Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Been Busy

I know that my last post came nearly a month ago, but I have to confess being exceptionally busy these days. This coming week, beginning on Sunday, is the North Wisconsin District Convention in Green Bay. For the second convention in a row I have had the responsibility for all the worship at the convention. As 'chaplain' for the convention I am charged with putting together the opening vespers service, the convention communion and memorial service, and two morning devotions. Finding musicians, coordinating resources and space, and working the bugs out of endless megabytes of documents has been like having another part-time job. And as it is so often in church work, having such extra work does not preclude the fact that other unexpected events will not occur in the meanwhile, such as funerals. So, needless to say, I have been preoccupied as of late.

Yet I see so many items in the news and in the periodicals and magazines that I read, and I want so much to comment on them here, such as the recently reported sharp rise in unwed births and the ongoing debate in the ELCA over active gay pastors. I also find a number of interesting items in the copies of Christianity Today that come in the mail each month. In the May issue one can find a fascinating discussion of church architecture and what it says regarding worship and faith in "Theology in Wood and Concrete" and "Keeping Holy Ground Holy." The byline in the last article reads: "A new survey suggests that seekers are not looking for user-friendly, mall-like buildings." Many of us who refused to jump on the Church Growth bandwagon knew this long ago, but it's nice to be finally be vindicated in print. The June issue of CT waits to be fully read, but I will probably take it along to the convention to make sure one article is reviewed: "The Justification Debate: A Primer." I'll read and report when I return.

My wife also arranged a discounted subscription of TIME, so I have an opportunity periodically to to peek into a rather liberal arena of news to see how the world thinks. One interesting article back in early June in the religion section read: "Is it O.K. to use Twitter in church? A few pastors are actually encouraging the faithful to tweet." Thank goodness the issue two weeks later featured a cover story on Twitter, since many in "my generation" are a bit behind on this latest trend. Needless to say, I don't have to read the first article to answer the question. The answer is: ARE YOU KIDDING? I guess not....

Well, I have worship tonight and I need to work on my sermon. I'll be back.

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