Yesterday was not only the day that the camp counselors came. Our old campus pastor also came to worship. I had time to reflect on our various journeys.
My spouse and I met at Newberry College, a Lutheran school in South Carolina that had more Southern Baptists than Lutherans. Our campus pastor was also a professor. Later, he would return to parish ministry and spend time as parish pastor at my grandmother's church in Greenwood, S.C., so I stayed in touch in a way I might not have otherwise.
Much later, my spouse served on the board of Novus Way, the group that oversees 4 Lutheran camps and more programs than I could list here. Our old campus pastor retired and found that he needed more to do than supply preaching--and thus, he travels across multiple states, supporting the mission of Novus Way.
Yesterday he came to our church for a variety of reasons; the main one was to give my spouse a beautiful print in honor of his service. He also talked to the congregation about what their donations have made possible. After the service, we had pizza and talked further.
At one point, I said, "Who'd have ever thought, back when you were my Phenomenology professor, that some day we'd be here, talking about church camp?"
One of the church members said, "Phenomenology?"
I said, "Yes. I had to give an oral report on exorcism. And one of my classmates was an ordained Baptist minister, and he said, 'Oh yes, I've done lots of them.' And I never quite recovered my momentum."
Soon after that, we gave our campus pastor a hug, and he was on his way, driving all the way back to South Carolina in one day. I said to my spouse, "I'm both glad that we're not making that long drive and slightly envious of that meditative state he might achieve."
We came home to keep working on projects, chief among them getting the cottage ready for the camp counselors. I hope they'll be comfortable--I've done as much as I can do to that end, with the resources that we have.
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