Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Captain's Log - Captain's Lag?

There are some times in this life when you wonder if you're keeping a log book or simply lagging behind. That's the way I've felt through much of this year. It's been eventful, to say the least. Since September I've been the long-term substitute pastor for two neat congregations in Kentucky. They are quite different from each other, which gives me an idea of how challenging being a dual-parish pastor can be. I've tried to be faithful and sensitive to the needs of each congregation, working with them together and separately as needed.

Since I'm still working full-time as a teacher at The Potter's School it's been a challenge. During Advent and Lent I probably spent around 20 hours a week including the drive time, since the congregations are pretty far from my home and we had extra services. Add to that the courses I'm taking through the American Lutheran Theological Seminary, which are really fairly challenging, even for someone who already has done Master's level work, and you have someone with a very full schedule. Yet by God's grace we've made it into the Easter season when extra services tend to end and the liturgy doesn't change quite as much from week to week.

On Sunday I had the privilege of receiving two new members into one of the congregations in Kentucky and also baptizing a young man in the other congregation. We are very glad that we can serve all three of these people. We pray God's best on them. May he continue to nurture them in their faith through the context of a local church.

In the last few weeks I've found myself talking with the search committee from a congregation in a small town in the Midwest. I feel free to say that since I'm not in a permanent call now so it shouldn't come as a big surprise that I could end up leaving. The congregations I've been serving are working on their search and I'm feeling more free to accept a call from elsewhere if it should come. This weekend I get to go fill in for that Midwestern congregation. It should be a good opportunity for the congregation and its leaders to have a good look at me. Hopefully I can have a good look at them as well. We want to do what would be of the greatest benefit to Christ's kingdom, which may involve my going there and may involve my not going there. I look forward to the opportunity to spend some time with the people and let them spend some time with me to seek wisdom and discernment.

So as we spent this week recovering from van lag (kind of like jet lag but it goes more slowly) we're moving into the last five weeks of school at TPS and preparing for another road trip. That reminds me of the bad joke of the day. Did you know Willie Nelson got hit by a car? He was playing on the road again.

Dave Spotts
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