a day trip and reflections on the ministry

Yesterday (Sunday) was a lovely day.  After the morning’s usual Bible classes and worship and coffee hour festivities, we loaded up the car, ate some quick leftovers, and drove two hours to the east to attend the installation of a new pastor at one of our WELS congregations.

This particular congregation has had some tough times in the past few months, so all of the WELS pastors from the greater Northern CA area showed up en masse to show their support for the new pastor.  Also in attendance was our District President as well as a number of retired pastors from the area.  It was a very special, meaningful service.  I wish I could  have paid attention better, but Curious J is not excited by sitting still in church, especially when it’s her second service of the day.  I spent much of the service keeping her quiet, which involved keeping her fed with snacks and occupied with quiet toys or books.

But, while keeping the children quiet and occupied, I did manage to hear bits and pieces of the DP’s sermon, and I was reminded of what an awesome responsibility that being a pastor is.  I also realized what unique temptations present themselves to a pastor, and how the devil works extra hard to lure pastors away from their Call.  Listening to the sermon and listening to the encouragements and Bible verses with which the other pastors blessed the new pastor, my response was to pray that ALL these men remain faithful shepherds of the flocks that God has given them.  No matter how solid a pastor seems, he needs prayers just as much (if not more!) than other believers.  Pastors may seem like they only work on Sunday, but as a pastor’s wife, I can assure you that they never STOP working!  And, their Calling does not make them immune to temptation; they can fall into sin, too.  JJ and I have already seen that happen more than once, and it’s always a sad shock to their congregations and to their brothers in the ministry.  So, pray for your pastor!

After the service, the congregation put on a big potluck meal for everyone.  It was fun, except that Curious J decided she didn’t like any of the food, and so she was a bit of a handful.  Plus, I couldn’t let her run around freely because 1) there were a LOT of people! and 2) all the doors were open, and the church’s location is on the corner of a street.  J almost dashed onto the street once, so someone had to keep a close eye on her at all times.

After the potluck, all the pastors and their families were invited over to the new pastor’s home, as is customary on these occasions.  It was a little quieter there, and J could run about freely without us worrying about her heading into the street.  Being at the new pastor’s house finally gave me the opportunity I was craving, which was to chat with all the pastors and pastors’ wives to my heart’s content.  I really enjoy conversing with pastors; they are such interesting people to talk to!  As our accountant once said, “Pastors are professional nice guys.”  This is certainly true, and it’s always a treat to have grown-up conversation with well-educated people.  Of course, the girls had a blast with the other pastors’ kids, too.  Lyd especially had a most enjoyable time making new friends.  She definitely did NOT want to come home last night!

Before leaving home, I planned ahead, and brought the girls’ pajamas with us, so we were able to get them ready for bed before we left.  Our two hour drive home went smoothly, with both girls sleeping in their carseats for the majority of the trip.  We arrived home a little after 11pm, and while both girls woke up when we arrived home, they transferred easily to their beds and went right back to sleep.

But this morning, oh, were we tired!  When JJ’s alarm went off in the morning, I suggested that he just turn it off and that we let the girls wake up on their own, not worrying about getting Lyd to school on time.  He responded that he was thinking the same thing.  So, we turned off the alarm, rolled over, and went back to sleep until J started squawking around 8:45.  At Lyd’s request, I made pancakes this morning, and we had a leisurely breakfast around 9:45 with oatmeal pancakes, sliced cheese, and strawberries.  It was delicious!

I felt a little guilty about sending Lyd to school so late, but all of us really needed to sleep in and to have a relaxing morning.  Mon-Fri, Lyd has to be to school on time, Saturdays I teach in the morning, and Sunday is obviously busy for us.  So, there’s really no day where we all are “off.”  I’m glad we took the chance this morning.

And now, it’s back to our regular schedule.  Forward we go… 😉