Friday, April 9, 2010

Live from Mayberry!

We just returned from a quick vacation to North Carolina(On the way there, we pass Mt. Pilot on the Andy Griffith Highway). We went down there to visit Zach in his new permanent duty station. We, however, got a suite at Ocean Isle Beach which is a bit south of his base in Jacksonville and about 40 miles north of Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a very relaxing location, perfect weather, and beautiful views. We brought Chrissy, Zach’s girlfriend, with us for a visit with Zach as well. We basically just hung out on the beach or in the hot tub.

Saturday we ventured to Orton Plantation near Wilmington, NC. It has 20 acres of beautiful gardens to walk through and truly was a stunning place. It also presented a beautiful backdrop for Zach to propose to Chrissy. Which he did and she accepted. That night we went to a restaurant called “The Isles” which is a stretch down the beach from our hotel. It was a good celebration of the day’s activities despite the waiters refusal to serve champagne to all the “youngsters” for a celebratory toast. North Carolina does not have family exception laws like 31 other states. We finished off the night playing Apples to Apples for hours.

Sunday we headed to Myrtle Beach to attend church at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church which I already recounted below. After church we ate at a Cracker Barrel. Well I’ve never seen a Cracker Barrel so busy as Easter lunch in South Carolina. After that we went back to the hotel and spent time on the beach and in the hot tub again.

Monday we left for home but stopped in Jacksonville to take a look at Zach’s barracks and base. My best impression was that it was “industrial” It did not have the resort feel of the Navy base in Pensacola. I guess the Marines like things a bit more Spartan and practical. We left from the base and headed home and stopped overnight in Beckley, WV. It was bustling because of the Mine disaster there. We finished up our trip on Tuesday. We came home to a house that needed serious cat box cleaning and to throw out some potatoes that were rotting. I must say that I really wished that vacation was longer. I had a good time and despite the 2500 miles of driving I found it all very relaxing.

Katie left for San Diego last Thursday, the same day we left. She gets back on Saturday. She is enjoying her visit with Phil. Of course in the smallness of the WELS she met someone from her school at Beautiful Saviour in Carlsbad, CA on Easter. When she returns, I feel all we will hear about her plans for moving in June. It will be a long two months. I will just focus on coaching track at St. Marcus, planning Ike’s confirmation in May and Katie’s graduation in June. After June…I guess it will be boring. I can take that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Update

Another Easter has come and gone. Lent and Easter truly are my most treasured part of the church year. I must admit that this Lent and Easter were terrific. Our series of worship for Lent and the great Lenten hymns really touched my heart. Whereas I am sad that I missed Easter service at Victory, I’m glad I was able to worship with another growing mission, Amazing Grace, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Amazing Grace worships in a store in a strip mall but hosted their Easter service in the nearby elementary school to accommodate larger crowds. They are just about to break ground for a new building. It was nice to hear the recorded music of Sarah Kuerth the wife of
Pastor Ben from Victory as she is so musically gifted. I also got to have my most favorite Easter hymns. It was funny to hear a good Wisconsin type accent in the middle of the south from Pastor Ben Zahn.

I saw the attendance numbers for Victory for the Easter service and we hit a new record with 222. We had a forum on Saturday and again next week to discuss Victory’s decision to call a 2nd pastor. So far that process has gone well. We also have a Shepherd’s Team which constitutes our elders. I am one of them. We are working on 3 things. The calling of a 2nd pastor, working within Franklin’s new master zoning plan to find pieces of land that we can purchase, and further developing our children’s ministries. Victory has been blessed with abundance. We have an abundance of children and we have needed to rent more theaters for the new Teen group and the burgeoning Bible Quest group. We have been blessed in our attendance that keeps going up every single month. We have been blessed in offerings in that our building fund and general fund are both growing significantly to the point of going past self-supporting to having a surplus that allows us to expand our mission outreach. This is certainly an exciting time at Victory.