So how do I begin a post that is my first in several months. I guess I just begin. Some may have wondered about the recent absence of posts. I received a few emails, phone calls and personal coments about the significance of February 15, 2009. It took me awhile to realize it was the date of my last post. I was at a MESCA chaplain graduation ceremony last week (more on MESCA later) and one of the graduates said he enjoyed the website but it hasn’t been updated since 2008. So I figured it was time to get “Back At It”.
First of all, I want to let everyone know that the ministry is thriving! That is the primary reason for the absence of posts, too much going on, not enough time to do everything the way I’d like it to be done. But the model for this ministry is one of traditional chaplaincy: A Ministry of Presence, Service and Relationships. This website provides a ministry presence to a larger public safety community so again, time to get “Back At It”.
Here are some of the ministry services that have been filling my time:
MESCA – The recently established Minnesota Emergency Services Chaplain Association that was developed by Dr. Jeff Stewart of the Minneapolis Police Chaplain Corp and endorsed and supported by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.
MN National Guard Yellow Ribbon Communities Initiative – I have been working on a variety of Yellow Ribbon initiatives for almost three years now. As we gain more experience the project has grown and seen significant tangible results. This increase in activity has resulted in a partnership between Public Safety Ministries, The MN Chiefs Assoc and the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute. We have created a training curriculum that will be implemented throughout the state in the coming months.
Spiritual Fitness Gatherings – We have started to gather public safety professionals and those who support the professions for monthly (fourth Wednesday of the month, noon to 1:00 pm) gatherings at Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Minnetonka. It is a time to gather specifically to grow in our spiritual fitness.
The business and devlopment part of the ministry has also filled much of my time:
ELCA Ordination – I continue my seminary studies and internship responsibilities. I can now see the end of that journey. With a little luck (class availability) I’ll be ordained by this time next year.
PSMI Board Expansion – We have expanded our board of directors adding business, fire service and clergy perspectives to the group. I am excited about learning from the additional insights.
Ministry Partner Affiliations – We are establishing more formal ministry partneships with organizations supportive of the mission “Serving Those Who Protect”.
Well, that’s a brief overview. More detail to come on the above initiatives.
I want to close with a prayer I try to say every day:
I ask for the strenght to serve, the peace to rest, the wisdom to discern and most of all the humility to acknowledge that all that I am and all that I have are gifts of Your gracious love.
And let’s all say a special prayer for our troops as they prepare for the withdrawal of US troops from cities in Iraq.