I’m in beautiful Lincoln, NE this weekend for what has become an annual tradition. Each Labor Day weekend (for I’m not sure how many years now) a group of us who were in the Theta Chi house at Nebraska Wesleyan get together for a reunion.
It is always a great time to reconnect with old friends, to see how things have changed in the last year (and to realize how much things don’t change). We always tell the same stories over and over again (and they get funnier every year) and we laugh and play hard! Every year I feel blessed to hang out with this group of guys and I’m always impressed by the things they’re doing in life. Our time together always leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed and looking forward to next Labor Day!
What kind of connections do you have like this in your life? Who do you still connect with even as years continue to pass?
I’m really looking forward to the kick-off of the college football season. I’m definitely more of a college basketball fan than I am a fan of football, but what’s not to be excited about this year?! KU is coming off of it’s best season in school history and though they might be down a bit, it looks to be another good year!
I’m in NE for the weekend, so I’ll be watching the first part of the Husker game at Kevin‘s and then the rest at another friend’s. I’ll also be hoping for good updates on the KU game as we go.
Heather and I have also begun making plans to go to the KU Band Day game on September 20th. We’ll catch the parade early that afternoon and then head to Memorial Stadium. We’re both excited about flashing back to our glory days of High School Marching Band!
Yesterday in Staff Chapel Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor of Church of the Resurrection, shared some about a recent gathering in Atlanta that he helped pull together and facilitate. The invitation to gather was extended to the pastors of the 100 largest United Methodist Churches in the United States; 80 of them were in attendance.
The group set some goals for their work within the denomination over the next eight years and they are impressive and inspiring. Take a minute to read about the gathering and the goals set and let me know your thoughts.
I find myself feeling quite hopeful about the future of the denomination and am excited to be serving in such a time as this.
Heather and I went to our first session of a five week childbirth preparation class last night at Olathe Medical Center. Despite the fact that it was 2.5 hours of a talking head (after what had already been a long day of talking heads for me), and the fact that the teacher kept asking rhetorical questions and expecting answers, it was a good session.
I learned a lot about the labor and delivery process as well as what has been and will be happening to Heather’s body. I feel like I’ve been relatively sympathetic through the pregnancy, but it made me want to be even more so in these coming months! We also did some deep breathing and relaxation exercises that we are to practice so Heather can be an old pro by the time the delivery date comes.
Next week we get to watch a video and we’ll lay out some mats and pillows on the floor to practice some more breathing, relaxation, and stretching kinds of things. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn more about this process and how I can be the good husband/dad through it all (and to it being something more than 2.5 hours of the same lady talking!).
Yesterday morning the Congregational Care team from Resurrection gathered together for a day of retreat at the Ursuline Convent in beautiful Paola, KS. It was a great day with team members who I am still getting a chance to know. The day was divided into two primary sessions, the first to be co-lead by some guests, the other to be worked through on our own as a team.
The guests for our morning session were Grant and Emma Wood from Resonate Relationship Clinic. They brought great content and talked us through the importance of personal and professional boundaries for ourselves, for our families, and for the congregation. On a side note, they opened our time together with the prayer of St. Patrick’s Breastplate. I wasn’t familiar with it, but found it really moving.
The plan for the afternoon had been to discuss personal and departmental goals for the coming year, but we decided to shift gears near the end of our morning session. After lunch, and a time of personal reflection and prayer, we came back together to continue the conversation about boundaries and self care as individuals and departmentally. We had some great conversation about the ways in which we need to be taking care of ourselves, taking care of each other, and creating systems that do a good job of caring for everyone within the department. I trust that some good things will be coming from this discussion.
While it wasn’t on the agenda in any formal manner, we also spent a good deal of time laughing together, which was wonderful. I continue to feel very blessed to be working at Resurrection and am grateful for all of my wonderful co-workers.
I am currently reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch in preparation for a Living Forward class at Resurrection this fall. It is full of great gems! The other night I was particularly struck by this one:
I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term.
I’m not one who is regularly (if ever) accused of being hip, but I do hope to live an earnest life.
Some time ago now, before we left Indiana, some wonderful people from Ridge Church threw a baby shower for us.
This last Saturday I experienced my first ever “family” baby shower. Heather’s sister was in town and invited a bunch of our extended family to come together for what ended up being a wonderful time. We played a couple of games (ever tried drinking through a baby bottle? As an adult?), we shared some food, we shared great stories, and we continued to be thrilled to be living closer to our families.
Some updates/notes on Baby Clinger:
- We still don’t know whether we’re having a boy or a girl (we’re trying to be surprised)
- The Dr. says it continues to be a very boring pregnancy (and wants it to stay that way)
- Heather is feeling well (and looking more beautiful than ever!)
- We’re still set for a November 7th(ish) delivery (we’ll be getting absentee ballots)
I’m doing some work this afternoon on a workshop for Leadership Institute that I’m co-leading with Andrew and Amanda. I’m excited to be a part of this great event, one that I’ve attended in the past as a participant.
In fact, there are lots of things going on at Resurrection that first week of October.
If you’re at all involved in church leadership (really at any level) I think you’d be able to gain something from Leadership Institute. Let me know if you might be in town and we can grab coffee or share a meal.
Interviews were conducted at General Conference for a project on young clergy that was recently presented to Board of Ordained Ministry chairs throughout the country. Many of my friends and colleagues from Church of the Resurrection were a part of the project. You can see the wisdom of Andrew Conard, Nicole Conard, Adam Hamilton, Molly Simpson, and others here. Take a few minutes to watch these videos and let me know what you think.
Dad came over to Olathe last night and he and Heather and I grabbed dinner and went to see I.O.U.S.A. Apparently the theater in Olathe was one of only two in the state of KS showing the event and apparently KC was one of only ten metro areas hosting events.
It was a neat event, the evening opened with video feed from a theater in Omaha where Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; William Niskanen, chairman of the CATO Institute; Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP; Pete Peterson, senior chairman of The Blackstone Group and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation; and Dave Walker, president & CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Comptroller General had all gathered for a panel discussion to follow the film. Once the film was through all of the theaters around the country were able to watch the panel moderated by Becky Quick from CNBC.
The film was full of great information (a bit of it over my head or hard to process) and it really got me thinking. On one level it has inspired me to look more at the fiscal spending and plans of candidates as we move into November’s elections. On another level it inspired me to be saving more as a family – Heather and I save/inevst some now, but could definitely be doing more.
In the introduction to the evening, the film was referenced as An Inconvenient Truth for our financial world. And it definitely provided some food for thought! A couple of particularly striking numbers from the film:
- $184,000 – each individual american’s share of the debt our country carries.
- $85,000,000 – the amount the National Debt increased while we watched the film (about 80 minutes)
Particularly striking to me is the fact that in the past a large part of our national debt was money that we owed to ourselves. Today we are in major debt to the world economy, particularly China. Something tells me that can’t be a good thing long run…