Well, I left Mindy and the kids behind and traveled last Monday for another week in St. Louis with 9 other pastors. We stayed at a house-turned-retreat center near the campus of Covenant Theological Seminary. I spoke to the student body at the seminary on "The Joys and Pains of Ministry". I have felt a very strong bond with these fellow pastors. We have met together enough times to develop relationships of real trust and intimacy. It is by far one of the very best things I have ever been apart of. It was a great joy to see our good friends the Wichlans throughout the week. How they are thriving at Covenant seminary! I got home Thursday night to discover that my car had been vandalized, my dash board ripped up and the radio stolen. What a pain. I spent Friday having various catch up meetings, the first half of Saturday madly writing my sermon for Sunday, and then we had a wonderful fall festival at Trinity on Saturday afternoon. Lots of people showed up and it was really fun getting to know our neighbors and some of our newer folks better. There were various games with prizes, nachos, popcorn, cotton candy, face painting, and a fabulous creativity fair in which several members of our congregation had a table display of their various hobbies and talents. We were thankful for the bouncy houses where our kids could expend all of their sugar-filled energy.
I'm leaving again this Wednesday night for a meeting of various theologians in Chicago. It should be a fascinating discussion. I'll be gone until Saturday night. We'll post some pictures of the fall festival.
Also, I want to make a movie recommendation: "Freedom Writers" with Hillary Swank. It's a true story of a teacher who tries to turn around a class of 62 kids from opposing gangs. I watched it with the pastors on Wednesday night and then Mindy and I watched it together last night. Tonight after the kids went to bed we watched all the special features. It is a wonderful movie on a number of levels. Go see it!