First posted February 24, 2012; revised June 6, 2012.
Metro life has its benefits. I am closer to friends from my working years, more active in my favorite associations – Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education (MACAE) and Minnesota Independent Scholars Forum (MISF). I also became far more active in the life of our church membership – Pilgrim Lutheran congregation. Pilgrim heralds itself as a home for hungry minds and souls. Accordingly, Pilgrim chose to be an open, welcoming and affirming participant in the Reconciling in Christ program associated with Lutherans Concerned, North America. When you join Pilgrim, the working ethos of the congregation expect you to be a fully participating member. You fill out an interest and talent inventory and find yourself automatically assigned to a worship team that supplies assistance in Sunday services at six months intervals. We have become far more active than 35 years in our previous congregation.
Almost right away upon becoming members, the Properties Committee asked me to coordinate the volunteers that take care of Pilgrim’s gardens. Because I searched for a book club to join, I learned of a member who wanted a book club devoted to the classics but did not want to organize it. Therefore, I took on Classics for Pilgrim with the encouragement of the Vestry. We meet monthly during the school year to discuss a fiction title published somewhere between 1800 and fifty years ago.
In the fall, the Vestry asked me to convene a task force in order to address how the congregation and its members should respond to the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only valid between a man and a woman. This project was soon well under way.