Archive | October, 2009


31 Oct
lasting only for a short time; impermanent.
I drove two hours south to Shalom Hill Farm last Tuesday for an intern cluster meeting. All of the interns and their respective supervisors from the area gather together to discuss internship and how the year has began. As the interns came together to discuss the joys and stress of internship, this word surfaced – transient.
I have been a transient person for the last eight years. I have never lived in the same location for more than a calendar year. Sure, I spent four years at Luther in Decorah but those four academic years were spent living in four different locations on campus with a summer of moving home in between. From Luther I moved home and then continued onto Stillwater. Stillwater to St.Paul, back to Stillwater, return to St.Paul and now onto Dawson. My life has been transient.
At internship cluster, we focused on the negative aspects of being a transient person, of not being in one place longer than a year, of being new and unaccustomed to the places we live so often as we start somewhere new. I agree. There are certainly negatives of a transient lifestyle. No deep roots are allowed to grow and the beginnings of settlement are uprooted in the early stages of growth.
But then this weekend I drove to St.Paul and in a way, it felt like I was going home. It was familiar. I have spent the last two academic years as a city dweller in the eastern-most Twin City. There were friends, hugs, and the familiar place that I have grown to love of Luther Seminary. Even as I drove on 94 past the Minneapolis skyline, I felt welcomed back to a place I knew well, a place of good memories and lots of growth. I never dreamt that I would enjoy living in a city, especially one as large at Minneapolis/St.Paul, but have proven myself wrong.
I took a side trip to Stillwater to visit former coworkers on Friday. As I drove on Myrtle Street, down the hill towards the scenic St.Croix, I had another moment of peace, of familiarity. Stillwater feels a bit like home too. The people that welcomed me, people with whom I spent two and half years in partnered ministry, reminded me why I love Stillwater, why it felt so good to return, even if only for a short visit.
Then today I returned to Dawson. My visit to the cities was short but I was able to see so many people who are important to me in my life. It was a wonderful trip. I drove past the gnomes at the city limits and dropped my bags in the middle of my living room. I realized that Dawson is quickly becoming a home too. I enjoy my time here, the place where I lay my head at night and cook my meals, and the people of the congregation I am serving.
I also realize that in just over twenty days, I will be traveling home home. Edgerton is my first home. Whenever someone asks me where home is, the answer is Edgerton. It’s the place of my family, my childhood, and I will be counting the days until I make the trip, anxious to see family, friends and Jetta, the family dog.
Though I am transient, never in one place for too long, I have found value in the moving, traveling, and non-sedentary lifestyle that has been my own for the past eight years. I find myself at home in many places. As we discussed at internship cluster, it most certainly has its struggles and challenges, but right now, I am able to focus on the positives and hope to make the most of my time in Dawson, before my transient lifestyle forces my uprooting again.

and it was good.

25 Oct
The quilt is complete. It’s finished. It’s done. And I’m proud. It’s pretty much not quality, not going to lie, but I’m still proud. It’s a little long and I’m not sure I’m too nuts about how much white it ended up having within it. Love it still.
The quilt adorns my bed but I also like to cuddle under it while watching television. Like tonight. After a l.o.n.g. day of two worship services – one at which I preached, one 1.5 hour service of confirmation at which I assisted – and bouncing four confirmation parties, I am absolutely beat. Perfect evening for a movie (Transformers II – thank you again netflix), a few chapters of my for-fun book, and an early bedtime.
Next weekend I have a trip to the cities planned, a trip which will include hanging out at seminary, lunch with a favorite friend, AND purchasing fabric for my next quilting endeavor. Considering a more traditional quilt with, of course, a more modern twist … perhaps a nine-patch? I’m thrilled to pick out fabric for a new project and also very excited that my friend, Kate, a senior at seminary, is now quilting too so we can fabric shop together!
(PS Like the rubbermaid totes that need to be stacked in the corner of my bedroom because of lack of storage? Tasteful. Attractive. No other option.)

just starting.

24 Oct
October is apparently Pastor’s Appreciation month so the lay committee at Grace held a coffee hour in our honor and encouraged congregation members to write notes thanking us for the work we do. I had a stack of cards from people to read and enjoy, which is unbelievable to me – I’ve only been here for two months. One short note made me feel infinitely better on a day that I was stressed, tired, and crabby —
Pastor Lindsay,
Just starting your journey with us and we love you already.
Thank you.

Mrs. Zulu

22 Oct

Lori, Mrs. Zulu, and I
Grace Lutheran Church is a part of the Lac Qui Parle (say it with me: lack-a-par-ul) conference in the larger southwestern Minnesota synod of the ELCA who partners with a region of the Lutheran church in South Africa. For the past two weeks, we have welcomed two representatives of that region to stay with us in our conference. I had the joy of getting to know and spending much time with Mrs. Zulu, a member of the Lutheran church in South Africa, a mom to three, and a police officer by trade.
Mrs. Zulu, and the gentleman, B.M. from South Africa, spent time in various congregations and towns within the Lac Qui Parle conference. Mrs. Zulu came to Dawson for a weekend and I was her ride. We had some generally awkward conversation in the half hour drive. She came to church to Grace last Sunday and spoke, sang, and answered questions from the children.
Last Sunday was crazy for me. I preached at the early service. Schmoozed at the pastor’s appreciation coffee hour. Assisted at the second service. Led an early afternoon service at the care center in town. THEN, Mrs. Zulu, Lori, and I made our way to St. Cloud to attend a theological conference for three days.
In the two hour car ride, we bonded. Lori and I learned a lot about Mrs. Zulu and her life in South Africa. We heard about how she met her husband and how her children begged her to bring home “USA clothes.” I’ll admit, I was tired and in the back seat of a moving vehicle. I nodded off a few times but if Mrs. Zulu sensed I wasn’t listening, she would say, “Linze! Linze!” until I responded, assuring her I was still listening and awake.
From that point on, Mrs. Zulu stayed close to Lori and I for the remainder of the conference. She liked us. 😉 It was great to hang out with her and get to know her in the short time we were together. As of early this afternoon, Mrs. Zulu and B.M. were on a plane, returning to South Africa after a successful trip, sharing their lives and how the partnership of our churches enriches all of us, on each side of the ocean.

