STAFF BLOG ARCHIVE

Blog
Angie Nitz

Plans, Purposes & Prayers (& Ice Cream)

Historically, July is the month that Todd and I take a little time away with our kids. This year, of course, between the ever-changing recommendations, closings, and travel restrictions, we have had little success coming up with options to travel safely and within our budget. Out of frustration, we recently decided to look to our kids for some direction on what was most important to them in a vacation-like experience so, we sat them down and asked one simple question. “What has been your favorite family vacation ever?” I’m not sure what I was expecting, but their replies surprised me. Here is a sampling: My favorite day in the mountains was when we wrote our own version of “Climb Every Mountain” that ended with “Till you find cake and ice cream!” My favorite hotel was the one where the pool was right next to the ice cream machine. My favorite vacation meal was that time when we ate ice cream for breakfast. My favorite part of the cruise was when Uncle Jeff took us exploring every night and we always ended up getting ice cream. Ice cream was definitely a recurring theme in their responses. Singing came up quite a bit too. Do you know what did not get mentioned even once? Absolutely any aspect of any vacation that I had actually planned. No one brought up my perfectly timed itinerary for Yellowstone, the long sought-after hotel with the perfect view, or the painstaking research to find a shore excursion that included swimming with dolphins. It turns out that for all my vacation planning and research, what has prevailed in the memories of my children over the years has not

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Blog
Tom Zucconi

On Prayer

What does your soul need right now? If you were to put pen to paper or finger tips to keyboard, what would be the content of your prayers to Jesus?

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Uncategorized
Haley Davisson

The Social Media Conundrum

There have been so many thoughts swirling as I thought about what to write for my blog this month. The subject matter that I could write on as a DCE right now is absolutely endless. I decided I wanted to take a moment to talk about social media and what may look like silence. Since I got Facebook in 9th grade I have been very particular about what I post, though when my memories come up on Facebook I sometimes cringe at them. I have always been very particular about it because I was taught that once you put it out there, it’s there forever and I have always been a believer that some conversations are just better had face to face.  Anyone who has known me for any amount of time knows how deeply I love people right off the bat and how deeply I feel with them and that also informs the way I post. That brings me to today. There is a whole lot going on and I have wrestled deeply with what do I or do not post. What does it say to my students? What does it say to my congregation? How informed am I to handle any potential back lash? I haven’t posted much because ultimately, I’m having the conversations off line. I’m trying to listen, to ask questions, to take myself out of my bubble.  The hardest part for me is that, I’d love to say “Let’s have some coffee, a beer, or go to dinner and have these conversations” but am prevented from face to face because of the virus or distance.  In having conversations I am a part of change. My

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Blog
Tom Zucconi

An Identity in Christ

This past week we’ve seen the idea of identity made raw in our lives. From the death of Mr. George Floyd to the subsequent marches on behalf of black Americans, the idea of identity (among other things) is front and center. And it should be. There are systemic problems in our society and institutions that exacerbate the sin of the human heart as it struggles, in the best of times, to love another as it loves itself, especially someone different. In Mr. Floyd’s case, it was his identity as a black male that made him a suspect and the target of deadly force. If the officer had known Mr. Floyd was a Christian, would it have made a difference? I doubt it. But it made a difference to Mr. Floyd, who, though he had everything taken from him, including his life, had everything already given to him in Jesus. His Christian faith in no way lessens the pain of his murder or race relations in American, but for us as Christians it reminds us that even if the world seeks to rob us of everything including our lives, and I say this cautiously as a white male, it cannot rob us of Jesus and who we are in Christ. So, consider yourself and the idea of identity for you and me. How does this relate to us? I recently had a conversation with a seminary classmate of mine who left the ministry. In doing so, he was confronted with the reality of identity. Who was he? Was he worth anything to anyone? Why were potential employers seeing only a pastor and nothing else?  Was he of value to anyone?  Have

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Blog
rfruge

We Remember You With Thanksgiving and Joy

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1: 3-5).” Dear Holy Cross Family, What a joy and privilege it has been to serve among you, to receive your encouragement and support, and to call you family. These two years have been a tremendous time of learning for me. My understanding of scripture, the confessions, and God’s mercy to us through the lens of our Lutheran perspective has provided a deep understand of who we have been made to be by our Creator, Redeemer, and Counselor. And, how we will serve, for Christ’s sake, the community surrounding us. While much of this learning has occurred by the guidance and direction of my professors and classmates, you have given me the opportunity to put my belief into practice and apply that learning. In so many ways from my participation in Prime Timers, Mary Martha, Human Care Team, Intergenerational Bible Class, and other events you have welcomed my family into the life of the church and been open to my ideas, leadership, and care. By doing so, you have allowed me to make mistakes, learn, and grow. For these opportunities and your encouragement, I am thankful. The deaconess prepares to serve the church as Christ’s ears. Hearing the needs of His people, both brothers and sisters in Christ, and those without faith who are separated from Him. As she hears the needs, she seeks to connect the unconnected and care for both body and soul. So that, His name would be made

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Blog
Tom Zucconi

Good Memories of God

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”] I like poetry. I realize it is not for everyone, especially much of what is offered today as poetry, but because the poet is an artist, he or she provides insight into the world that goes beyond my own shallow interpretations. I think reading poetry is important. My reading habits include the romantic or nature poets like John Clare to the war poets like Edward Thomas or Siegfried Sassoon and everything in between. Yet, for me, nothing beats the “divines,” those pastors as poets like George Hebert who weave rich theological understanding and our own humanity into insightful verse. Of course, these pastors as poets are not new. The psalms are poetry, poetry set to music. They are poetry that weaves rich theological understanding and our own humanity into insightful verse. David, who was not a pastor, but was a shepherd, is known to us as one of the great authors of the psalms, in particular, psalms that reflect all too well the brokenness of the world and our own sinful nature. Take for example Psalm 6, one of David’s and said to be “a dark psalm.” The contemporary poet and Anglican priest Malcolm Guite writes, “the psalmist seems at once fearful of God and forgetful of his mercy, so it [Psalm 6] opens: O LORD, rebuke me not in thine indignation: neither chasten me in thy displeasure.Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.” Guite continues, “but the psalmist works through these fears and misgivings and is able to say just before the end of

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