Years ago, Pr. Klem Preus made the observation that Americans like to worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship. At Higher Things the motto has been that when we worship, we worship; when we work, we work; when we play, we play. It's been a liberating and guiding principle.
Just having gotten back from Sola - San Antonio, let me offer the following random reflections:
* The worship - WOW. Just WOW. Wonderful, graceful, reverent liturgists. Loemker on the organ, the special music provided by the young people, the young folk belting out the hymns, the reverence during the services, and last but not least, the clarity of Gospel proclamation. Wow, wow, wow! Dare to be Lutheran indeed!
* The heat - WOW. Just WOW. We've decided that San Antonio - wonderful place that it is - is located right next door to hell and someone left the door open. I think it topped out at 106 on Thursday under a bright, sunny sky. I think we all just got used to smelling.
* The teaching opportunities - WOW. Just WOW. I was amazed at the variety of sectionals and break-aways presented and how frustrating not to be able to catch more of them!
* The organization - WOW. Just WOW. How on earth do the Higher Things folk pull this off? Prs. Borghardt, Cwirla, Buetow, Kuhlmann, Deaconess Ostapowich, Gina and her crew, Jon and Stan - you folks are pros! Down to the last detail, thought through and well planned and executed.
* The commitment - WOW. Just WOW. I felt downright guilty that I had NOT been a leader in organizing and getting my own parish youth to attend. Pastor after pastor had given up a week for the sake of letting their youth experience what a wonderful thing our Lutheran faith is and how we can celebrate and rejoice in it. Hold me to this, folks, but I am inspired and committed. Next summer I will be at GIVEN. And I'll be bringing some youth along with me. I can't wait!!!
More later, I'm sure...