Posted by: Mark Nielsen | August 11, 2008

Word on the Street (from New Delhi, that is…)

I have mentioned already in the blog that we’re attending a new church, Redeemer Lutheran (ELCA) in Park Ridge, IL. (No, not in India… more on that in a moment.)

It’s a decent fit so far: emergent (for those who know what that means), doing some social justice type ministries without neglecting family/in-house needs, ecumenical, communion every week — even a fantasy football league (which means I/we have two teams to manage this fall… I’m trying to get Sue to take the lead on the new Redeemer team). Anyway, just some nice signs so far that it’s where we’re supposed to be right now, after 20+ years at Reba Place.

Change is hard, though. I’m still fuzzy on how to integrate all that past churchy stuff (Catholic, evangelical, Mennonite, a dash of mainline Protestant) with present and future directions and choices. Plus I don’t know where I’ll be working, if and how soon we’ll be moving west or north of Chicago, etc.

By coincidence, this church is at a transitional place, too. Redeemer’s sole pastor, Fred Nelson, is taking a sabbatical for three months in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. He left over a week ago. Almost his whole trip is being paid for by the Lilly Foundation –it’s associated with the drug company, yes, so I must for once concede that not all mega-corporations or drug companies are inherently evil. They apparently targeted support of ministers thru giving sabbaticals as a tangible way to keep them from burning out. A good idea. Meanwhile, lay people and other Lutheran leaders from around the community are learning to step up and fill the void, maybe with Fred’s role and workload changed for the better when he returns in late fall.

I’ve posted the link at the left (Fred’s Sabbatical). Use it to read Fred’s blog/travelogue or check out some photos and video that he’s uploading during his somewhat freeform journey. For a splash of real color in your black-and-white life, his colorful, slightly wild photos and musings about this ancient culture ought to do the trick, and you may learn a thing or two as well.

(Can you tell I’m envious of him?)


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