I met a Pastor at the LWML Board meeting for Minnesota North named Ron Hobbie. He is very interested in Project 24 and the work going on in Kenya. He tells me that his parish is very mission minded as well. His parish consists of St. John’s and Trinity in rural Montevideo. He graciously offered to have Rev. John Halake come and visit and have a mission festival when he comes to North Dakota this week but the logistics are impossible. However as we made this connection and our “paths crossed” I have made some interesting discoveries.
First the town for whatever reason chooses to pronounce it’s name MONTE -VIDEO. I was calling it MONTE -VIDAYOH. There is a long tradition of towns pronouncing their names in interesting ways. I had a call to Versailles, Illinois once and when I called someone from there and said VERSIGH they corrected me and said the name was pronounced VERSALES. New Madrid Missouri pronounces the name NEW MAD -RID.
Second – after a visit with Pastor Hobbie he talked about this being the time of the year when he goes and does farm work. He enjoys it and it keeps him in contact with the folks that have called him to be their shepherd. He said something like this -“farming is the central reality that defines our lives”. What I discovered was the fact that after 30 some years of ministry in one place how true that statement is. Even as the number of farmers in our churches has declined as farms get bigger and the number of people farming gets smaller, the central reality that defines life in a rural area is farming. I was a bit surprized at how much the rhythm of seed time and harvest has defined ministry. It also reminds me of how many times Jesus uses farming stories in his parables and illustrations.
The third thing that I discovered was a quote on the parish website from Luther that I had never heard or read. I am sure that there are many things that Luther said that I haven’t heard or read but I really like this one -“Either sin is with you, lying on your shoulders, or it is lying on Christ, the Lamb of God. Now if it is lying on your back, you are lost; but if it is resting on Christ, you are free, and you will be saved. Now choose what you want.” – Martin Luther.
So thank you Pastor for giving me some things to think about. Thank you for your interest and willingness to host a mission fest for Africa and thank you for a partnership that I hope will grow.