More from the road

A couple more snapshots from recent supervisory road-trips. From September 23rd through October 1st my circuit ride included Omaha to Lawrence to Manhattan to Beatrice and back to Omaha. Home for one night. Omaha, St. Louis for two nights, home for two nights. Ames and Iowa City overnight, home in time to ring-in PSL season. Felt like the old days to get in my own car, drive off into the sunset and put the miles on an expense report. IV would rather us not rack up all those miles on our own vehicles, but there has been quite a shortage of rental cars of late. My 17 year old Accord and I enjoyed our time together. 207K and still purring like a kitten! We’re a match made in heaven, well…

George has more miles on him than I do, but he still runs GREAT… hardly any rust!

This seldom happens anymore. Two staff workers, get in a car and drive to campus! [I know, sounds like a line a stand-up comedian would say] George Stulac is our GFM staff member in St. Louis who leads several faculty bible studies in the St. Louis area. Three groups connected with Washington University, a group at Forest Park Community College and a group at Lindenwood. We were on our way to Lindenwood in St. Charles, MO.

George has been studying 1/2 Samuel in his faculty groups. He uses manuscripts. Comes to campus with photo-copies and colored markers. Faculty love George. One woman just blurted it out right after meeting me. “Your George’s supervisor? I hope you’re not here to take him away! He’s the best. We love this man and how he leads our group.” The Lindenwood group just decided this past fall to increase the length of time their group meets. “We want 90 minutes to be together each week. One hour isn’t enough!”

The next few years of ministry for George are critical. His work with Wash-U faculty is unique. The Carver Project is a new faculty ministry at Wash-U that George helped found. He continues in a Spiritual Formation role as the leader of their Faculty bible studies. He also leads the Carver Fellows in their annual retreat. As an alumnus of Wash-U and a former pastor for a number of years, George is not only the perfect GFM staff member, but George is also pretty hard to replace! He would love to have some overlap between his years at Wash-U and other staff who could eventually replace him!

Pray for George’s groups and for his leadership. Pray for God to raise up more staff for faculty ministry in the St. Louis area. Pray for the kingdom of God to come to many academic departments at Wash-U, St. Louis U, Lindenwood and Forest Park.

Weddings are pretty cool!

I say this partly so I can relive the fun of doing Silas and Haleigh’s wedding back in July. But there are two other weddings I ought to mention so I don’t flood this post with pictures of my kids (and OH, I am so tempted).

Josh Ho and Bethany Panian

Here’s a wedding coming in the not too far off future for one of our staff at Washington University. Joshua Ho is a scientist who works for Bayer in St. Louis. As a student he was formerly a leader in GCF (Graduate Christian Fellowship) at Wash-U. He graduated a couple of years ago and got a local job specifically so he could help staff GFM. Josh plans to pass the patent bar exam and work in science patents longer term. But along the way he met Bethany, got engaged back in July, and will be getting married later this year.

I’m grateful to have Josh on our team. As a volunteer, his path to being on our team was very efficient! He and Linda Tuch are both volunteer staff who together work with graduate students at Wash-U. Linda and Josh make a terrific staff team because they both are insiders to the university – Josh, a former student and Linda, the spouse of a faculty member in the law school. They currently keep three things going in the student fellowship. They help students connect with each other for prayer. They facilitate bible study. And they help students plan and execute events (on-campus and off campus).

How are my newly-weds doing?

I think the coolest thing your kid can ever ask you to do is officiate his/her wedding. It dawned on me, in this my last-kid wedding, that one of the best things about being pastor-dad is the view I get. I get the best view in the whole place. Among so many fun moments in Haleigh and Silas’ wedding was this one.

I got to watch these two read their vows to each other. Way better than all my pastoral, dadly verbiage were their words of promise to each other. I think when you’re the one standing 18 inches away you can see it on their faces. They meant every syllable. And they were really good words they gave each other. I long for more marriages to get made just like this. I hope I get to keep doing this with other couples!

Haleigh and Silas came back from their honeymoon and started classes a week later! They live on campus in a third floor efficiency 2.2 miles from our home. They are settling into married life, studying, jobs, campus fellowship and church. Its so fun to get to see them, hear how things are going and process life with them. Silas is trying to figure out how God can use his degree to build up the church and do the mission of Jesus. He’s got so many gifts. And he’s now got a terrific partner to follow God with. Pray for them as they keep settling in at UNO. Pray for God to lead them to the people he wants them reach out to. Pray for Christian community for them. Pray for them to follow God’s leading and stretch their faith.

One last wedding I should mention.

On my way back from Kansas campus visits two weeks ago I stopped through Beatrice, NE. Maddie is one of my Occupational Therapy students at Creighton. Last year near the end of the semester I was on the phone with Maddie when she asked me, “Do you do weddings?”

Beatrice was on my way from Manhattan KS to Omaha. It was so fun to see her family’s acreage and their horses. I got to meet her new colt, Frank (and his mom). I’ll be doing Maddie’s wedding as well as her premarital counseling with Cade. It was a really nice surprise to be asked to do a wedding. I was pretty sure I was done with weddings when I married off my last child. I don’t think that’s true. Not at all. So glad you thought of me, Maddie!

More on my St. Louis and Iowa campus visits in coming posts. Also, more RE- studies will be getting developed. The next four will be in the New Testament. Can’t wait to get them all out there!

Take care!

Yes, this makes Cheryl and I empty nesters…maybe! We’re looking for creative ways to use our home!