Weekend at Camp

So here I am – after driving seven hours to Vermont on Thursday to drop some stuff off at my parents house (including on of our cars) we made the three hour trip east to Camp Calumet.  For those who are not familiar with Calumet check out my page about it.

As I was thinking about it this is the longest that I have spend at Camp in many years.  I think that is kind of sad in a way because it is one of my favorite places to be.  But living in Pennsylvania as a graduate student I have not gotten many opportunities in the last four or five years.

Even though I am in a different role while I am here I am very happy.  I am the Chaplain for the Memorial Day weekend retreat.  Basically I lead morning and evening devotions all weekend, I lead two Bible Studies and worship on Sunday Morning.  As a chaplain it is good for me to get to know the people who are here and just be pastoral.  As my first post graduation church related event I am very happy.  Things have gone really well and I love being here with my family and to give them an opportunity to rest, relax and enjoy camp.

Some of the things that we have done while we have been here:  Pontoon boat ride (The boy and I went on this and he Loved it, it was his first boat ride ever!) Climbed Jackman’s Ridge (short hike but great view and a must do at Calumet), crafts, naps, Talent show (the boy and I did a duet with me on the guitar and he on the drums), Campfires, silly games and just a general sense of being outdoors and enjoying nature.  The only negative about being outdoors this much is that in New Hampshire it is black fly season.  The general rule is between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day the black flies are bad.  But for the most part bug spray keeps them away.

It will be sad when we leave.  We will be around here until Tuesday.  I want to head up to the “big city” of North Conway with the family and just go window shopping and get some Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

I am not sure if I will get on here before it happens– on Wednesday May 28th I will have my first interview with a potential call in Upstate New York Synod.  I am very excited/nervous about it.  Please pray for discernment for the church and myself as we talk about each other and learn more if this will be a good call for both sides.

Oddly Familiar Blog

David has tagged me for a meme. I will try and finish this before I go to the YMCA for some swimming.

The rules for this meme are fairly standard. Simply post the rules at the beginning of your post, answer the questions,, and tag five others to play along. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know that they need to visit yours for the rules, and of course, link back to the one who tagged you, in this case….me!

Here we go

Ten years ago:
Wow I have not thought about 10 years ago in a long time. 10 years ago I was finishing my second year at Luther College. I was preparing go to to Camp Calumet for the summer. hmmm… Good times

Five jobs I’ve had:

Paperboy (1st job ever)

Line Cook (Red Lobster in high school, Country Kitchen in college)

Camp Counselor and Retreat Specalist (Camp Calumet)

Youth Director at Hope Lutheran Church in Reading, PA

Driver at Dunkin Donuts

Five things on today’s “to do” list:

Work on my Bible Studies for this weekend

Work on my sermon for Sunday and Wednesday

Pack some

Teach swimming lessongs

Cook dinner for the family

Things I’d do if I was a billionaire:
Pay off all my debt

Help my family and friends out

Contribute money to CalumetLTSP, and Luther College

Contribute to the Leadership Fund of the ELCA

Buy an iPhone

Buy a nice house in New England with a large yard and spend my days playing my guitar and writing songs

Three bad habits:

Drive too fast

I tend to have a hard time saying no


Five places I’ve lived:

Philadelphia, PA

Reading, PA

Freedom, NH

Decorah, IA

Rutland, VT

Five people I’m tagging:

Dr. John





Done, Done and Almost Done

Yesterday it happened — I handed in my final paper.  I am officially done with seminary.  No more papers to write or books to read for my seminary education.  Unless I totally missed the mark on one of my papers I can say that I am done with seminary.  Graduation is on Sunday and I can’t wait.  My parents are coming down from Vermont and I have some good friends in the area that are coming up to celebrate.  It will be one of the greatest days of my life.

Like most blogs that I have read with seminary graduates the days leading up to graduation is a time of reflection on the last four years of my life.  I have spend the last four years working on papers, reading books and providing ministry to many people.  To think that I have been in contact with thousands of people between my field education site, CPE site, Internship site, and the church that I worked at my senior year.  There have been a lot of great memories and I have created a lot of great relationships.  It will be sad to say good-bye.

This past Sunday I worked my last day at the church I have been working at as a youth director this past year.  The first six months was very fusterating because nothing that I did worked.  We just did not have the kids to do anything.  But then in January kids started coming out and we have had a pretty successful program.  It was very sad for me to say good-bye. The kids are great and I am going to miss them for sure.

So two of the things that have taken up majority of my time is over….done and done.


I am still in pain from my fall the other day.  It is my back that hurts.  I can’t sit at all and I finally decided to go and see the doctor this afternoon.  I am not sure what they will do — last fall when I had a constant pain in my back they just gave me pain medicine.  But this is a different type of pain so I don’t know if there is something else that they can do.  I am glad that all I have to do now is rest.


There is not much news on the first call front.  I am waiting until the end of May for my trial sermon and interview.  I am very excited about it and nervous that it goes well.  Not only is this church a  great church but I am very excited to finally be settled and working on ministry.  As things advance I will keep everyone updated.

