Friday, April 29, 2016

Concordia Seminary- St Louis

Call Day 2016
for the Pastoral Candidates
and the Vicar Placements  
Concordia Seminary- St. Louis

The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus

Dedicated on November 15, 1992, the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus serves as the house of worship for the Concordia Seminary community. Aside from the primary worship space the chapel building also contains a choir practice room, one classroom, the dean of chapel's office, the housefellow's quarters, and a chapel that is used primarily for small worship services and for worship practice.

Concordia Seminary was founded in 1839 in Perry County, Missouri, by a group of emigrants from Germany. In 1849 the preparatory division and the school of theology of the young institution were moved to St. Louis and relocated on a site at South Jefferson Avenue and Winnebago Street. The preparatory division was moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1861. In 1926 the campus was moved to its present 72-acre site in suburban Clayton. Since its inception, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has provided more than 12,000 professional workers in the church.

Touches of beauty around campus
Sustainable gardening- for the meal tables

A special seat for Vicarage placement.
The honor for John to preach 
the homily for the vicarage placement.

Jacob Okwir -
 call to  St. James Lutheran Church
 Overlea, Maryland- Pastor.

Aaron Bueltmann to Advent Lutheran- 
Forest Hills, MD- Pastor.
with his parents- Tawn Bueltmann
 and Rev. Kevin Bueltmann.
Benjamin Micheel 
to Concordia Lutheran Church,
 Conover, NC as Associate Pastor
Justin Kumfer to 
Our Savior's Way Lutheran Church, Ashburn, VA
as Associate Pastor
Chris Jung to Baltimore Preparatory
as teacher

Paul Burdette-
Our Savior Lutheran Church-
 Clyde, NC as pastor
Mark Moretz- Vicar 
to Hope Lutheran Church- Wake Forest, NC
Kevin Barron- Vicar 
to Living Savior Lutheran Church-
 Fairfax Station, VA.

(hope to get a photo for Paul Burdette)

This year here is the list for the candidates and the vicars:
+ Aaron Bueltmann to Advent Lutheran Church, Forest Hill MD as Pastor
+ Paul Burdette to Our Savior Lutheran Church, Clyde NC as Pastor
+ Christopher Jung to Baltimore Lutheran High School Association as Teacher
+ Justin Kumfer to Our Savior's Way, Ashburn VA as Assistant Pastor
+ Benjamin Micheel to Concordia Lutheran Church, Conover NC as Associate Pastor
+Jacob Okwir to St. James Lutheran Church, Overlea MD as Pastor
+ Kevin Barron to Living Savior Lutheran Church, Fairfax Station VA as Vicar
+ Mark Moretz to Hope Lutheran Church, Wake Forest NC as Vicar

Thanking God for the blessings
 of all of His people called to serve.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bible Journaling- Teaching Frameworks

As we move about to equip coaches 
for teaching others in community, 
it is helpful to have some framework
 to help them - help others.

Bible Journaling is simple.
Helping others to see the depth and breath
 of the possible responses is NOT EASY.
For a couple of reasons:
1. Our churches have members that are trained 
and experienced in broadcast information sharing. We are taught,
(or preached to, or informed) without much expectation of dialogue or response.
2. If response IS DESIRED and WELCOMED- there is very little process or planned system of help along the journey. (In other words if you figure something out that is great- but it is your own personal "thing".)
3. Our overworked church workers may themselves see 
Visual Faith as just "one more thing" they have to implement or find time to initiate.

                                                                                               Pat Maier
So--- in an era when communication has moved to interactive, and perhaps a social media response IS DESIRED, what do we do? We equip the laypeople to be coaches to teach others. We go where the Holy Spirit is already at work, and we look for people of peace. (There is no need to convince someone of the worth of the practice, as that takes too much time and energy.)  Find the receptive hearts and souls and GO THERE.

                                                                              Eden Keefe
We have found these FRAMEWORKS for teaching Visual Faith helpful:

1. Jann Gray of Illuminated Faith uses this: 
SEE and REMEMBER.  That is how she helps people look for what God is saying in Scripture, mark the spot of the teaching and how might it best be remembered?  Illuminated-Journaling-Book-Jann-Gray

Jan lists 3 categories of margin response for Bible Journaling:
Typography, (words)   Image  (drawn or traced )and Collage (Mixed media)

2. READ, REFLECT and RESPOND--This is the movement in spiritual formation from head knowledge and mastering the text, to heart transformation and praying for the text to master OUR HEART.
Jessica Meier
3. Bible Journaling (in Bibles, journals and other faith resources) and Visual Prayer are both found in the Visual Faith framework. Prayer is both the foundation and the umbrella for Bible Journaling teaching. The Holy Spirit leads the way in all of this spiritual formation process. Every response for marginalia can begin with prayer and becomes the final blessing.

