Archive | September, 2009
8 Sep

“As soon as we call God, “God-with-us,” we enter into a new relationship of intimacy. By calling God Immanuel, we recognize God’s commitment to live in solidarity with us, to share our joys and pains, to defend and protect us, and to suffer all of life with us. The God-with-us is a close God, a God whom we call our refuge, our stronghold, our wisdom, and even, more intimately, our helper, our shepherd, our love.” Henri Nouwen, Compassion

Week One: Check.

7 Sep
I have officially been in Dawson for one week, though technically I write this post from Watertown, SD. It’s Labor Day, the offices are closed, and I could think of nothing to do within the limits of Dawson or my apartment and thus I traveled to Watertown, one of the largest cities nearby. (Nearby = one hour.) I also do not have internet currently in my apartment and so I drove seeking wireless to connect with the world outside of myself. Well, and not to mention, I had never been to South Dakota before! (Below is proof – proof that I had just taken a shower, it was windy, my sunglasses are large, and I was going to South Dakota!)
The past week went well and didn’t seem as overwhelming as it could have easily been. I followed Lori, the interim pastor, around as she did visits, led worship services at the care center/assisted living facility in town, attended staff meetings, and met lots of people who’s names I now have forgotten. The pastor of the church, Kendall, is on sabbatical for the months of September and October, which puts me in an interesting position, spending the first two months of my internship with the interim pastor (who happens to be the intern pastor from last year). Confused? Me too.
I participated in leading small parts of the worship service yesterday. I was a bit nervous, not necessarily for speaking in front of the congregation but I hate those pocket mics that you have to switch on and off. I always think I’ll mess that up but not yesterday. Phew. I will be leading worship in some sense every Sunday; I will either but leading the service or preaching. Never both off the bat but always one or the other. After church I drank some coffee with some sweet old ladies who invited me to join their table and was introduced to more people I can’t quite remember.
After church, I came home to my apartment and then shrugged my shoulders, wondering what the heck I would do with the day. I was bored out of my mind. No internet. No sewing machine as of yet. Totally unpacked and unloaded. I took a two hour nap … watched That 70s Show … read a bit … and that pretty much sums it up. Yesterday I think I came to the realization that this will be a very lonely year for me though I know that busy-ness at church will help a lot when I don’t have time to feel alone.

Let me introduce you –

7 Sep
To the gnome garden, technically called “Gnome Park.” I have heard that many of you think this garden to be a figment of my imagination, my creativity running away with me, or, bluntly, a lie. I tell you, the gnome garden is not something of fairy tales but a very real and magical place on the east side of Dawson. A few things about the gnome garden:
1. I had estimated that there are 17 gnomes in the garden. Turns out there are 28 gnomes! What a gnome-tastic surprise! Not to mention, there is a map to indicate which gnome is where and the gnome’s name. Apparently, every summer there is a festival in Dawson in which a person in the community is honored an then there is a gnome made and put in the gnome garden in honor of that person.

2. Dawson gnomes are different from other gnomes, shown by a bend in their hat and a heart on their sleeve. (As noted by Daws, the leader of the gnomes, of course.)

3. Some gnomes have had unfortunate accidents, which may or may not be the result of reckless teenagers who are bored and can think of nothing else to do but steal innocent gnomes and throw them in the river. (Bored in Dawson? I can’t imagine. sarcasm) Take Gladys here. Only her gnome feet remain. Poor Gladys.
On my morning walk this morning, I documented the gnome population in the garden and hope to bring you occasional gnome profiles of the gnome people who call Dawson home.

Oh for _____________.

2 Sep
I have lived in Minnesota for pretty much the last three years, give or take a few months. People always comment on the Minnesotan accent, exaggerate the tendencies, and make fun of the extreme vowels. Watch the movie New in Town for a completely exaggerated view that is also hilarious. (And super cute.)
In my three years in MN, I never have really noticed the accent. Maybe I grew accustomed to it or maybe just gained it myself and therefore didn’t realize it when other people spoke with ridiculously long o’s. But, my goodness, have I noticed one thing since I’ve moved to Dawson – the for.
The for goes in front of anything. Anything. Attach a description word and you’re set.
For good.
For nice.
For great.
For fun.
For sweet.
Oh, for goodness sake, I have noticed it coming out of ladies’ mouths left and right. For awesome.

Hey Jesus.

2 Sep
Meet Jesus.

Nice guy.

Jesus is four and a half feet tall and we share an office at Grace Lutheran Church.

I posted a picture of Jesus on my facebook and really enjoyed the responses I got from people about my officemate:
  • Please do not compare your work to the work that he does.
  • Does he light up?
  • Oh for cute! He wants to hug you and hold your scarves!
  • Can dress him up in your hat, mittens, scarf, etc. in winter, or would that be in poor taste
  • I’m all for Jesus but I would be little creeped out by sharing an office with that statue.
We’re getting along pretty well so far, hopefully the cordiality keeps up. Apparently Jesus belongs in the cemetery but first needs a base to stand on which hasn’t been completed. I don’t know, I’m okay with sharing an office with him. I’ve been told he’s the way, the truth, and the light. And I think he loves me.
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