Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Personal Update

The Seelsorger has been busy as of late, and admittedly has not been posting on a regular basis.  Spring always seems to bring a number of concerts and recitals, and with two children in the arts we have a few to attend.  Add to this my wife serves as an accompanist for a couple of high school choral groups as well as the community choir. 

My son is going to graduate from high school next month and spends the remainder of his free time working at a local grocery store, now that the school musical has ended (which consumed a lot of days this Spring for all of us).  They performed "Beauty and the Beast," a musical based on the Disney production of the same name, and he was privileged to have one of the leading roles - the Beast.  We joked at the time that it was cheap therapy.  He could vent all that rage and anger in a safe environment at no cost to us - except all the flowers and tickets we bought.  He is going to attend the same university as his sister this coming Fall.  Although he is going in with an undeclared major, one of his interests is theater arts.  Whatever he does, though, he brings a lot of talent and potential. 

My eldest daughter is now in the last stages of her university career, inching ever closer to the final semester of student teaching.  Recently we ventured over to the university to proudly witness her reception of a scholarship from the English department.  She has worked very hard to establish herself as a promising up-and-coming professional with great potential.  With high respect from peers and teachers alike, we are very encouraged for her future.  She will make a terrific teacher.  I also think that she would do quite well in graduate studies! 

The Seelsorger, meanwhile, continues to keep up with parish responsibilities and community commitments.  The work on my STM degree is now in the thesis phase, and I have made one trip downstate already to consult with my adviser at Nashotah House. I am finished with my coursework and will miss the enjoyment of the summer classes for the first time since 2010. I have to finish the proposal and submit it for approval, a task I have been whittling away at little by little.  The working title at present is "The Apocalypse as Used in the Worship of the Church: A Rationale For Its Omission and Selective Use in the Historic Lectionaries."  Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

I am also serving as chaplain for the upcoming district convention, a role I have now served in for three conventions (2006, 2009, 2012).  My duties involve planning all the worship for the convention, but with a shorter convention this time around (a mere 24 hours) the work was lessened considerably.  Conventions involve elections, and the Seelsorger was also nominated to a few positions, among which are district president, regional vice president, and district secretary.  My reelection as circuit counselor has already been completed, so if the other elections do not claim me I will still have plenty of church-at-large responsibilities to keep me busy.   Stay tuned.

Reading remains an enjoyable pastime and a way to keep me intellectually stimulated.  My choices are eclectic and have recently ranged from a biography of Rick Warren (Prophet of Purpose: the Life of Rick Warren, 2009), to an apologetic work by Lee Stobel entitled The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity, 2000.  This last work was picked up after encountering author Bart D. Ehrman, one of those "objectors" to Christianity.  I checked out his 2008 book God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer.  Dr. Ehrman (a NT scholar at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill)  is an avowed Christian-turned-agnostic, and while he is less vitriolic than Dawkins, an angry atheist, he is still a powerful influence in the popular book world.  I was less than impressed with Dr. Ehrman's arguments, which I felt were stretched, and reading Stobel has been an invigorating distraction. 

My wife blessed me with a Nook at my birthday this past December, so picking up books for this electronic toy has also given me a new environment to explore.  Unfortunately I am too cheap to spend more than a few dollars on an electronic copy and prefer to hold in my hands the actual paper copy.  I'm adapting, though, and the Nook often goes with me in the car as my portable library filled with classics and others interesting works to be read at convenient snippets of time.

Of course, I also continue my study of Dr. Herman Sasse as part of a book study group that meets monthly at our district office.  We are currently working our way through the "We Confess" series, the present one concerning Christ.  Dr. Sasse's works saved me in my early ministry when I was drowning in a sea of Church Growth theories, so I am particularly indebted to him. 

While I am not always blogging a lot, you can usually find me dropping in on discussions over at the ALPB site which I joined about a year or so ago.  I pick and choose what I am interested in and usually do not write long posts.   I can also be found via Facebook, although I have to confess that I do not frequent that realm as much as some.  I'm trying to use it more, but I prefer discussion boards and blogging.  Must be my age. 

Well, it seemed like a good time to update and I think that is complete enough for now.  Blessings to all in the waning days of the glorious Easter season!

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