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Showing posts from July 8, 2012

My First Week

This was my first week as pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church. Last week was my ordination. In this picture, Bishop Marie Jerge is praying with and for me while everyone else sings a hymn of invocation of the Holy Spirit. This is something unique to the Upstate NY Synod and Bishop Jerge. 

As I read the difficult gospel text assigned for this Sunday, I was reminded of the ordination and installation vows I had taken regarding my call to preach the Word faithfully to God's people in Portville. So, with that challenge and the encouragement of prayer, I have finished my sermon for tomorrow, on the beheading of John the Baptist. The text is Mark 6:14-29 and my sermon is below.

In the Meantime

I am now officially a seminary graduate (front row, 4th from the right). Friday, May 11, 2012 my classmates and I graduated from LTSG. We have come a long way. Sometimes it seems like we just started and other times our journey seems has seemed much longer. It was an emotional day that we celebrated with family, friends, and the whole seminary community.  All academic righteousness has been fulfilled. No class projects are hanging over my head. What a relief! But it is a bittersweet relief.
Since I began writing this post many weeks ago, I have been called as pastor of a small town church in the Southern Tier of New York State. I was ordained Friday night to the ministry of Word and Sacrament surrounded by family, friends, members of my congregation, and neighboring congregations. I was privileged to have some of my closest friends from seminary participate in this occasion. That too was an emotional occasion. Glad the church has boxes of Kleenex in the pews!

I have been blessed beyo…