Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Great Commission

Roy preached in St. Mary's Chapel last week and we hope you enjoy this 6 min sermon/homily on The Great Commission.  Prior to coming to seminary, I wondered how I was going to worship with my husband as my rector/priest.  Would I get as much out of the teachings and where would my feelings be.  I think I am beginning to find, that though I still think I will need to reach out to another source for pastoral care when needed, Roy does a great job for me in the teachings of theology and leading worship.  Oh the things as a clergy spouse I have to learn!  I am finding that I look forward to this next phase in my life, more so than the intimidation that it once gave me.  I am so proud of him and his gift of spreading the Gospel.

Well, our last Fall in the Midwest is upon us.  I was noticing this past week, that though some of the leaves are starting to yellow and red (depending on the type of tree) that many leaves are falling already without the glorious color works show.  I've been told that some falls are less colorful if it has been an especially dry season.  I am saddened by the thought that our last fall will be less than spectacular in appearance as the previous seasons.  My sadness has been overturned this weekend, however, since we have had rain showers for two days now.  Maybe, we will get that glorious colorful fall showing by next weekend after all!  I will post pictures soon. 

Heather's home schooling is going great.  Her classes are all now loaded and she is keeping her own schedule very nicely and caught up.  Her grades are good and she seems happy.   The first job was a disappointment.  After her first week, her boss called and told her though she was one of their hardest workers, the company policy was that all employees must be 16 years of age.  Unfortunately, she doesn't turn 16 for another month and a half and that wasn't good enough.  She was down in the dumps for loosing her job.  The experience gave her pride and accomplishment which helps a teenager's self esteem.   At least she still has a steady baby sitting gig on Mondays and we are house sitting and she is dog sitting for the next two weeks, which will give her a little income for her savings.  She has her hopes on buying a truck, a Ford F150 she says...   Anyway, I am trying to reassure her this was a good experience for her in interviewing and now having a reference for applications when she is starts the job search again.

I had hoped to go to Milwaukee this weekend for Doors Open Milwaukee.  It is a free event where 100 businesses and buildings are open to the public for tours and historical education.  There is so much history in Milwaukee.  I was really looking forward to this, not sure if we will make the trek out in this weather or not.  I am not complaining though, because I am happy for the rain.  We needed it.  I will post more pictures if we end up going.

Have a great weekend.  God Bless you!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Windows to Heaven

September 10th marks the completion day of icon #2 The Guardian.  My teacher is now confident enough in my writing skills that no longer am I considered "student" in her class.  She now calls her protege an assistant in her workshop.  I will be going on workshop tours and talks with her as well.  Judy is an excellent teacher, and I will continue my icon writing with her on Saturday mornings for guidance, but mostly the fellowship and to assist her now that I've brought two new students to her workshop.  Cindy a seminarian student on campus started with us this past Saturday, and Amanda a student spouse started two weeks ago.  My enthusiasm for this devotional experience is spreading on campus.  I have even been honored to be asked by our resident professor Fr. Steven Paey to write an icon for use on campus.  We will be discussing the details on this specific icon soon.  However, next I've already started one of Mary, Mother of Tenderness.  It is a beautiful depiction of a mother's devotion for her child and I am working on this for Heather.  We been through a difficult summer and this icon has been calling me to represent the bond between us.  The Guardian has been a joy to work on, and I am so happy for it to come to completion.  Michael of course, was my first and I see a big difference in the two.  When I began the icon writing workshop with Judy last fall, I was not prepared for the overwhelming amount of emotion, joy, and spiritual enlightenment that would come with this exercise.  Praying with icons was not a reality in my spiritual life.  It was not until I realized the focus that came with praying with icons that made me understand the true value of this experience.  Veneration of an icon is like kissing the picture of a deceased loved one, an adoration to the image it represents.  Icons are like a Window to Heaven, giving a mere glimpse of those watching over us on earth.

 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens.
Praise God, in the heights.
Praise God, all you angels.
Praise God, all you hosts.
Praise God, sun and moon.
Praise God, all you stars of the light.
Praise God, you heavens of heavens,
and you waters above the heavens. 

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for God commanded and they were created,
God established them forever,
making a decree that will never pass away.

Other September happenings.  Today, Heather is excited to announce she got her first job!  She starts working tomorrow at Spirits!  It is a seasonal Halloween store, and seems like it is going to be a fun first job experience for her.  She is so happy.  I'm proud, and alittle remorse of the idea that my baby is old enough to even have a job.  Thank you Lord, for all of your provisions and guidance in our life.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

School Daze!

Nope, didn't spell it wrong.  School daze meaning we are all in a daze getting settled in to the chaotic routines once again.  It is fun though.  Heather is being home schooled this year.  She is excited about this, as it will be an easier transition I think when it is time to say good-bye.  This is also giving her a chance to learn more about herself, in meditation and reflection.  She will be using the Florida Virtual School system for Spanish I, Geometry, English II, and Marine Biology.  In addition, we will incorporate her horseback riding lessons in to a PE curriculum and she has decided to attend daily chapel services to incorporate a Religious Studies elective.  I hope that this is a good year for us, one to close this chapter in the journey and begin to plan our new life in ministry.

I am committed to getting all of the fall activities and last minute "to do" things checked off my list before the first freeze and all the places I have left to see close for the winter.  Today we went rasberry picking at Henke's in the Town of Jackson.  Our new friend Amanada and her two kids Ayda and Wiles went with us.  We picked 12 pints of rasberries, and now the rasberry cobbler is tickling my senses in the oven as I type.  Next weekend we are housing sitting a very nice home on Seminary Ridge, right on the lake.  That will feel like an almost get-a-way weekend.  I'll be sure to post pics. 

This past week has been a whirl wind of orientation activities.  From getting Heather set up on the FLVS website to my WoNH presidential responsibilities of welcoming the incoming class.  I couldn't do it without the awesome support of this community, however.  WoNH has put together Welcome Baskets, the annual Winter Closet (a thrift shop of donated items for newcomers to get them ready for winter climate of WI), the orientation Ice Cream Social, and many other meeting type events that take place to get to know the new student body and reconnect with returning families after summer.  This week we have a refreshment hour at the Klukas home that should be fun.  WoNH keeps me very busy in planning the board meetings and keeping everyone focused on the seasonal events that we need to keep planned and organized.  Soon it will be fall and that means the annual Fall Festival.  So much to think about and plan!

Work has been crazy the past few weeks as well.  I have a new boss, a new contract, and new business practice initiatives that I must create tools for our intranet resource page for the production team.  Thankfully, the late nights work is complete.

Stephanie is excited to tell us that she has a new job.  She now works at a training center called "Happy Paws Pet Resort".  She seems so happy, and that makes me very happy.  I am so proud of both my children.  Being far away from Stephanie is difficult, but her independence and responsibility make me confident that she is ok without me.

Below are pictures I just wanted to share of our barn on campus, with the corn ready for harvest in the background.  Oh how I will miss this scene. Also, a picture of the cobble booth that Zion had at the annual Art Festival in Oconomowoc.