Friday Five

From RevGalBlogPals

Here in the USA we are celebrating the last fling of the good ol’ summertime. It is Labor Day weekend, and families are camping, playing in the park, swimming, grilling hotdogs in the backyard, visiting amusement parks and zoos and historical sites and outdoor concerts and whatever else they can find to help them extend summer’s sun and play just a little bit longer.


It is supposed to also be a celebration of the working man and woman, the backbone of the American economy, the “salt-of-the-earth neices and nephews of Uncle Sam. With apologies to those in other countries, this is a Friday Five about LABOR. All can play. Put down that hammer, that spoon, that rolling pin, that rake, that pen, that commentary, that lexicon, and let’s have some fun.

1. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

The one summer where I did not go to Camp Calumet for the full Summer I spent time working in a factory.  I made plywood.  It was not fun – I only lasted two weeks.
2. Tell us about the best job you ever had.

I would say most any job that I had at Camp Calumet.  Seeing it is one of my favorite places to go — I just love being there.  The first year that I worked on the year round staff was one of the best.  I was coming off of a terrible time at College and I just relaxed.  I was so happy.  I spent a lot of time sitting on the beach playing my guitar and praying to God.

3. Tell us what you would do if you could do absolutely anything (employment related) with no financial or other restrictions.

In ministry I would love to be a CPE supervisor with my Dmin — Outside of ministry I would love to be talented enough to be a Christian Singer/songwriter/performer.
4. Did you get a break from labor this summer? If so, what was it and if not, what are you gonna do about it?

I did alittle bit here and there. I was working very part time at a restruant while awaiting my first call.  I do not have the time or energy at this point for a vacation.
5. What will change regarding your work as summer morphs into fall? Are you anticipating or dreading?

I am really looking forward to the fall.  I am looking forward to meet and get to know more members of the congregation that I serve.  I am looking forward to the programs starting up.  I am looking forward to get into a good/healthy Routine.
Bonus question: For the gals who are mothers, do you have an interesting story about labor and delivery (LOL)? If you are a guy pal, not a mom, or you choose not to answer the above, is there a song, a book, a play, that says “workplace” to you?

No songs or books come to my mind when I think about “workplace.” Maybe “I’ve been working on the railroad”??

Friday Five

I would like to get on a more regular blogging schedule.  I realize that doing that is a part of my ministry.  One of the things I have been meaning to do is to participate in the Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals. Even though this is Saturday here is my Friday Five….

For this Friday’s Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.
Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

1)  Becoming recently ordained one of the transformations is my Pastoral Identity.  I have recently come to a congregation in Upstate NY and I absolutely love it.  However it is a new life for me.  Not only am I learning about a new community, a new church, new friends, a new assembly.  But I am learning how to be a solo Pastor.  I am finding a balance between how things “have always been done” and moving the church forward into the community.

2)  Another tranformation is for myself personally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As I settle into a new role as pastor, new community, and a new chapter in my life. I am finding balance in these roles while I still develop my role as a father, husband and friend.

3)  The third transformation is from becoming a student to a professional.  I feel like I have been in school for the last 30 years in one way or another.  That is in fact a reality.  Now I am taking what I have learned for the last 30 years and I am going to apply it to my ministry for the next 30 + years.  I can’t say that I am as enthusiastic as others in learning, but I do enjoy to learn.  I don’t think that will ever end but I will be happy to not take another graduate course for a few years.

4)  Living in a house will be the next tranformation.  My family (wife and kids) have always lived in apartments.  But not we are in a nice townhouse.  We are renting (for now) and that is fine but we have space and we are going to be settled for awhile and that makes us happy.  But it is something to get use too.

5)  Getting rid of stuff will be the final transformation.  We have tons of baby clothes for boys and girls that we are storing or getting rid of.  I tend to be the one who wants to keep stuff while my wife is able to let things go. During this move I realized that I do not need to keep as much as I want to keep.  So I am really going to work on getting rid of more stuff so the next move won’t be as painful.

BONUS:  All I can say is that I know Fall is coming when the NFL preseason starts!! I LOVE football season.


Routine —

Everyone seems to have it, it does not matter if you have a planned routine or not.  What we do in life becomes a routine.  This really became evident to me this morning when I woke up late.  See when you have children you are use to not setting the alarm because more likely than not the kids are up at some crazy hour in the morning.  But yesterday morning they slept in until 8:00am.  This threw my routine off.  I had to rush to get ready for work then I arrived at the office about 20 minutes later than I normally do.  In doing so I missed three phone calls.  But that’s not the biggest problem for me right now.

I don’t want to get into a bad routine which is something most pastors fall into easily.  I don’t want to put my ministry and my family above my personal needs.  I don’t want to have poor personal care habits which I have seen first hand over and over again….I also had terrible personal care habits while on internship.  I want to be able to get up in the morning and go to the gym (once we find one to join) and I want to work out and then have a nice breakfast and work reasonable hours.  I want to be able to recognize when I am at the church too long and I need to go home.  I want this church to be “daddy’s church” for my children instead of “daddy’s home” which it was on internship.

It is easy to get into a bad routine — to get caught up in the work day and stop at McDonalds for lunch instead of eating the healthy lunch that is packed.  It is easy to say that tomorrow I am going to start going to the gym instead of doing it NOW. It is easy to stay alittle later at the church to finish Sunday’s sermon instead of going home to put the kids to bed……It is harder to START a good routine but once it is started it will make a world of difference.


Everything went as planned for my Ordination.  It was a wonderful event that I was able to share with my family, friends and new congregation.  I even made the Syracuse paper!

Since then I have been trying to catch up on things that had to get put off to make sure I had all the details done for my ordination.   Most of that is trying to get ready for the fall.  There is not much time left before September rolls around and we have lots to do.  I have committees to meet with, Sunday School to plan, visits to make and new member classes to start!

I don’t know if anyone has said that a Pastor’s job is easy – but if they did they were wrong!!

I see lots of my friends and colleagues post their sermons online.  I have done a few of those but for me — I don’t write the way I preach.  Most of my sermons are done in a way that helps me proclaim the Gospel message rather than reading my message.  I would love to get into pod-casts and to be able to post them on here.  When I had my Mac I could do it with no problem.  But now that machine is down so I need to wait.  Hopefully sometime soon I can get it up and running again.

What a week!!

This week has been amazing!

My week started out pretty normally.  However there was excitement in the air.  I knew that there were two big events coming up for me.  The first was that on Tuesday I pick up the first generation iphone.  Let me say that I LOVE IT!  I had trouble setting it up.  That was my own stupid fault because I left the previous owners sim card in it.  But once I got my sim card in it I was able to activate it and start using it.  I am still trying to figure out all the bells and whistles but I love it.  The phone has almost everything I could ever want in a portable device.  I think I would love to have the 3G speed and more importantly the GPS navigation but I am very, very satisfied. (plus I am not locked in for another two years before I can upgrade to version 3 of the iphone!!!

The bigger of the events this week was my ordination last night.  I must say I am still in awe of the whole service.  To be a part of an ordination is special to be the one who is ordained is priceless.  To have the gathered church body around me in celebration of all my accomplishments and the ministry that is before me is just awesome.  I know that I am lucky where the two biggest ceremonies in my life (wedding and ordination) have gone without a hitch.  It was pure celebration and excitement.

I found out this morning that my picture along with an interview was in today’s local paper.  It is also online for those who would like to read it. I love the title of the articles.

Amidst all the craziness I have spent more time getting ready for my ordination and now I feel more free to focus my energy on getting to know the people of St. Mark’s and to expand upon my ministry here.