I often think of myself a a “Circuit Preacher.” I’m not sure if I meet any official definition of the term, but I do travel a pretty defined circuit around the state as I spend my time “Teaching, Preaching and Reaching” (to borrow a often used cliche of the roles of a pastor.) Over the past few weeks I’ve had over a dozen appearances of “pastoring” in one the above categories. Recently I’ve been doing a little more “preaching”. The preaching environments I work are a little less traditional than those of parish based pastors. I’m frequently invited to speak at breakfasts for church men’s groups like the one I did this past Saturday in Mahtomedi (as well as one in Minneapolis and one in Chanhassen a couple weeks ago).
Saturday was a energizing experience for me. It gave me a chance to revisit the St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church men’s group where a good friend of mine serves as a pastor. I’ve known Pastor John Straiton for more than 40 years. His official title in my world is “Coach”. (And to him I am “Chief”. Not for the obvious reason but in reference to a character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) He was my Young Life youth leader as a kid and my 10th grade hockey coach. Coach also co-officiated at my wedding and helped me roof my garage the day before my wedding. We’ve backpacked Montana, fished and hunted Minnesota, supported each other in hard times and celebrated in the good times. But most of all we laugh. He is one of the two guys in my life that makes me laugh just by thinking about him. So Saturday was a fun and refreshing day for me.