Thursday, September 20, 2007

Busy Times

Boy...its a good things that many pastors are first ordained and begin their work in the Office in the summer time!! I had no idea how much busier it gets once school starts!
Here is our new Fall Schedule at Good Shepherd:
Sunday morning Divine Service with the Holy Eucharist @ 9:30
Adult Information Class and Children's Sunday School @ 11:15
Confirmation @ 4-5:30 (closes with Vesper's @ 5 pm)
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday- The Litany @ 12:00 noon
Tuesday- Exegetical Study in Grand Rapids (or Winkel on the 2nd Tuesday of the month)
Wednesday @ 6pm-Private Confession and Holy Absolution
Wednesday @ 7pm- Catechetical Service of Prayer and Preaching
Thursday @ 7:15- Matins

And on top of that there are the shut-ins, hospital visits, two sermons to prepare every week, services to prepare, etc.

Now, I am certainly not sharing this to complain, all of these things are wonderful gifts of the Pastoral Office. What I would like to share with the members of Good Shepherd and the community of Middleville is that I am here!! Come, make time for worship! Make it a priority to gather around God's good gifts of Word and Sacrament! I'm not just doing this for my health!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Beauty of the Knowledge of Holy Things

Tonight was my first confirmation class (it was supposed to start last week, but I was soo sick I had to cancel). We started talking about what confirmation means, how its connected to our Baptism, what faith means, what it means to be Lutheran, the first commandment, and how our Lutheran liturgical worship is a confession of and practice of the first commandment. It was a great time! The girls were like little sponges as we went through the Divine Service, just soaking up all the information. They loved it when I told them the why's and wherefore's of our worship and it was like a 100 watt bulb lighting up when they got that our worship is not just some subjective act of praise between us and God, that it is not something we do to please God, but rather a confession of our faith in the Holy Triune God and our life in the Cross.

Totally awesome!! We closed with Vespers. The girls were not very familiar with the service, but were very eager to learn more. We went through a little of what Vespers means and its significance in the prayer life of Christians. They were a little nervous, but very eager to learn the chanting. I think after a couple of more weeks they will have it down. They were also fascinated by the mention of incense. They liked the idea of such an "interactive" service, and when I explained the significance of the incense, how it ascends as a sweet smell like our prayers before God, they were delighted. So, we used in in Vespers. I would have never guessed I would have heard a 7th grade girl say that Vespers was "fun," but there you go!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Boy, have I been out of it for a while! About 2 weeks ago I developed a very severe sore throat due to post-nasal drainage. That turned into a sinus infection, which clogged up everything and eventually moved into my eyes. Every time I went to sleep I had to have a warm washcloth to open my eyes again. What a gross mess!

Last Saturday, after overdoing it, this mess moved into my left ear. I got a terrible ear infection which ended up popping my ear drum. I never knew you could have so much pain in your head and still live! It was absolutley excruciating. I had to cancel confirmation, the mid-week catechetical service, Matins, the Litany, and pretty much everything else all last week.

I am feeling much better now, although I still cannot hear out of my left ear and there is still a little pain and pressure there. The doctor told me I should regain hearing in 2-4 weeks.

I thank God for all His faithful and caring saints at Good Shepherd and especially for my dear wife who showed so much concern and loving-kindness to me in my infirmity. I will be up to the Divine Service tomorrow with a reaffirmation of vows for a wonderful couple celebrating 50 years of marriage! Thanks be to God for His good gifts! It has been a long time since I have had such a great opportunity to pray without ceasing (there wasn't much else I could do!)

So, now the posts should start coming a little more regularly again!