I have lots of thoughts and questions as I look ahead to beginning my internship next week.  Since I can’t seem to give coherent expression to those thoughts and questions – I have several draft blogposts saved but not published – I’ll share with you my church newsletter article for September.  Enjoy!

– – – – –


In the goofy slang that narrated my childhood, “Word!” was a way to say yes with the enthusiastic and adolescent
edge of awesome, cool, and rad. Something was word only if it inspired teenage respect and awe (and usually if it
involved some kickin’ moves on a skateboard, skis, or a dirt bike).

The church is full of words: holy words, powerful words,
confusing words, a Living Word, and
words we rarely use outside of our church walls. We are a people who believe that the Word
became flesh and lived among us. We
believe that words – a Word – can
give life.


I look at a word that will stick with me for the next year –
Vicar – and I scratch my head. What is a vicar, anyway? The Roman Catholic Church uses this term to
refer to a representative of a bishop, or to the Pope, who is known as the
vicar – the representative – of Christ on Earth. For the Episcopalians, a vicar is a type of
ordained priest.

Hmmm. These
definitions don’t fit for me. I’m an
intern – nothing more, nothing less – spending a year at St John’s By The Gas Station to learn,
grow, and explore the world of parish ministry before taking another odd word –
Pastor – as a title. I’m here to live with you and experience God
through you, to walk in your shoes, to follow you, to accompany you, to lead
you. I’m here to experience – not vicariously, but authentically,
passionately, richly – the Living Word that lives among you, the Word of
that you proclaim.


I am also eager to listen for life-giving words beyond our church walls. Scripture and tradition tell us that God is
active both within and beyond the
community of faith. The Lutheran
tradition speaks of the two kingdoms of God’s activity – the church and the world. What words – what Words of God – will
I hear in my neighborhood, read in the newspaper, encounter at the store or
playground? In what accents, media,
languages, or situations will these words – will the Living Word of God – come
to me, come to you, come to us this year?

God will speak good words, life-giving words, comforting
words, and surprising words to us in the coming year. It is my hope and prayer that together we
will listen for God’s Word that lives in, with and under the words of everyday life. God may not be breaking out crazy maneuvers
on skis or a skateboard, but God is


Peace to you,
Vicar Chris

Published by Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. Veteran. Jedi. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.

One thought on “Word!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: