say what?

Okay, so I have to admit that your pastors are slackers when it comes to blogging. Well, I admit that I am…

But here are some things to update you on since we last chatted [aka last time I blogged]:

1. Christmas – we survived the chaos and the ridiculously nice weather. Sad face for a brown Christmas, happy face for being able to wear dresses with cute shoes instead of needing to layer and wear snow gear!
Numerous services meant for busy schedules but also amazing to be able to sing the classic hymns more than once.
Who knew that the best part of being a pastor at Christmas time would be that I got to sing silent night more than once?
This year in McVille I added on a second, late-night service at the request of my family (I hosted this year and was grateful for safe traveling conditions since my family traveled north from South Dakota). We sang a capella and it was a different way of doing Christmas Eve, but I kinda liked the change from the organ.
[No offense to all you organ players out there, but I love me some a capella singing…]

2. 2011 ended, 2012 began – last year was a time of great change and upheaval and accomplishments, at least in my life. And in the world of TCM. I graduated, was ordained and was installed as the new pastor within about 5 weeks.
Whew…and people wonder why I have no idea what goals to have for 2012? How can I top 2011?
I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure if they’re realistic or not…

3. Annual meetings are over and done with. I have to admit that meetings are my least favorite part of being a pastor, but I was excited to attend the annual meetings that I did. I like hearing about what went on last year and to get ideas of what we can look forward to trying this year.
Weird, I know.
But I really am looking forward to getting people involved in new ways (service projects, shared meals, etc).

4. I took a vacation. It was nice to be in old, familiar settings. But it was more of a work vacation since I did a wedding for a college friend
[no one warned me how awkward/awesome it would be to go back as a pastor to the chapel I worked at in college…]
and attended a conference at luther seminary.
I did manage some fun in the form of shopping: new boots, new purse, new dress, new chairs, stocked up on foods/drinks only found at specialty stores in the cities

5. Bible studies.
– Binford: Pastor Jessica has been leading a study about various women in the Bible at Binford on Tues afternoons. And Becky Goetz has a short series on Sunday mornings.
[yeah, i used caps lock to show how exciting this is…]
Next round (starting on Ash Wednesday) will be the gospel of Mark since that is the gospel our lectionary keeps reading from this year.

6. Lent…
– is just around the corner (Ash Wed is Feb 22)
– is going to be a time to think about the covenants on Sunday mornings and the characters [other than Jesus] in gospel stories on Wednesday evenings

7. Pastoral presence in your communities
Your pastors want to be visible (and physical) presences, so we will be setting up office hours in each community! Yay!
(although I do understand that some of you may not be as excited as others to know you must be on your best behavior…wink, wink)
Pastor Jessica will rotate through Hannaford, McHenry, Grace City and Cooperstown. More on the exact schedule to come…
And I’ll start spending my Friday afternoons at Trinity in Binford (next week, not two days from now). I will be found in the comfy chair in the nursery next to the office…possibly napping 😉
Please know that you can stop by any of the locations and visit with either of us.

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