- Convocation Meeting in Lake Geneva. (Convocation = group of 9 Churches in our tri-county area of the Diocese)
- Met the Rev'd Helen Tester who just arrived this month. We have great camaraderie among this group and lots of fun together. We're excited to be doing more together in 2016.
- Back to the Church for our monthly Outreach Team Meeting. Christ Church tithes 10% of our income every year. $5,400 goes annually to underwrite a room at Twin Oaks Homeless Shelter. 1% of our budget goes to Theological Education, this year for our two seminarians at Nashotah House: Pedro Lara and my wife Tammy. The remainder is then distributed on monthly basis to organizations we have a history of supporting (missionaries, local relief agencies & the like) as well as in response to requests for help.
- Spent the majority afternoon working hard on our website with our web designed Allan Aguirre from Planet Blue Media.
- Had a conference call mid-afternoon in my role as Secretart of the Nashotah House Alumni Association.
- Monthly Vestry Meeting. "Vestry" is Episcopal-speak for Lay Leadership Team who serve as the legal and fiduciary agents of the congregation. This meeting's focus was on approving our 2016 Budget and felt great: pledges are up and the budget's balanced. Pledges being up isn't encouraging because of money, but because it indicates an increased confidence and committment to the mission of the Church, and most especiallydeeper discipleship.
- Home for more Yahtzee with the Mancub then Netflix with the Missus.
- Early meeting @ Church with Lukas Janaky, owner of the newly opened LSJ Music Co. downtown to help us trouble-shoot our P.A. System. He's 23 and opened his own, excellent business. In the last year and a half he's become a dear friend and someone who is always ready to lend a hand. I have so much respect for Lukas.
- Inaugural Men's Bible Study on 1st John. So excited to be spending time with these guys and studying God's Word.
- Coffee with parishioner Ken Oliak. Ken is a retired Superintendent of Schools who has great leadership savvy. He's one of those great souls who loves you enough to the tough stuff and is a source of incredible wisdom and experience. So grateful for him.
- Monthly Pastor's Lunch at Kunes Ford. Greg Kunes, the owner, is a modern day Boaz. He uses his prosperity to be blessing to those in need. One of the many things he does is host lunch for local pastor's so we can meet to encourage one another, connect and consider how to work in-concert. Love this group of folks.
- Off to Willowfield Nursing & Rehabilitation Center to lead the worship service, which I do the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The fire alarm went off the entire time I was there. It was crazy. The residents couldn't leave the room we were in so we continued on with the service with my screaming my sermon over the WONK! WONK! WONK! WONK! of the fire alarm. Preached on the Magnificat, one of my favorite sermon themes. We also sang Christmas Carols. I love getting to worship with these dear ones.
- Chief O'Niell was outside with the Fire Dept and so got to visit for minute. He's such a sweet guy. We' conspired to have a Blessing of the Fire, Police & EMS Crews this Spring. I can't wait!
- Back to the Office for administrivia, work on the website and a final look at weekly e-News before it went out.
- Long day, headed home to spend the evening prepping our house for Tamm'y family coming for Christmas!
- Into the Office. Check-ins with staff then off to...
- Vintage on the Ponds Nursing home to lead worship service which I do the 3rd Thursdays. Sang Christmas Carols and then preached on the Magnificat (again) but this time didn't have to scream over a fire alarm. This is such a sweet group of folks who are so engaged in the sermons. And boy do they sing!
- Back into the Office to communicate with our speakers for A School For the Lord's Service. I'm getting very excited about this class we're presenting on the Sundays in Lent. We have an amazing line-up of speakers.
- Phone call with my dear friend Fr. Jim Fosdick, he is the priest of St. Mary of the Snows in Eagle River, WI. He's so passionately committed to our Lord Jesus and is an amazing balance of truly evangelical and truly catholic; and thoroughly missional. So in an amazing god-incidence he mentioned a book he thought I'd be interested in: The Benedictine Parish from Akenside Press. Would you believe I was reading that very book the last two nights?! This launched a great discussion about The Benedict Option, a Benedictine endeavor he's discerning in Eagle River and then I told him about A School For the Lord's Service. One of those amazing, synergistic moments.
- Took the Mancub to basketball practice and "office" from courtside...
- Worked on finding transcription software to turn audio files into text documents. Hoping to publish some teachings from Bishop Godfrey I have an mp3.
- Created some publicity materials for A School For the Lord's Service.
- Buddy Jon and I took Mancub and his kids to the Archery Range. Becoming a Thursday night staple during this Winter.