So I've discovered that none of my posts thus far have really kept anyone up to date on what's happening so far. So here goes...
We moved down to Fulda on August 26th. As soon as we arrived, we had wonderful people around us to help unload and to make us feel welcomed down here. We spent the remainder of that week unpacking, though we're still living in a minor maze of cardboard boxes. The house is GREAT. It's got plenty of room for Paige and Maddie to run around, and for visitors!!! I'm sure at some point we'll post a virtual tour of the house, but that would require me taking pictures, which would require time. That seems to be lacking.
I officially started on September 1st. That was a Sunday and I attended 2 worship services. One at Evangelical Lutheran in Heron Lake and One at Amo Lutheran near Storden. In all I have 5 different congregations that I'll be working with. The two I just mentioned, plus Immanuel Lutheran in Fulda (which I live next to), First Lutheran in Dundee, and Grace Lutheran just outside of Worthington. Luckily I'm not alone. I'm the 4th pastor on staff and the rest of my team is absolutely awesome. They all differ in personality, gifts and talents, as well as many other things. I can certainly lean a lot from them.
Right now my supervising pastor and I are making the rounds through the congregations, getting me introduced to everyone. I will begin leading services on my own at the end of this month. That's awesome and terrifying at the same time. I have worked really hard so far at trying to contribute something instead of feeling like the extra weight. I'm not sure how well it's going, but I haven't even been on the job for a week yet... So maybe I'll cut myself a bit of slack.
I'm starting to feel a little more settled down here. I'm getting used to seeing corn and soy beans everywhere. The peace and quiet of this setting is really allowing me to have some peace and quiet in my mind and soul, something I guess I was lacking. I've already had some great moments where the Holy Spirit sometimes subtly and sometimes not so subtly gives me a kick.
But I've also found some difficulty. This past week, My dad lost his cousin who was really more like his brother. My Mom lost one of her good friends. And we all lost a good friend in my home congregation. Though those events made me sad, I found it especially difficult to not be around while all this is happening. They say a pastor is called to a church to shepherd a flock. While I am down here, I'm learning to shepherd a whole new flock, but not really sure how to help take care of my old one. Sorrow is a hard feeling, but helplessness really sucks!
Keep walking, keep praying, keep growing I guess!