Monthly Archives: December 2012

A New Purpose

Since I recently retired from active pastoral ministry and teaching, I have been at loose ends to know how I might continue to communicate some of the learnings that I have to an audience since I no longer have one in a church or a classroom.

I think that this blog may be the answer.   I plan to post on it at least once a week now and hope to share what I’m reading, my experiences, and my reflections  with you who read this.    I hope that you will join me in this endeavor and I can use this outlet to share the experiences and wisdom gained in 76 years of living, in which were  35 years of teaching in high school and college, and over 20 years of Christian pastoral ministry.

I have a broad education experience as well as life experience.   I hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Phillips University and Phillips Graduate Seminary (now Phillips Theological Seminary),  a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Chicago, and extended graduate work at San Diego State University in counseling psychology.     I also have a widely varied life experience as I worked at many different jobs besides the ones listed above.   The life of a teacher raising a family is the life of having a second job to support tht family.

I retired as a Minister Emeritus in the Christian Church ( Disciples of Christ) in Kansas, receiving the Honored Minister’s Pin from my church in Hutchinson on my retirement as interim there.    Besides my public school teaching  and  ministry I also was a Hospice Chaplain for several years for Harry Hynes Hospice in southeast Kansas.   I have been through the agonizing experience of losing my wife of 54 years and recently remarried a wonderful woman who has brought light to my life as I emerged from the dark valley of the shadow of death.

I hope you will react to my ideas in dialogue with me and that I can be a source of insights to you.   I also hope to learn from you who read this as you write your reactions to what I write.   That is my plan and my prayer.

Fruit of my labor…

Kay and I  just returned from First Christian Church in Hutchinson where I received he Honored Minister’s pin and the award of Minister Emeritus.    It was a very nice award to receive and I appreciated it.   Our Regional Minister for Kansas, Paxton Jones, gave the award  and Assoc. Regional Minister, Ken Marsten was also there to help.   

It was a bitter-sweet experience though.   I labored two years as interim minister with this congregation and I grew to love all of them.   But since I left on Nov. 1,  things have changed.  Only about half or less of the usual number of persons I loved were in attendance.    I sensed that the “spirit” was gone—-both the “spirit” of the congregation and the Holy Spirit.    As I looked out at them it was like viewing  a body from which the life spirit has gone and only an empty shell remains.    So it was bitter-sweet.    Better than any award they could have given me would have been to observe all the people who were in attendance when I left—-to see them there and full of the life spirit that I observed in them as together we went through some difficult times—-that would have been a much better award for me.   

My prayer for this church family is that they regain the spirit of love and care for each other and that they search for the presence of the Holy Spirit in their congegation.   God is with them—-they just must be open to God’s Spirit and incorporate it into their individual lives and the life of their church.   If that does not happen all of my labor has been in vain.