Pastor Mary's office hours are: Monday 10-2pm Tuesday 9-12 and Wednesday 12-3 If you'd like to meet outside these hours, please call ahead to be sure she is in the office. Contact by church phone (715-879-5115), home phone (715-309-4065) or by email at: meide@luthersem.edu

February 2018



Winter Greetings to one and all!

As I write this letter to you, I have a beautiful view of the serene winter scene outside our back deck, with snow-laden trees, and beautiful white landscapes as far as the eye can see. Winter has definitely arrived...and with it comes a new liturgical season...Lent. Check out the article below about the 40 Days of Lent, as well as other ways you can enrich your experience of the season.

I've actually had a LOT OF TIME to check out the scenery around me (trees, deer, interior walls, birds at the bird feeder, snow, walls...did I mention I've looked at the walls A LOT lately?!). Seriously though, I've appreciated the time at home to rest and recuperate from my shoulder surgery. You may have heard the good news that surgery went well, and my recovery has gone better than anticipated. I'm still restricted to wearing my sling, have weight limitations, and cannot use my right arm...so that definitely cramps my style. But in the three weeks that I've been home, I've come to greatly appreciate the value of this time away from the church, and better understand why pastors take sabbaticals (a period of paid leave granted for study or travel, traditionally every seventh Clarification: I year). am NOT on sabbatical leave at this time...but what I've been experiencing is a time to reflect on the past 7 1/2 years of pastoral ministry. I've had some quiet time to clarify my thoughts and aspirations as a Christian leader. This has been both an exhilarating, as well as humbling experience. It has allowed me to dream big...and admit failings; to see where I've stumbled in the past...and see a path forward.

One major spirit-led revelation has come from these quiet times of pondering: a desire/plan for me to spend a little less time in the office and make more time to get to know you...our neighbors...and community better. As many of you can attest to, it's so easy to feel like the work never gets done, and there is always more to do. I realize this sense of always having more to do will not go away, but I can no longer allow this to keep me inside the church building as many hours as I currently spend there. This is especially true if I want to be an example of how 21st discipleship means deepening our relationship with our neighbor, so we can share the Good News through our words, actions and attitudes.

Initially the time I'll have available for such visits will be limited because of the busyness of the Lenten season and the fact I'll initially only be working part-time as I recover from surgery. But there will still be plenty of weeks in the months to come, to pick up the pace and get out more frequently. Here are my thoughts (dreams):
1) Visit with many of you to talk about the church, our community and your faith walk
2) Continue to attend some school and community functions
3) Make time to meet with other community members/business owners
4) Identify ways to even do some of this on digital formats (video chat, Facebook, etc.)
Of course the tricky part of this plan/dream, is to do all this:
* While not trying to ALSO do all the busy work from previous years.
* As well as nurturing that elusive balance of work life and home life. (Honoring the relationship I have with my loving husband/family, and providing time for self-care)
In the near future I will be posting times I have designated for daytime and evening visits (which can take place in your home, the church or someplace else). If these dates and time don't work within your schedule, we can work something else out. You may be receiving a call, text, or email to set up a time to meet. I'm excited about what can come from all of this...growth...deeper sense of connection...visions for future ministry...clarity on Spirit's leading for us as a congregation/community.

Thank you for taking this journey with me...and I look forward to seeing you all very soon (and stop looking at these walls).

Peace, Pastor Mary

"Encouraging faith and proclaiming God's love by Gathering, Growing and Giving."








Last updated: February 2nd, 2018