Hello and Welcome!

Hello all!

Welcome to my small corner of cyber space. I hope you enjoy my random thoughts and updates as my year of internship out in WA progresses. This is my first attempt at blogging or even sustained journaling so bear with me as I get going.

Well first things first, I suppose I should give you a little background. I have completed my first two years at Luther Seminary in St. Paul MN and will be serving as a pastoral intern at Central Lutheran Church here in Everett WA. I will be serving in a year long internship and will get the opportunity to preach, teach, visit shut-ins and hospital patients and explore many other aspects of being a pastor today. I look forward to the challenge and am thrilled by the wonderful love and support I have received from the staff and congegation thus far. I would also like to thank the numerous well-wishers and encouragers that helped to get us here and continue to support us in this ministry opportunity. We would not have gotten very far without you so thanks! 

So onto our adventure. We left on August 21st and began our trek west in our own modern day version of Oregon Trail. Thankfully we avoided snake bites and bouts of cholera. Although our car and cartop carrier definitely had look of an overloaded wagon. On the way we took our time and surveyed the natural beauty of the American West stopping at the ruggedly gorgeous Badlands first. It was amazing to hear about the land in the park. 69 Million years ago it was an inland sea and over time was uplifted and transformed into a swamp, then african style savannah, and finally an upland desert grassland. The strange formations found in the Badlands are a result of sediment accumulating on the uplifted land forming sedimentary rocks. Over time these rocks were worn away by the wind and water leaving the odd structures we see today. This process of erosion began about 500,000 years ago and it appears that in another 500,000 years the formations will have completely disappeared.

The idea that these rocky buttes will one day be no more is difficult to comprehend. Today they tower over the plains forming an imposing barrier and humbling spectacle to travelers across the centuries. Yet one day wind and water will carry them off and they will be no more. One is struck by the monumental scope of history in a place like this.The rich fossil records in the area tell us that countless species have evolved flourished and died in this varying landscape down through eons of geologic history. Indeed, human interaction with the landscape only began about 12,000 years ago with the earliest Sioux tribes. It gives me a feeling that is difficult to describe. It is the thrill of gazing upon the sheer magnitude of geologic forces and the staggering expanse of the Earth’s history. On the other hand, it is the sense that we as a species are of little consquence in a system that has perpetuated for billions of years, since the foundations of the world. Indeed, as we read in Isaiah the “grass withers and the flower fades”. Impermence is a reality of our existence. However if we read farther we hear: “but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Just what is that word? It is the promise  that though we are but withering grass God will give us life and give it abundantly through his Son Jesus Christ. So that we can look upon the vast expanse of our earth’s history and rejoice that we take part in it, rather than fear our own finitude.

On our way we also explored Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument. Kandice and I couldn’t help but agree with early settlers of this region that the West, it seems, goes on forever, each bend more breath taking than the next. We are settled in here in Washingtion now. We live in a three bedroom home owned by congregational members whose family orginally used it as a cabin. It has a beautiful view of Lake Stevens as well as the Three Fingers Mountain and Mt. Pilchuck. It is a definite upgrade from our small one bedroom back in MN! Well, that’s all for now. I start this coming Sunday with a meet and greet. I look forward to the opportunity and will keep you all posted. Thanks for reading!