St. Peter's Blog 'Letters from Exile, Part Two' from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – North Wales, PA's Blog

Letters from Exile, Part Two

Thursday, Jun 9, 2016
Author: Pastor Andreas Wagner

More about my Sabbatical projects...

Dear congregation,

O, finally we are seeing those nice days that we are used to in May and June in this part of the country. My garden project number one is pretty much finished. I only need to add one more gate to the garden enclosure that I built. The tomatoes are already pretty strong. When we come back from our trip there should be a tomato festival here, provided that Matt, our house sitter, waters it diligently. Garden project number two started this week. It will be a much improved enclosure for my blueberry and raspberry hatch and an area that I might be able to close off from the elements enough that I can start plants from seed there in the late winter.  A semi-green house. I had to take down the old enclosure, which was a thorn in the eye of my wife - you know how that goes.

The study project has also progressed nicely. I completed all of my six focus groups - the last one was at Trinity Episcopal in Ambler/Fort Washington. I came in for the 10 a.m. worship with my shoebox full of papers and one of the greeters asked me whether I had a squirrel in there. I said - you know me - "Sure, I will release it during church!" Turns out, the parish had a real a squirrel man who was trying that very thing several times - a sore, sore subject... The focus groups have been very helpful. The participants  have been very thoughtful and insightful people across the board. The only thing that is lacking is a better distribution of ages and generations. Christian Education for adults in our churches is for the most part attended by retirees. So I will have to convene a few groups with younger people when I come back  because I suspect that their input will be somewhat different. 

In my research I have come across more interesting people:  Lisa Frenz, a former Lutheran Music Director from Portland, Oregon, has written a boatload full of liturgies, litanies, prayers and creeds that are really interesting. I like one of her creeds in particular, and it will be included in my study. Interesting that she is a musician by trade, not a theologian. I have my own theory about that. I reached out to Dr. Pat Loughery at the School of Theology and  Psychology in Seattle.  He is an expert on Celtic Spirituality and I  came to believe that he was the author behind the Celtic Creed which we have used a few times at St. Peter's and which I also love. Turns out, he is not, but he pointed me toward the Iona Community in Ireland.  I have also reached out to a local monastery, a Jesuit center in Wernersville, PA. I am interested in talking some spiritual direction courses when I come back from our big summer trip, toward the fall. In my mind, spiritual direction is one of the ecumenical gifts of the Catholic orders.         

So, you can see, Iam quite busy in a secluded way. I am looking forward to seeing many of you next Saturday at the golf fundraiser though. And our trip is now coming up very soon. We will be leaving on  June 20.  It will be good for my body too. It is really aching from all that physical outside work, schlepping bag after bag of 80 pound concrete, mixing, pouring it...   

At this time I love the sight of my roses.  Kids are getting ready to be finished with school.  This Saturday we will host our traditional end-of school bonfire with thge ritual tossing of old home work into the fire - kids love it!    

You are in my prayers, many of you.

Soon this will turn into a travel blog. I am looking forward to it.


Today are the birthdays of two of my nieces in Germany.   


Yours in Christ,

Brother Andreas

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