First of all, an announcement (drumroll, please)… Last weekend, I was APPROVED ✅ for a call in the ELCA! This means that the synod (kind of like a diocese for Lutherans) gave me the green light to find a ‘call’ (aka a job) at a church. When I (alongside the Bishops and churches) find a group of people who call me as their pastor, I’ll be able to be ordained. That (God-willing) could happen around the spring of ‘23. Keep me in your prayers - they’ve been working so far!
Next, I don’t know if you could tell by the theme in last week’s posts, but I’ve been obsessed with this notion of ‘goodness.’ I’m in my 4th year of seminary and I’ve realized that I’ve fallen into the pit of perfection. I think the human species is particularly prone to doing this. Perfection is a false reality where everything works out according to our egoic desire. Our ego ideal becomes our god and we become its slave.
I’m recovering from the unhealthiest season in my life. Since being in seminary, I’ve sacrificed sleep and exercise. I’m almost 20 lbs. heavier than I normally am. My eyes are constantly bloodshot from staring at a screen for hours a day. The list goes on…
I went into a coffee shop when we were in San Francisco last weekend. it was lovely - right by Grace Cathedral. The chap working behind the bar had an Irish accent (but said he was from England, which threw me off a wee bit). He was kind of a rough character, but carried a stylish charm about himself. We got to chatting and he asked me where I lived. “Oh, Lake Tahoe area,” I said. He looked at me with a state of shock, “REALLY?! I had you pegged as being from the east coast. You’re just so pale - I’d think if you lived in the Tahoe area, you’d be more tan from being outside so much. It’s just so beautiful up there!”
Yep… The fallout from perfectionism has resulted in me obsessing over my classes and assignments while letting my personal health go to waste.
The god of perfection is an unreal (albeit very effective) tyrant.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on ‘good.’ I want my work in seminary to be good. I want my work on this blog to be good. And in turn, I want my health to be good. I want my relationships to be good. I want to live my life as… Good. For God created this earth and we creatures who dwell upon it as… Good.
Reign of Christ Sunday
O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy. We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory. Abide with us, reign in us, and make this world into a fit habitation for your divine majesty, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Weekly Grab Bag of Miscellany
If you haven’t yet seen the TV series, The Chosen, I encourage you to check it out. I was sceptical as I am with all modern portrayals of Biblical things. But this show is SO good. It shows the humanity and divinity of Jesus and it focuses on the foibles and imperfections of the disciples (who actually play a bigger role than Jesus). Matthew’s character is brilliant as is Mary Magdaline’s. You can watch it for free by downloading the Angel Studios App on your phone or Roku or whatever you use to stream things. Enjoy!
I have huge respect for Ryan Mackey - co-founder of The Bible Project. He’s a cool guy who knows a TON about Scripture. He recently gave a talk/sermon about his mystical encounter with the Living Christ. It’s so good. Enjoy…
Photos took up too much space on this newsletter, so I’ll be sharing my photos throughout the week on the new Chat feature (read about that here if you didn’t see my announcement earlier). Have a great rest of your weekend!! Advent is coming!!
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