(A quick note to apologize for my absence. My family and I were stricken with a horrible stomach flu and it laid me low for about a week. I even had to go to the hospital for dehydration. I think we’re finally on the other side of it. Thank God!)
Anyway, I wanted to pass along this little column that ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It gives an outsider’s perspective into what Call Day is like for graduating seminarians. I remember my Dad, a Colorado native and pastor of almost 40 years now, joking that he would go wherever God called him — so long as it was West of the Mississippi. His first placement was Kemmerer, Wyoming.
Another man I had spoken with earlier was Todd McMurry. He’s from St. Louis and was a firefighter before going to the seminary. He said he was on track to be a solo pastor. His wife, Kristin, is an optometrist. They were hoping for an urban area so she could more easily find work. Also, no place too cold.
Now it was his turn. He was called to Brooklyn Park, Minn.
That’s a nice-sized city, and it’s close to Minneapolis. Not exactly warm, but McMurry was smiling broadly as he shook hands with the officials, and I recalled what he had said earlier. “God will use us for his purposes.”
That could have been the theme of the evening. There was an undercurrent of good-natured laughter when one man was called to Juneau, Alaska, and another to Fairbanks. But there was an overwhelming feeling of excitement and anticipation as a new batch of pastors prepared to enter the far-flung world.
“We’ll miss all of you,” said the Rev. Dale Meyer, the seminary president, who was called to Venedy, Ill., in 1973.
At this time that many of our seminarians are awaiting calls, it’s humbling to consider how many wonderful men our Synod has trained over the years for the purpose of shepherding parishes throughout the country, preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments.
We have truly been blessed.