirmation class. We prayed for the safety of Gabriella’s Dad, Steve, working in Somalia and viewed some pictures he sent. We considered the question: between God and human beings, who has power? Is power shared? What does that mean for each of us? We read and talked about Moses’ bargaining with God (Numbers 14), David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17), and revisited Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 22). I pointed out how contemporary people find great meaning in these ancient Hebrew texts. As an example, we read and gave our responses to the poem about the senseless tragedies of WWI by poet and soldier Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), with which I’ll close:
· “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young”
So Abram rose, and clave the word, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb, for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
And lo! An Angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him, thy son.
Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns,
A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.