I need more pins.

22 Oct

It’s pinning time. The final step of quilt completion. The binding. The next photo of the quilt that will be posted will be a photo of my very first quilt adorning the bed in my apartment. In between sermon writing and watching The Proposal (which netflix promised to deliver tomorrow), I will be doing the zigzag stitch to the best of my ability. Goal for completion: Sunday evening.

gnome home.

22 Oct
I live in gnomeland. I’m a neighbor to gnome park. I consider myself on a first name basis with many gnome people in the area. I am a friend to the gnomes and here in Dawson, I seem to be in the minority.
No one here seems to care for or about the gnomes. I mention the gnomes to others, often with a giggle because the gnomes are like that – they make me giggle, but I receive stares and questions in response. People who have grown up with the gnomes think they are just a fixture in their community, much like the toilet the Smith’s use in their front yard as a planter for flowers. It’s old hat. Nothing new. And so no one cares when Gladys goes missing. The flyers I put up in town regarding her whereabouts go unanswered. No one is concerned.
To prevent the ignoring and possible threat to gnome lives, I have taken some smaller gnomes under my roof, to protect and care for them. I consider my apartment to be a safe gnome home. Currently, two gnomes make their residence in apartment #206 with me. I’d like to introduce them to you.
This husky gnome on the left came to seek refuge all the way from Seattle, Washington. My friend, Kari, knew of my passion for the gnome people and brought this little guy my way. He looks a bit like he might play the role of Santa Gnome to the gnome children come Christmas time. I do fear that he came nameless and I am currently seeking the perfect name to fit him. I welcome suggestions.
Then there is this guy. He’s an original swinger who

traveled to me from Stillwater, MN. The Gieseke family, bless their hearts, is always on the lookout for the gnome folk and believed that this guy could be at home with me. Ideally, he enjoys swinging in the summer breeze but as the winter approaches, he will remain inside and still. Ironically, he needs a name too! Ideas?

sweet pea.

14 Oct
Harry is the usher extraordinaire at Grace. Nearly every Sunday and for almost all funerals, Harry can be found in the back of the church, greeting, handing out bulletins, and no doubt giving people a hard time.
One Tuesday afternoon, Harry was working at the Dawson area food shelf, which happens to be housed in the room across the hall from my office. I stopped in to chat with Harry as he sat at the desk, listening to the radio, available for any community members who would stop.
We talked for a few minutes and then he said to me,
“What’s your name again?”
“Oh,” he replied. “I won’t remember that. I’ll call you sweet pea.”
And it has stuck ever since. How he can remember sweet pea and not Lindsay I do not know. When my family visited a few weeks ago, he was sure to introduce himself and enlighten them as to my new nickname. Yesterday, Pastor Lori called Harry to find a good time to come visit him and his wife at home. He told Lori, “Make sure you bring sweet pea.”
So today, as Pastor Lori and I walked into Harry’s home, we were greeted as he said, “Oh, good. You brought sweet pea.” As long as it’s coming from Harry, I think it has grown on me. I can be his sweet pea for the next year.
Another Harry conversation:
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Nope. No boyfriend.”
“Oh.” (pause) “So that’s why you’re so happy.”


13 Oct
In case you were in any way doubting that I am indeed the intern pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson, MN, I give you proof. Perhaps a bit of proof also that the bushes are healthy and growing unhindered. Thanks, men, for being on shrubbery patrol.

a tour of area statuary

12 Oct

Last Friday, I welcomed three friends from seminary to bunk and play with me for the weekend. James drove, Justin took pictures, and Kate slept on the three hour journey from St.Paul to Dawson. They arrived bearing hugs, apples, cookies, and sleeping necessities for the weekend away. We spent our time watching movies, playing games, catching up, and touring the area statuary, including :
The gnomes in Dawson. Of course. We discovered that the gnome chapel is open and we could walk inside and worship in the tiny pews at our own will! Pastor Lori said that the chapel has actually held wedding services before. For normal sized people and not pint sized people. Not quite sure how that works.
A dude from Uruguay who resides in Montevideo and a viking in Milan.
Then, of course, there is Lou T. Fisk in Madison.
We had a wonderful time exploring the vast western Minnesotan landscape in the freshly fallen snow on October 10. Snow. October 10. Oh. I think I also failed to mention – we found Gladys, the missing gnome. Case closed.

in approx. six weeks –

6 Oct
I will be home! I’ve just been given the clearance from my supervisor/lead pastor that I can indeed go home for Thanksgiving. Of course at that point in the year, I probably need to add ‘weather pending’ to that sentence but it is still a wonderful thought to entertain.
You know what this means, Connor Robert Reilly … fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Bake-Off. Bring it.
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