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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

On the move

"Follow me." - Jesus

Every summer, many interns are literally on the move.

You are coming or going, heading out from seminary to your internship site, or back again to campus. It's a hassle, but it's worth it.

I'm always a little bit sympathetic to the logistical demands of these moves, remembering similar ones of my own. I remember when Nancy and I, newly married, left St. Paul for internship in Kalispell, Montana. That was the first of many moves in response to the call to ministry. When we moved back to St. Paul, we had acquired a cat. My first call was in Minneapolis, so it was a short move. Future moves—to Fargo, ND, to Seattle, WA, to Moorhead, MN—were more complex, as we added children and pets to the family. My call to serve as bishop didn't entail a geographical move, and by the time I accepted this call at Luther in 2008 and Nancy and I moved back to St. Paul, all five children were grown and we were down to one small pet.

I agreed to serve at least three years when I began in Contextual Learning in the summer of 2008. Nancy and I have been renting one of the houses on campus, and one of our daughters has been occupying much of our house in Moorhead, as we lived into decisions about the years ahead.

That changed recently. I've agreed to continue in this position. We saw a "For Sale" sign near the local library as we were returning books, and one thing led to another. We are buying a house near Luther, and will move in later this summer. We sold our house in Moorhead. We emptied it—it's amazing what can accumulate in a large house over 25 years—and watched with satisfaction as a family with three small children, full of excitement and dreams, began to fill it up again.

All of this is to say that I have a bit more sympathy with you who are enduring the hassle of moving. This summer, I am one of you.

Blessings as you move about, following this Jesus who calls us to serve in ways we can scarcely imagine. It may be a hassle, but it's worth it.


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