This was a very good day! I headed over to Albert Lea this morning for a conference meeting. In the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, there are 5 different conferences, and the church leaders of each conference meet once a month. As a team member of the Office of the Bishop, I got to head out to the Blue Earth River Conference meeting. 

I really enjoyed those folks! Wow. Truly! I've had a few experiences over the past week that really re-energized and re-focused my spirit for ministry and life in general. I'm grateful for whatever days I get on this earth, and I want to spend a lot less time being worried/angry/fixated. This week has revealed new insights on those themes. Last night I couldn't sleep...thinking about Sarah's untimely death. I looked back over emails I sent and received from Sarah over the last 6 years. 

Sarah was a wonderful colleague in ministry, and I always enjoyed seeing her at events. But we hadn't spent much one-on-one time together. As I read over the emails, many are related to technical details and updates of information I needed for work. 

One email from May stood out to me. She had sent some thoughts and suggestions for future synod assemblies, and I had responded that I'd love to collaborate with her. 

She wrote: "I would love to connect any time Emily."

The summer zipped by and I hadn't yet reached out with suggestions for times to connect. 

And then Sarah died. Suddenly. Last week. 

I keep looking at that email she sent in May.

Today as I drove the hour to that conference gathering - mostly with leaders I didn't yet know well, I thought about Sarah's email from last May. I thought about connections...and how eager Sarah always was to make them with others. I thought about how sometimes I am hesitant with clergy and church leaders I don't know very well...afraid they don't like me...afraid they won't like me...afraid they'll think I'm a fraud who doesn't belong. 

I try to project warmth and smiles...but I'm not always quick to dive into discussion and connection with other pastors. I guess sometimes pastors intimidate me. 

Today was different. I felt a different sort of motivation...a different sort of conviction. 

"These are awesome people," I thought to myself. "And I'm going to make the most of this opportunity to know them and let them know me. Who knows when/if I'll get a chance like this again."

Such is the nature of each and every day, I suppose.  

Oh Sarah...thanks for being such a connector. For inspiring us all to be connectors. For caring about people and the church in a way that was and remains contagious. 


After coffee and a lovely worship service, I had the opportunity to lead the morning's "program" on the topic of "Communication 101." I gained a bunch of new insights from those folks. It was such fun to learn with them. Communication is central to every moment of every day of our lives. It's neat to have chances to discuss that idea with others. 

So that's the scoop from today. A really good day.

Hope you had a good one, too. 

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