It’s been three and a half weeks since I last blogged here – my longest drought in my more than three years of blogging. And tonight’s post will have little substance to it . . . just a shooting up a flare to say, along with Eddie Vedder, that “I’m Still Alive.”
A few quick comments, with more to come later:
- The Summer Faith Fellowships – conversations about life that lead to conversations about faith – have gone very well. We’ve averaged about fifteen people at each gathering, and have discussed gas prices, community, freedom, political discourse, science/genetics, and television. In each of these gatherings we have shared some informal fellowship/mingling time, and then about 30 minutes of conversation about the topic, and about 30 minutes or so on the God/faith question: what does God/faith have to do with this topic? If traditional Bible studies begin with the Bible and (hopefully!) lead to life applications, these conversations have begun with the stuff of life and then asked the God question. It has been an amazingly instructive and fascinating experience, and has changed the way I think about adult education and faith formation.
- Preaching with non-denominational Koreans – Since Memorial Day Weekend I’ve been preaching on Sunday afternoons at the English-language service of a non-denominational Korean church. It has been a wonderful opportunity in terms of gaining preaching experience and exposure to a Christian tradition and a culture that is distinct from my own.
- Preaching without a manuscript – I’m a fan of preaching without a manuscript. More to say. Later. And thanks to all who commented on my previous post about preaching – the 24 comments on that post is an all-time record for The Lutheran Zephyr!
- Going to El Salvador – on August 1 I leave with five members of my church for an eleven day trip to El Salvador. The Lutheran Church of El Salvador will be our host. We’ll spend most of our time in San Salvador, but also visit Santa Ana, Cara Sucia, and other locations.
- Enjoyed a brief vacation – over the July 4th holiday we went to the Poconos in northeast Pennsylvania. While there we had a fun day at the Crayola Factory and National Canal Museum in Easton, PA (hint: the Canal Museum is as good – if not better! – than the Crayola Factory).
- Picked up and began reading N.T. Wright’s new book about heaven: Surprised By Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that eschatology is critically important for how we view life, vocation, and church (some of you loyal readers already know of my interest in eschatology by my post All Saints, All Souls, and the Return of Christ). I’m thinking of leading a chapter-by-chapter reflection/study of this book on my blog starting in September.
- Heard myself say things that only a parent would be caught saying: “I’ll deliver the pee” (my five year-old daughter’s “sample” had to be returned to the doctor’s office), and “Don’t kick the dentist” (that same five year-old was not happy to visit the dentist’s office and had to be reminded of kicking etiquette).
OK, more to come later. That’s all for now.