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!