That’s all for now. I hope to catchup on my blogging the next few days.  There have been lots of things I want to blog on and reflections that I would like to share so come back and visit again soon.

My Accident

Saturday started off like a normal day.  I was up early with the kids and we were playing and watching some TV.  Eventually my wife got up and we all were just hanging out.  The plan for the day included my wife taking Baby Girl with her to the store to get some things that she needs for her new business while I was going to take The Boy with me to work to make some phone calls for the youth group.  I also needed to print some stuff out for my wife and for myself. 

After a quick lunch The Boy and I were headed off.  I was carrying a big bag of trash in one hand and my work folder in the other hand.  I turned to ask The Boy to close the door and when I started to head down the stairs I tripped and fell.  I really don’t remember how I tripped or actually falling.  The next thing I remember is waking up from the floor with The Boy looking down on me and yelling for me to wake up.  I eventually came to and I asked him to come down where I was at.  The first thing I needed to do was to call my wife and to get her there to help me.  I got my phone and called her.  Our connection was bad so I called again.  The next 10 min or so I don’t remember but apparently I called her again and then she told me to call a friend of ours to come and watch the kids because I needed to go to the hospital. 

The next thing I remember is thinking that I needed to get to the car, so I eventually got up and made my way to the car and sat there and waited.  I called my wife back and talked with her trying to figure out what was going on.  I knew she was going to be back shortly and it was going to be awhile for our friends to arrive to watch the kids so I made some phone calls to people from the church to help us out.  It was hard to find people in town and so the Pastor of the church where I currently work came over to help out.  It was a real blessing to have him do that.

We made our way to the hospital.  I was taking things one step at a time, I was still kinda out of it and I was taking my time.  Not only was my head in pain but my back was as well.  They got us to a room and the doctor came pretty quickly.  I had an abrasion on my head from when my head hit the wall but thank God I did not need any stitches.  I told her that my back was hurting and my right hip was hurting and so I got a CAT Scan for my head and some X-Rays for my back and hip.  She eventually came back and said that the CAT scan and my X-Rays all looked clear but it was obvious that I suffered a concussion.  She said that I should take it easy for a few days and to help with the pain she gave me some Oxycodone. 

This has been the first time that I have suffered from a concussion.  It is just amazing to me how my body feels right now from falling down the stairs.  I am in alot of pain but the medicine sure helps.  I can’t believe that this is happening during my last week of seminary.  I don’t have a HUGE pile of work but I have things that I need to get done.  The biggest is to read a 300 page book and every time I sit down to read it I get through 10 pages and then I wake up 20 min later trying to figure out where I left off. 

I have cancelled my regular shifts volunteering at the YMCA for the next two days and I am not going to class tomorrow which means I am clear until Thursday to get things done.  I need to kick it into high gear and work like a mad man. 

I would like to hand in quality work but more importantly I want to hand in finished work.  I want to at least finish all of my projects and papers and if there is time left over then the quality police will come out to play.  Otherwise as long as I pass I will be happy. 

Thank you to those of you who have shared your concerns the last day- I really appreciate the well wishes and the prayers.  The church sent over the flowers from the alter today which was very nice.  This has been the second time that I have received alter flowers, the first was when I had a ruptured appendix.

Most of my writing will be dedicated to papers, projects and presentations this week and not so much for blogging.  But after that I will be hopefully blogging more often with some reflections on the last four years of ministry/education.


Coming to an end

My time at the seminary is quickly coming to an end.  I can’t believe it!!  I have two more papers to write and one to edit.  I have one more week of classes.  I have been wanting to blog and keep everyone up to date on my life happenings but that seems more and more impossible.  I do have an hour before lunch so I am going to generally try and give you the full picture.

I am interviewing for a potential church in May 28th.  It is not as soon as we would of liked but schedules did not permit a sooner time.  If everything goes well and as I would expect I hope to be in place by July 1st.  In between then I will take some time to rest and relax, move out of our apartment, find a place to store our stuff, move in with my parents (thanks mom and dad) and get some kind of part time work which I hope will include supply preaching, and some other well paying minimal commitment job (which should be easy to find……right?)

I don’t mind waiting as much if I have a plan and we are trying to come up with that now.


Classes are ending well – I am glad I took a class last summer to get things out of the way.  I don’t think I have as much work as some others, but I still have things to do.


Graduation is on May18th – I am excited about that.  I think I am ready to move on.  Living off campus has been a blessing and curse.  We are far enough away (about 45 min) where we are not able to come to campus for a party or a night event (having two small kids doesn’t help).  I miss that community that I experienced my first two years of seminary. But it has been a good transition for us– since we are not as close to the community as we once were we are ready to move on.  The boy will have enough trouble separating from his friends at the day care.  But I hope he will like where we move too.


The family is doing well – with the change of weather there are some coughs and stuffy noses in the house but nothing terrible.  I just hope it gets warm soon and we can start packing up all the winter clothes.


I need to catch up on some emails before lunch.  I don’t know when I will get on here again in the next week.  Most of the words that will be writing will be about the Book American Jesus (I have not read that yet) or about using the 10 commandments as a basis for pre-marriage work.

To all the other seminarians out there – Good luck the next few weeks!!!!!