Carolyn and I had registered for the Grace Gathering at Churchwide Assembly in the Spring, but with the new call, her final month’s vacation schedule made her attendance impossible. Grace Gathering was an opportunity for people to experience some of the Churchwide Assembly sessions while meeting separately to focus on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October of 2017. Remember Martin Luther and the nailing of the 95 Theses on that church door? It was a rainy time in New Orleans, but very interesting. Got to hear many good speakers, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, attend some business sessions of the assembly, sing great music and participate in exceptional worship experiences, eat a lot of good food, and meet with old friends and make some new ones…and learned about a lot of great information to use at Central Lutheran Church in Yakima throughout the anniversary year!
Val Killinger, the organist from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul, was a Nebraska Synod delegate to the Assembly! It was great to get together with Nebraska Synod people one last time for Dinner that Thursday evening…lots of cajun dishes! Got to visit with some members of the Deaconess Community as well, Sister Mary Arie and Sister Nora Frost. So much to do and hear, a great time was had by all. Unfortunately, my drive home was delayed by torrential rains that flooded the interstate around Baton Rouge. Thanks to Carolyn for helping me navigate around the flooded areas as she searched for routes still open via the Louisiana 511 services online. I sat on the interstate for over 3 hours before reaching an exit that led me around the troubled areas. Prayers for all those who lost their lives, homes, possessions due to the floodwaters.