Saturday, February 2, 2013

Around my Office

Some of my colleagues have been posting some information about their offices, although, most specifically, they've talked about the resources they turn to most often in the daily course of their ministry.  Their answers got me thinking about my office, too, though not exactly in the same way.  Not that the Book of Concord isn't important to me and all that.  But my most cherished, most necessary objects are more eclectic than that.  

1.  Hymnals.  Maybe I'm a closet Anglican.  I have a lot of hymnals, the current crimson one, as well as the green one, the red one I grew up with, the blue supplemental, a lime green contemporary hymnal from the 1970s (groovy, baby), and a couple of old, black sort-of musty smelling hymnals from the Concordia and Augustana traditions.  I also have the Methodist hymnal, an old Gather accompaniment book, and feel that I should get a Presbyterian hymnal, too.

2. Devotional books by Gerhard Frost, a Lutheran pastor and teacher.  I think most of them are way out of print.  But I turn to them often, for stories and poetry.  "Bless My Growing" was the first book I owned, way back in college, when being a pastor was almost (but not quite) the furthest thing from my mind.

3.  A hand-made bowl, with a shiny green bottom.  It was given to me by one of my confirmation students.  It holds my microphone and a few miscellaneous items.  Unfortunately, it is broken; there is a huge chip in it now.  I have the chip, and think I may be able to glue it back someday.  In the meantime, it is still a treasure, not because it is perfect, but because it's a gift.  Reminds me of me.  and everyone else.

4.  A note from a parish member asking whether we could have a blessing of prayer shawls sometime before Lent.  The answer was 'yes.'  We blessed the prayer shawls last week.  Oh, and I also have a couple of prayer shawls in my office as well.  One is purple, and belongs to me.  I used it for a Biblical monologue once on Passion Sunday.  The other one is always around, in case I need to give a prayer shawl to someone.

5.  Though I have Luther's essential writings in my office, I confess that I most often turn to a small hardcover book which just contains The Large Catechism.  I just find the Large Catechism fun to read. I also turn to a little book called "The Freedom of a Christian" (aka "On Christian Liberty").

6.  Children's books migrate in and out of my office.  I think every pastor should read children's books. The three that I know are in my office right now are Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo, Holes, by Louis Sachar, and The 100 Dresses, by Eleanor Estes.  You should read these books.  I mean it.  There's some deep theology in there.

7.  A really old, small stuffed clown doll.  I say that it is "really old" because it is my age.  It was a gift to me when I was a baby, given by one of my dad's customers.  for the past several years I've been using the doll in confirmation.  They get to name the doll at the beginning of confirmation, and when they say their 'highs' and 'lows' of the week, they pass it around the group.  My group of boys has named this small clown doll with the pink and white outfit -- "Dark Bob."  go figure.

8.  A book called "Holy Conversations."  I bought it a long time ago, just because I was intrigued by the thought that strategic planning could be a spiritual practice.  Now, we are actually reading and using the book, and having holy conversations with one another.

My office is crowded, over-full, actually.  But there it is, the tip of the iceberg, the treasure in earthen vessels.

Come and visit sometime.  There's a teapot in here somewhere, too.
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