Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Grouchy Clouds and Comments

Br-r! This morning started with a hint of sunny warmth after a stormy night, but that was quickly overtaken by grouchy gray clouds and a very strong northwest wind. You better believe I put the flannel sheets back on the bed! There is even snow in the forecast, to contrast with the thunderstorm last night. I was awakened several times by amazingly bright flashes of lightning. We don't have a rain gauge in place yet this spring, but a neighbor mentioned today that he had two inches in his.

Husband sent me to town to get a new tire for the skid loader. While that was being mounted, I shopped for groceries. It didn't take long to gather a heaping cart-full of items. The bags pretty much filled the seat and floor on the passenger side of the pickup. Then back at home, it was a marathon of sack-carrying and putting away all the groceries. I was ready to sit and rest awhile after that was done.

Today I was thinking about Sunday's church service and our church's situation. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, which is also Confirmation Sunday in our Lutheran Church. Usually, the fact that it is Palm Sunday is hardly mentioned, but this time Pastor did read John 12:12-19 before the service started. What perplexed me though, was that the Gospel reading before the sermon was the whole chapter 23 of Luke, which relates what took place on the day Jesus was crucified. Why doesn't that get saved for Good Friday? Plus, Pastor didn't preach at all on the Gospel reading he had just read. Instead, he spoke to the Confirmands, lamenting that often Confirmation is viewed as a "graduation" of sorts, and that afterwards the kids don't show up often in church. I thought that was a bit off target. For one thing, kids that get confirmed are only 14 years old, and should have several more years of being under their parents guiding influence to get to church services and events. I wished he would have emphasized that important role that parents have. And then he went on to criticize "church growth" proponents who want to plan fun activities to keep the teenagers interested in church. Whew, I was relieved to hear he would keep our church away from that sort of undesirable rut.

Our youth group activities have dwindled to practically nothing. When I joined this Lutheran church many years ago, it had an active, thriving youth group. They had regular meetings and Bible studies. The pastor at that time, and his wife, were the leaders. One of the annual traditions for the youth was to put on the Easter sunrise service. That tradition ended when this new young orthodox pastor arrived. He evidently believes it improper for anyone other than himself to be involved in leading a church service, even though a regular 10 a.m. Divine Service would follow the sunrise service. Anyway, Pastor hijacked the sunrise service from the youth group, and so now we have only one Easter morning service, sort of a combination sunrise/regular service. But it is at 7:30 a.m., which is way too early for dairy farmers, so Husband can't even attend church on Easter now. I could get my calf chores done early and go to the service, but I'm not going to. Why should I go when Husband can't go. The whole thing irks me. I feel the pastor focuses way too much on doctrine and properness. They must learn that at seminary.

Well, enough of my complaining. I need to tend to supper which is bubbling in the oven and on the stove. The wind howls outside, but it is warm here in the house.

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