Sunday July 25th was a #milesandmiles day across NT-NL Synod, ELCA, ELCA. But not so much for me but for my associate the Rev. Kris Totzke. She began her morning at Grace, Abilene for the installation of their new Synodically Authotized Worship Leader (SAWL), Emelie Clements (pictured lower right). Emelie will be starting seminary at Luther this fall and is a candidate from the Metro Chicago Synod. She is in Abilene because her husband, Dave is stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene. Grateful for her call and his and their openness to her serving so that our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America witness will continue in Abilene, TX.
Kris then traveled the 200 miles back to Old East Dallas and Emanuel Lutheran Church; Iglesia Luterana Emanuel, Dallas for the installation of the Pr. Rachel Ringlaben to serve this historic bi-lingual congregation. She was joined there by our NT-NL DEM the Rev. Irma Banales who read a letter of greeting from me. Rev. Ringlaben was installed by our Eastern Conference Dean the Rev. Jeff Bergeron and the Rev. Jesus Escamilla, Dean of our Conferencia Latina NT-NL ELCA.
As always I am grateful for your synod staff and their willingness to travel to be present for these events and occasions. They understand my priority on presence and being with our communities across our vast territory.
I was traveling in a different way this Sunday. As the last day of my summer vacation I worshipped with family and then delivered my middle daughter to Austin for time with her cousin and grandparents. Of course no visit home for me would be complete without running up to my home congregation of Gethsemane, Austin where my father serves as one of the pastors. Always awed to step into that historic place of worship and to be reminded the calling of the pastor is multi-fold. As always when I go home I got to move tables and chairs, pick up trash from the property, and help set up for the food pantry ministry Gethsemane has provided for over 40 years. A gift to have that time with my father. #NTNL #InMissionTogether