Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Good Buzz

I spent the middle part of the day today, from about 10:30 - 3:00, with Pastor Per Nilsen and his staff.  We prayed and studied scriptures in preparation for October - November preaching, had lunch, listened in as North Heights staff members supported one another and shared what's coming up at their church, learned from Per as he reviewed key points from a book they are all reading together and did some networking.  I had the chance to connect with people I have known in the past but haven't seen for a long time and to meet staff members whose expertise will be really helpful as we move into the future at Crossroads.

Now I'm at my mom and dad's apartment.  I'm not in a rush to get back to Cokato.  Toni is still up at her parents' cabin with her brother and family and the one appointment I had for tonight was postponed.  So I'm here, doing some writing, thinking about all the things we have coming up in the weeks to come, reflecting on what I've been hearing from the Lord.  Perhaps later I'll even get some notes written down for this coming Sunday's message.

One reason I'm not in a rush home is because, when I get there, it will be very quiet.  Sometimes I like that, but normally I seem to do better when others are around.  I don't mean I need always to be interacting with them or talking to them, but there's a certain buzz I get in the presence of other people.  I get de-energized when my alone time is prolonged.

The new church in Cokato is in the process of developing what might be called a "staff."  I'll call them that even though, so far, I'm the only one being paid.  The other members of the staff -- those who have agreed to be leaders in various areas of our church's life -- they're great people but, because they're not "paid staff," they can't spend a whole lot of time together.  They're very busy with many things outside of church.  That's good.  It does mean, however, that I end up doing a lot of work on my own.

I guess that's one reason I enjoyed my time with the North Heights staff today.  I felt so much at home and energized for what's to come.  Part of that is deeply spiritual, as when "two or three" are gathered in Jesus' name He promises to be there with us.  Part of it is just that "it's not good for the man to be alone" too much.  I've been invited to keep connecting with that staff, and I'll probably do that in spite of the 2½ hour round trip drive to and from Cokato.  And I'll keep praying that we will work well together, building the new church so we can support and inspire one another in the months to come.

Yesterday I mentioned that I've been dealing with grief and loss over the past year or more.  Much of that grief is over the disconnection with others that we've experienced.  I'm not feeling much grief over the fact that our three kids have all graduated and have moved away.  I expected that and I can connect with them pretty much as often as I like--though it's not as easy or as frequent as it was.  I'm mostly excited for them and the wonderful people they are turning out to be!  But there have been other disconnections--disconnections with some dear loved ones, disconnections with colleagues from my former church denomination--and, most on point, disconnections with the co-workers I had so much enjoyed working with and relating with on a daily basis at my previous church.  I connect with them as I can, and our personal relationships remain very good, but it's not the same since we don't see each other "at work" like we used to.  I can't replace any of these people and I pray that someday we will work side by side once again in some way.  In the meantime we do have a good group that's coming together at Crossroads and I'm thankful for that.

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