4. The margin response can be seen as a "mini-billboard" created as a personal reminder. What will help me to instill this Scripture right to my very soul? (and my memory then can recall it)

5. Bible Journaling sets the mark on the journey, becomes the legacy, provides the blueprint for "telling the story" to others, that we may be His witnesses.

Mary Moore

6. It is a grace process. It always welcomes and says- "glad you are here" and never chastises and says-"where have you been?"

7. The simple act of coloring or tracing or writing helps to create “sacred space” for each of us. It can be the child-like quality that Jesus talks about in how to approach life in the Kingdom.  Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:23

8. If we think of God's Word as His love letter to us, His TEXT-MESSAGE to us, we know that a message deserves a response. So the margins become simply "our response to a text message."

9. All of the time, energy, and processing becomes a part of each person's IEP- Individual Education Plan.  This is designed by the Holy Spirit for each and every person, and no two journeys will be alike. Our own personal experiences become the groundwork used to empower us with inner strength- in our inner being.
 Ephesians 3: 14-20.

Prayer for Spiritual Growth-

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

10.The Lord blesses time in His Word and it brings JOY to His children.

May some of these FRAMEWORKS 
be a blessing and help to you 
as you explore Bible Journaling- Visual Faith
 and especially if you seek to teach others.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gathering at the St Louis Botanical Gardens

The Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis, Missouri
missouri botanical garden

On a beautiful sunny spring day

we gathered to stroll the gardens.
On the day of our visit-
the site of at least three outdoor weddings

iris in full bloom

and the peonies

Linda, Valerie, Cheryl, Cindy and me

Linda, Valerie, Cheryl, Judy and me

Wives of the LCMS Council of Presidents
Hanging out together
in community.
Women of Faith
in Sisterhood.
 Thank you Lord.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bible Journaling- Field Reports

I have been on the move here and about 
teaching Visual Faith- 
which includes Visual Prayer and Bible Journaling. 
This post includes some reflections from those attending 
recent learning community gatherings. 
From an educators standpoint, 
these are things we are "getting right."

From conversations out and about-"in the field"-
we are hearing:

Visual Faith is about finding a process that 
"creates meaning for me," or helps me to tell my story of faith.

It is a spiritual discipline that takes PRACTICE.

It brings affirmation that there can be positive movement to deal with Spiritual ADD challenges.

Visual Faith practices help me to slow down, pay attention and deal with distractions.
It is a grace filled practice. We LOVE that there is no 
"right or wrong" way for approach.

It crosses over doctrinal issues that tend to divide Christian communities.

It brings me back to the central issue of prayer and reading God's Word.

I have read my Bible more in the last year than in my whole adult life put together.
It has blessed our young family with tools for family worship.

I have a tangible faith legacy to hand down to the next generation.

It has become something that draws together both couples and adult children.

Visual faith practices bring me JOY.

Bible journaling has opened faith conversations in the work place where there were NONE.

Bible journaling has allowed me to meet my neighbors.

My children want to join me when they see me spending time reading God's Word and responding.

Even my husband is spending much more time reading God's Word, and that is new for him.

I felt uncomfortable inviting someone to come to my church, but invited them to a Bible Journaling gathering and now she comes to journal with me.

I am amazed that my children have asked for Journaling Bibles for birthday gifts.
I never imagined that prayer and Bible Study could be fun.

The Holy Spirit is guiding this "movement".  Praise the Lord.

"Here's my perspective: Bible journaling brings me utter, sheer, unadulterated joy! It has given me permission, as an artist, to create for the joy of glorifying God and not to create a product for sale. " Peggy Buckley Thibodeau

"I've just started bible journaling, and I am not an artist. I think bible journaling helps me to come to Him as a child, so I can talk to Him about scripture, memories, and prayer needs as I try new things." Kathy Wasson Schaeffer

"I liken it to sitting at the feet of my father or grandfather ( as a young child) drawing or coloring while listening to their old stories. Doodling at the feet of Jesus." Linda K. Alli

Do you have some insights and reflections about what YOU have been seeing with spending time with visual prayer and/or Bible journaling?  Add your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The GRAND life

the blessing of the littles-
 that come around again in life
and steal your heart-
Though this is number 2-
I am just beginning to see-
how you are changed
 by this new generation.
wanting to see THEM grow up
and learn and play
We have well invested 
into the lives of their parents.
And now we place these GRANDS
 into the hands of our heavenly Father-
to be blessed lives in the Kingdom.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Deployed Digital Missionaries with VRSLY

Created on the VRSLY app on my phone

on Social Media
For a word of encouragement

For the truth that Saves
As deployed digital missionaries.