'Tis the season for meetings, meetings, meetings. Tuesday I took all the kids out to pick up trash in the ditches near Oak Park. Louisa pulled Stella in the Radio Flier wagon. We walked 1/4 mile south and back covering both sides of the road and, because all the kids were tired (as was I--since I was carrying Donna in a front pack) we only went 200 yards to the north of Oak Park, covering both sides of the road.
Even with this short distance there was plenty of garbage. Matthew noticed that there were a lot of Budwiser cans on the east side of the road going south of the church and on the west side of the road going north of the church. "Maybe they thought they ought to get rid of their beer cans before driving by the church." he theorized.
Tuesday evening we had a small meeting of the Parish Board to go through the calendar for the year and take care of some common property issues (fixing the gray-water line, finishing a wall in the parsonage, thanking the board for the new dish washing machine, etc.)
As part of my parochial report I want to note that since January 1st this year I have had: 5 baptisms, 3 weddings, 8 death bed calls; 12 funeral wake devotions; 14 funerals, 4 confirmation services (5 different confirmands), 180 or so shut-in calls, 46 hospital calls, 153 regular worship services, 21 Lenten/holy week services; 48 confirmation classes, 30 bible studies; 7 youth meetings with devotions, 8 Ladies' Aid meeting devotions; along with attending 2 free conferences for Lutheran pastors, participated in our synod convention; led worship services for 17 Wednesday school classes; and attended to about 16 different personal pastoral calls (including 6 visits to court in pastoral support for members of my parish); taught 30 Saturday School classes; taught 6 VBS classes; held 12 VBS devotions; published 4 Newsletters; 10 Calendars; 6 newspaper articles; 3 theological papers; attended 5 area pastoral Winkels (learn about winkels here); written at least one paper for each Winkel; and tutored a special needs confirmation student 20 times.
I am rarely bored.
I am often tired.
Let me presumptuously pontificate a bit of advice for pastors, young and old. You know that unless God calls you home, Sunday will come around and you have to deliver a sermon. Plan the regularly reoccurring stuff at least three years in advance. By this I mean choosing hymns, sermon text and theme and even outlining the sermon. You can always change your mind later on what you had planned. (And your organists will love you). But there are so many unexpected things that can come up for a pastor that you can't always count on having time to do the regular job at the last minute. This is especially applicable to pastors who have more than one congregation.
The Parish Board is proofreading my calendars now.
Wednesday, after carrying Donna while working with the kids to pick up trash, I was very, VERY, VERY sore. From my hips to the base of my head screamed out in pain when I moved. I tried Tylenol, that's nice; I tried Advil; that was nicer. But the muscles still screamed out in pain. I am such a wimp.
So this afternoon I called Paulina and made an appointment for a massage. I took Louisa with. Our kids know each other from swimming lessons. Paulina has recently started advertising on the radio. When we got to their place I told her I had heard the advertisement. "Hey, you're the first one to mention the ad. I guess I'll have to tell them that it kind of worked."
20 years ago, when I was a tournament fighter in Taekwondo, I used to get massages regularly. When I taught martial arts at Bethany Lutheran College I would get a massage every few weeks. After I went back to Doctoral school I stopped. There was no time and very little cash. When I came to this parish I got a massage in TRF my first year here. That was the last massage I had-5 years ago.
Well, I had Paulina do my lower back up to the base of my neck. Wow. I could even bend over and touch the ground with flat hands and legs locked after the massage. Yes, I'm putting a plug in for her business here. Anyone in the Oklee area that reads this, she does a great job on sore muscles.
She's trying to get an arrangement to work through both the Fosston clinic and the Oklee clinic, but right now she works at home.
So much for my diversion into muscle relaxation.
I taught Louisa how to cook Chicken Curry tonight. She did a great job and it tasted wonderful. Elsie did the vegetables and they were great also.
We had Sunday School teachers' meeting for Oak Park and St. Petri at Oak Park this evening. Thanks to Alison, Alyssa, Ione, Dawn, Brian, Tami, and Mary for volunteering to work with and teach the kids this year. Tomorrow I meet with the Nazareth teachers.
Well, now I've got to get some more work done on the Wednesday School lesson planning.
By the way, if one of my readers in Mainland China could post a comment to let me know about his or her situation it would be great. But I don't want you to endanger yourself. I realize that internet communications are highly monitored. So don't put yourself at risk. It's just that I see an increasing number of users from up and down the eastern edge of China, from Guangdong 粵/粤 ,Fuchien 福建 provinces, Zhejian 浙江, Shanghai 上海, Jiangsu 江苏省, Shandong 山东省, Beijing 北京, Taijin 天津, Liaoning 辽宁, and Hebei 河北. This puzzles me and piques my interest. But, like I said, if commenting puts you at risk don't do it. If you can comment but don't want the comment posted I can accommodate you.
Good night, everyone.