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Showing posts from January 10, 2010

Some Musings

I've only been in Garrett County for a few days, but I have some observations. For one thing, these are among the nicest, most hard working, godly people I have known. They're wonderful. That being the case, why aren't the churches growing? Or perhaps the better question is, why are they losing members???

A Missouri Synod church is Accident is losing members as they are waiting for a new pastor. This begs the question of the role of lay leadership. In talking with the candidate for pastor there, he thought churches were flailing because of lack of leadership. Now I wonder if he meant strong pastoral leadership (Herr Pastor) or did he mean lay leadership?

In the case of my home church, Emanuel in West Warwick, RI, there was strong lay leadership that had been nurtured over the years. With an interim pastor for nearly two years, the church did quite well. The deacons assisted, actually led worship. All the committees functioned including church council.

So I wonder...as this L…

On the Road

Today another seminarian and I were on the road with Pr. Randy. We went to a chaplain's meeting at the Garrett County Memorial Hospital and got a tour of the hospital. Later we had lunch with another area pastor and then visited a congregant who was in the nursing home. Much of what we did today reminded me of the ministry I was involved with at Bethany Village for CPE.

Driving back to where I'm staying in Friendsville, I could not help but be caught up by the beauty that surrounded me. It drew me in. I listened to see what God was saying. I could see myself in a similar setting. The people here are wonderful. I didn't hear anything. The Henri Nouwen devotion below spoke to me concerning the issue of hearing God's voice for direction.

Enough Light for the Next Step
Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, "How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?" There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enou…

Appalachian Adventure

Today was my first full day in Accident and Friendsville, MD. I am here for 2 weeks (3 Sundays) for Jan. term for my cultural immersion experience. These 2 towns are in Garrett County, MD, the westernmost county in MD, which borders West Virginia. It too is part of Appalachia.

When another seminarian and myself arrived yesterday, it was not a scene like that above that greeted us. I felt like I was back in Upstate NY with the snow. Just add more mountains to it and horseshoe turns around mountains.

The pastor I am shadowing pastors 3 small churches--2 in Accident and 1 in Friendsville. People are very friendly and warm here. A classmate, Gary, preceeded us last week and had wonderful things to share. I second his opinions.

Please pray as we are here in various parishes for God's leading and our open ears to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit for further clarification of call.