31 May
Wednesday was baccalaureate for the seniors of the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms.  [I still can’t get over that their mascot is a flower.  I no longer have the privilege of complaining about my high school – the Crimson Tiders.]  This service was held at the Catholic church in Blooming in the evening and all six pastors from the town participated in the service.  
What do you get when four Lutheran pastors, a Baptist minister, and a Catholic priest lead a service together?
First, Lindsay gets ulcers and then we get ice cream at Dairy Queen.
I remember telling Kendall on internship that I don’t do surprises in worship.  I like a clear plan with nearly every word I say scripted.  I like to know where I need to be when and how I will get there.  If these pieces don’t exist, I get anxious.  I need to know what’s going on and my role in it all or palms are sweaty, the voice chokes, and nothing can be in any sort of focus but a nervous one.
The six pastors met beforehand but no one said, “Hey.  Let’s walk through the service together.”  [I suppose I could have been that person.]  No one, as we walked to the back of the sanctuary to lead the graduates in procession, said, “Dudes.  Let’s be strategic about who sits where in the aisle based on role and timing.”  [Okay.  I said it quietly and without the initial dudes.  I could have spoken up.]  [And that’s when Stephanie, aka Heidi, aka a pastor at the big Lutheran church in town, said, “You should blog about this.”  It was all sorts of circus.  Check.]
The service happened.  We processed, prayed and preached.  Songs were sang and Scriptures read.  We high-fived the graduates as they left the church in lines – a high-give gauntlet, if you will.  Survival was the result.  Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to God because the pastor tradition is to get ice cream afterwards.  A fun tradition, say I.  A late night treat that reminded me how thankful I am for companions in ministry.  How awesome is it that I get to be a part of services like this next to a seminary friend with whom I can fist bump before leading the benediction?  [And who begins to eat my ice cream by mistake but I feel comfortable enough sharing germs and saying, “That’s okay.  But keep your own spoon.”] I’d say it’s pretty rare that two seminary classmates – let alone pretty wonderful friends – end up sharing in such ministry right out of school.  And how awesome is it that the two Lutheran pastors at the big church in town are so great?  One – Stephanie/Heidi – is my mentor which basically means we go out for ethnic food or coffee once a month.  [Not a bad deal.]  The other is simply pastorally wonderful.  Neither is crazy or off their rocker.  They can be trusted and approached. Thanks be to God.
So bacca-what?  Bacca-circus.  Bacca-ice cream.  Bacca-awesome.

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