My friend Eric posted his top ten memories of 2009. His post inspired me to do the same. It was certainly a busy year; one filled with successes and a few disappointments mixed in. Here are my ten highlights from 2009.
10) Campfirmation – I was invited to join a group of pastors, including a very good friend, to become a member of their Campfirmation cluster. Campfirmation is a week long experience in the mountains at Lutheridge where we reinforce things learned by our second year confirmation students. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or the pastors.
9) Seeing new people get involved at church – We have had many visitors to our church this year, and several have become members of the congregation. It is a pleasure watching these new members become a part of the family and getting involved in existing ministries, or actually starting new ones.
8) ELCA CWA 2009 – This has not been a pleasant experience for me personally, but it has changed the ELCA forever. The bottom line with this vote is that we continue to strive to do the work of the gospel while remaining faithful to God’s word in Scripture.
7) Trip to Florida – The week after Easter I drove to Florida for a week of relaxation with my parents. It isn’t often that I am able to go there, but this trip was well worth the wait.
6) In his 1st semester our second oldest son made a perfect 4.0 at Clemson University (Engineering) – What can I say? He gets his smarts from his mother!
5) Our trip to the mountains in July – A wonderful friend of ours graciously invited us to use her mountain home for a long weekend. We love the mountains and we love our friend. Need I say more?
4) Confirmation classes – Spending time with the young people in our congregation is always a good way to pass the time; especially when they are as enthusiastic as this particular group (really!). They are focused and ask great questions which makes confirmation a great experience for pastor and student.
3) Trip to Indy – I attended the Lutheran CORE convocation in September. This was an eye opener in that I realized there is much work to do before making any decisions with regards to the ELCA decisions listed above. I love the Lutheran Church and I love my synod and its pastors. We have a wonderful community and our congregations work well together in mission and ministry. No, I don’t agree with the 2009 CWA, but I didn’t join CORE and don’t plan to.
2) My first Easter celebration as pastor – This experience actually began with my first Lenten season as pastor. We had a wonderful season of Lent, followed by a very inspirational Holy Week observance. Our Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday worship services were amazing and humbling experience. We welcomed two fine young boys to the waters of Holy Baptism and praised God with all our might.
1) Trip to the mountains a few days ago – My wife and I got away, just the two of us for three days in the mountains and snow of western North Carolina. Did I mention it was just the two of us?
I hope everyone has a Happy and Wonderful New Year. May God continue to bless you richly.