Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Card 2006




You know the story

Tell the story

BE the story

Here’s our story:

Phil went to the Holy Land where he told biblical stories and heard stories of God’s present day faithfulness in that troubled land. Phil is writing a book and already has a contract for its publication. He’s in his 8th year (now associate professor) teaching theology at TLU.

Lori is now pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in Buda/Kyle, Texas. It’s her first solo call, and she’s loving it. She “lived” at the Alamodome this July, working at the National Youth Gathering, which was life-changing (for her and 50,000 teenagers).
To see what I’m into, go to

Luisa just turned 13! She loves playing percussion in the Miller Junior High band, and is having a great year in 7th grade. She and her friend have a small business called “Duckorations” creating purses and wallets from duct tape.

Luke has played his violin in many places this year, including on a barge floating down the Riverwalk, for the Ruge anniversary, in nursing homes, at school and church. He also continues piano lessons and karate. He’s in 4th grade at Crockett Elementary.

Jason, our part-time family member, has completed his first semester at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago. He loves it and is doing well—we’re very proud of him.

May Holy Peace be yours this Christmas


Wow, I am a pastor! While being ordained isn't new (almost 13 years) I'm in a new call, and it's very exciting. All the things I love about ministry are popping up in these first 6 weeks: leading worship, preaching, connecting with people at home and at church, good music, special occasions, rituals for the church year. And, I don't have a "real" council, so I haven't had one of those meetings, which I'd rather not, anyway. Living Word is very excited to have me as their pastor, and they have granted me an initial measure of trust for which I am very grateful, in terms of letting me be the pastor. It will be a great Christmas Eve tomorrow, as has the whole of Advent been very good.

My installation was FABULOUS! We packed the house with about 60 people (don't have room for too many more!)--the music was superb and very appropriate (inspiring, reflective, rockin', as it needed to be) and Phil preached one of his best sermons, even saying "crap" and "damnedest" (in the spirit of Martin Luther, of course, but I *am* glad we're in Texas!). Many non-Lutheran friends of mine came, as well as faithful members of other congregations. I, and the congregation, were very happy to be surrounded by such warmth and support, especially as I think ahead to what must yet be done in this ministry, and how I don't always know what the hell I'm doing! That's the God part, of course; Spirit will show us the way.

Since I'll be busy with 2 different worship services, 2 different sermons tomorrow, I will post my Christmas card here next, a day early. Peace to you all!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Still Here

Sorry I am not writing, but this new part time job is kicking my butt. I love it, but, in my classic over-achiever, type A style, I'm exhausted. Starting something new in Advent is tough. But then again, what better time to start something new. I love Advent! And this Advent, in my "barn" of a church, is wonderful.

I'M BEING INSTALLED SUNDAY, DEC. 17, 7:00 PM. If you live in a commutable distance, please come!

Someday I'll manage all this excitement better and have time to write. Until then...blessed Advent. Read something I already wrote; it's still good.