Seter knocking at the door of St. Thomas Church close to Nagercoil India.

“This little site is designed to help us to see how the body of Christ functions, communicates, works, struggles and cares up here, in this part of God’s creation. Up North, where you might see the Northern Lights, we are hoping to give glimpses of God’s light shining in our hearts as we “live together as Christ’s people”. We hope to hear from those people in the months and years ahead as paths “cross” and partnerships are formed and we witness, show mercy and share our “life together” in Christ.”

I wrote that a while back and we need to revisit that idea because that is what this site is about. It’s a little like the concept of 6 degrees of separation. Most people have heard of the “six degrees of separation” theory — the idea that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by six links. But is the notion just a pop culture myth or a fact of life? If you want to learn more check out the “Small World Project”, The point is that up here in Minnesota and North Dakota I believe that we are involved in partnerships and mission and mercy projects all over that we may never know about but we should try and discover them. 

Anyway I want to try Rev. Ron Carnicom who is the Pastor at Immanuel in Backus Minnesota. I got to know him when he was the Pastor at Great Bend, North Dakota where a class mate of mine from Concordia St. Paul was the President. I was introduced to the workings of the wider church by Rev. Norman Sincebaugh who served many years as the President of the North Dakota District. One of his friends was Jim Uhrinak who was a pastor and the mission executive for the Minnesota North District.  As their friendship developed Rev. Sincebaugh spent more time visiting the lake country where Pastor Uhrinak had a cabin, and when he was term limited out as the North Dakota District President, he took the call to Backus.  When Rev. Sincebaugh went to heaven Pastor Carnicom took the call to Backus.  Okay, now that is the set up – I am acquainted with Rev. Carnicom by at least three connections – former classmate, District President and Mission executive.  Because of my interest and connection with LCMS World Relief and Human Care I was asked to travel to India and see the progress made in tsunami relief centers that we had established after the devastation from the great Indonesian earthquake.   One of the stops that we were to make was at Concordia Seminary at Nagercoil India for a courtesy visit.  Somewhere along the line I found out that the Minnesota North District had adopted the “Make a World for Christ Appeal” and one of the projects was the expansion of the Nagercoil Seminary.  Another classmate of mine, Rev. David Strohshein is heading up that appeal as the Mission and Ministry facilitator for Minnesota North.  When we arrived at the Seminary it was very dark and I didn’t get to see much of the campus.  I was told that the campus is considered something of a wildlife and plant reserve in the midst of a rather large population.  The punch line to the story is that somewhere in the conversation Rev. Bernard, the principle of the school told me to be sure and go back home and greet his friend Pastor Carnicom.  He said that Ron had been to Nagercoil and had done some work at the Seminary and had been a great blessing to them.

So there is a long convoluted tale about the way our paths cross up here in the North country and how those “Northern Crossings” under the Cross of Christ can redound to God’s glory.  Six degrees of separation may be a social theory, but life in the body of Christ tells us that we are are a part of one another because we all belong to Jesus.

Pastor Carnicom has agreed to send some pictures of the Nagercoil Seminary.  I am including a picture of me at the St. Thomas Church which I believe is not far from Nagercoil.  Supposedly it is the oldest Christian Church in the world.

Picture of the Altar of St. Thomas Church