theological high.

9 Nov

[A politically correct title?  Likely not.  Oh well.]
Fall theological conference for pastors, baby!
Paige and I left Owatonna Sunday afternoon bound for Rochester where we would meet up with jD.  Not due to arrive to pick up the missing third of the triple threat, Paige and I stopped for lunch.  Here.  It’s kind of a classy place; a place that most of the people in the area know about and have been.  I’m fairly certain we walked in and lowered the average age of restaurant guests by about 40 years.  It was the Sunday-after-church-older crowd.  We stopped for chocolates at the chocolate shoppe across the street and then were off again, ready and poised for more adventures.
Once we were three in the car, we began discussing how we wished the car ride was longer.  I was looking forward to going off with friends but I just wasn’t sure that I was prepared for a two-day conference with stodgy pastors.  Alas, we arrived, checked into our hotel rooms and took a deep breath as we entered the reception area and cash-bar-with-the-bishop before dinner and the official start of the conference.  
To recap: We enjoyed the journey.  We were uncertain of the actual conference and reason for travel.  Would it be enjoyable or just boring as all get out?  These fears were real.
It turned out our uncertainties were not actualized.  Hooray!  While there certainly are some stodgy pastors [you can’t tell me everyone at a dentist convention is full of fun either], I met some awesome colleagues.  Both nights we were there included pastor hang out sessions in various hotel rooms.  It felt comfortable to be with other pastors who understand, who can also take off their ‘pastor hat,’ and who can have a good time.  One particular pastor – who shall remain nameless – made his way into my heart with his rebellious side and cursing mouth.  We’re just people, people.
I got to see dear Karen of Stillwater – the one who now works on the synod staff – and she invited Paige and I to the secret seventh floor appetizer parties.  I met other first call friends and had lunch with the bishop.  It was, however, eventually time to leave.  jD, Paige, and I piled back into Sprocket, bound for Chinese food before leaving LaCrosse.  The resulting restaurant find was not overly pleasant and none of us were brave enough to try the number five.  
There is a price to pay for the crazy faith-filled fun of clergy.  Hot tea is now my best friend as I nurse a sore throat and icky nose deal.  Lack of sleep and that darn sleep-number bed that would not cooperate I will blame.  [We tried to figure out our sleep number but the remotes were too advanced for our kind.]  I will conclude, however, that fall theological conference ranked quite high in my book.  It was a high I needed and a renewal that came at the right time.  I feel – at least a little – rejuvenated for ministry back in the grove.  
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