A new friend – gratitude 3/9

In studying with 19 pastors from all over the world I’m making some new friends. Yesterday I went for a nice walk to the Elbe River with Gerda, a pastor from Denmark. Not only is she a pastor, she also runs…marathons and ultras. I’ll try and show a new friend or friend’s photo over the next few days.

Today I’m personally thankful for: new friends; the opportunity to cook two big pots of chili for these friends, and for a good night’s sleep last night.

Panorama 1517 – Gratitude 3/8

Two days ago we saw an exhibit that was prepared for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. It it a panoramic of Wittenberg as it would have been in 1517. My photos don’t convey all but I’ll share anyway.

Today I’m personally thankful for: the opportunity to delve into deep theological topics with pastors from around the world; new friendships with these same pastors; and the opportunity to experience history.

My favorite scene: women reading
This scene reflects the anti-semitism of the time
Selling indulgences…this didn’t happen within Wittenberg but opposition to it was part of the protest

Brrr, it’s cold outside – Gratitude 3/5

Today was my first full day in Wittenberg Germany, and so far it’s been pretty full. I started with a run at 6:15am, 30 minutes before sunrise. I was afraid that it’d be freezing but after a couple miles I had to take off my long sleeve shirt. Then worship was in the old Castle Church, in German. It was interesting to experience familiar elements that were yet in an unknown language. After lunch we went for a 2 hour walking tour…and this is when I was cold! Next time I’ll need to wear more layers. The photos are from the bridge over the Elbe River.

Today I am personally thankful for: this opportunity to meet and study with pastors from all over the world; nice and comfortable walking shoes; the reminder that there is an incredible world filled with incredible people outside the United States.

Travel Day – Gratitude 3/3

Almost a year ago I thought, “why not?” and submitted an application to study at the Lutheran World Federation in Wittenberg. In September I received the invitation to a seminar for March 2017. Then, it seemed so far away…and with the inevitable passage of time, today is travel day. I’m excited for two weeks of study, followed by a week’s vacation and my first road race outside of California. I think I will also follow my coach’s advice and not watch any news of the travesty that is our national government.

Today I’m personally thankful for: the ability to travel; all those who are filling in for me at Our Redeemer while I’m gone; and all those who are diligently working to preserve our democracy.