Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The examining committee

Saying for the day: A church with too many rules for its pastors ends up with very bland pastors.

We reach into the archive box and pull out a letter containing information on where and when I am to meet with the examining committee.

At this point there was only a few months left of seminary.
I had done well in all my classes and passed the comprehensive exam.
The only thing between me and ordination was the dreaded examining committee .

This was a way in which the church tried to keep the wrong people from becoming pastors.
It was the last hoop you had to jump through.

The seminary was in Chicago but I had to drive to Milwaukee to meet with the committee.

Since there had just been a merger of Lutheran groups the committee contained people from each of the merging groups.
They each had their own agenda.

I thought I was prepared for anything but out of nowhere came this question.
“ Would you baptize the baby of an Apostolic Lutheran?’
I answered that I didn’t see any reason not too.
I then got a fifteen minute lecture on the Apostolic Lutherans including how one Apostolic pastor had so little respect for baptism that he baptized a child who was hiding under a bed by throwing water on it under the bed and reciting the words.

Others on the committee were concerned that with a Master’s Degree I was too smart for the rural church that wanted to call me.
They were afraid I would talk over their head.
By the time the interview was over I think they wondered if I was smart enough to serve that congregation.

In the end they approved me.
I was almost at the end of the process.

Next week my first call.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my backyard with an active Liar’s Club.– Yesterday’s pulpit exchange between Methodist and Lutheran churches went very well. The pastor’s enjoyed the new faces and the people enjoyed the change.
The yellow brick road run went well despite the condition of the road. Some guy from Kansas won the “I reached the Emerald City” tee shirt. The county is talking about black topping the entire road and just calling it the yellow brick road.
People began to wear old time clothes for old time week today. Pigeon falls looks like it did 75 years ago. Dr. Fortress even ran one of his steam engines instead of the usual diesel .
The Pigeon Days committee was informed that Monk will not be coming. He has a new Psychiatrist and feels he can’t handle the trauma of all those pigeons. So they have gone to a backup person, Deepak the Great, a movie star from India.
The Liar’s Club is meeting tonight to consider giving Quilldancer honorary membership for helping to push the art of story telling.
Nancy said Tom Pirrto came to her with an ethical problem. It seems Dr. John gave him $5.00 to vote for him 20 times on a blog. But when he tried he kept getting cut off with a can not connect to server error. So does he have to give the money back? Nancy told him Dr. John shouldn’t have paid him in the first place.
The White Rabbit was seen all over the place last night and today. It was almost as if there were more than one of him. The dragon has still not shown up. Since it was an English dragon , perhaps it went back to England.
The poor committee has been sending out letters to animal rights groups that are upset by the rabbit toss . They are explaining that no real rabbits will be used, just toy Easter rabbits. Boy even rabbits have a lobby.
Eino has a Stanley Steamer that he hopes to have running for the Pigeon Day Parade. It runs on wood. He says it just needs a little more fine tuning.

The Link for today is: The House of Tea and Biscuits. Remember to leave Dr. John in the comments to get your politically correct JCPOINTS. Check your points HERE.
Yesterday we drew Meredith who has 1 chance in 216, 283 of being drawn today and gettin what's in the Prize Box.
So we draw .....


The name drawn is Stacy. Sorry Meredith ( Sorry Bree). If Stacy is drawn tomorrow she get what's in the prize box.
I want to thank everybody that ministered to my grandaughter through her blog. It was much appreciated.
I helped Betty install her new monitor and she is as happy as she can be. No more squinting and leaning in. I hope this one lasts.
We went back to garage cleaning and packing my G scale trains that we are taking with us. After we pack up a shelf we take it down and pack it up too. It is slow but we will keep at it. My sister who hates computers called. She wanted to know if we had sold the house yet. I said the real estate people haven't even sent anybody to look at it for days. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Janvangogh said...

Tom can split that $5 with me. I know I voted at least 10 times.

BTW, my son's band has another voting thing going. It is for MTV2's On the Rise. I posted a link on my blog.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

(laughing) Deepak is surely getting around! Not to bad for a guy who blogged about his dreams only a month ago. =O)

Wow Doc, they really put you through the mill for the ordination. "Too smart for the congregation"?

Your gift of wisdom is inspiring.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Hungry Teapot said...

Thanks for the link. It's nice to discover your great blog

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Woot! My name is finally drawn...and on my birthday. An omen?

And a front page link? Thank you. What a day!

So many rules in the church and worry about little details. You have a gift that can't be taught and that is one of connecting with people, forming relationships with them and bringing them together. You're doing it here on your blog. To me, that makes the difference between a taught pastor and one born to it.

6:06 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

I really have to wonder about the people who make up a committee that deliberatly asks a question they know to be a trap. This happened to me in college a few times and in art class, no less!

6:19 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

i'm glad that they were smart enough to approve you back when. my goodness, look at all the good you have done for so many.

the pulpit exchange idea is great (can that happen in real life?)

well you got 6 million votes from this home..1 million per each of us..i say you should win hands down..besides there was talk i read somewhere in the rules of the constest that you can do anything you thought of to get votes. so paying a bribe was no problem.

i hope the steamer is able to run. that would be such a treat.

glad that Dr. Fortress steam engine was a hit.
hope you have a great day. again, thanks for such a lovely magnet and card. loved it so much! take care and read you tomorrow.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Crazy Object B. said...

thanks for comments I ended up with 20 wow. goodc blog today.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I can imagine Dr John that you would fit in in any Church, you are a people person and Im sure your congregations all loved you. We have had some preachers I can not warm up to, but usually they are all nice men.

8:56 AM  
Blogger QuillDancer said...

Dr. John, tell NAncy that since the contest is full of liars there obviously are no ethics, then demand your money back or proof of a vote!

Are you paying everybody $5.00 per vote? If you are that explains why you've allowed Lori, The Old Fart, and Bazza to pull ahead of you. At 165 current votes, That's $820.00 bucks you've shelled out (I am not asking for $5.00 for my recent vote. You earned that with this little story.)

9:04 AM  
Anonymous TC said...

So one "bad" Apostolic Lutheran makes them all the same?

Seems an odd focus for that kind of committee.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Thanks for the story. I love all of your stories. You have a wonderful way of telling them.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous andrena said...

hi Dr. John!

all packed up and ready to come home..maybe I can finally write something of substance, in my own home, and on my own computer.

It has been intense...

5:33 PM  
Blogger Pennie said...

Hello Dad,

It was good to read your blog. I think the white rabbit is looking for the blue monster. Sometimes when we lose a friend we retrace our footsteps to remember the person.


8:35 PM  

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