Koinonia Conference Part 1: Country Parson Goes to the City

KoinoniaNOTE: The opinions expressed in this and the following posts are solely those of the author. They do not represent the opinion of  anyone else in the Atlantic or Wyoming Districts, or in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Please also note that this disclaimer is made freely by the author, and not at the request of any person or group. 

I’m on the plane. The plane back to Wyoming. There’s a lot to say, for a number of reasons. And so, in the next few days, as I ponder what happened, I will post a few reflections of my time in New York for the Koinonia conference, on the Koinonia process in general, and on the prospect of greater harmony in the synod. If you don’t know what the Koinonia Project is, click  HERE to read about it. I’ll wait.

But first things first:

Wow. Thank you to the congregations and members of the Atlantic district of the LCMS. I felt like royalty the whole time I was there. The Wyoming District delegation was treated like kings everywhere we went. I only hope that in 16 months when we are given the chance to reciprocate, that you feel even half so much like honored guests as we did while at this conference.

Specifically: To the members of True Light Lutheran Church, the nation’s oldest Chinese Lutheran Congregation, the members of the Brooklyn Circuit, and the members of The Lutheran Church of Our Savior in the Bronx, the food was amazing. I ate way too much. You set my diet back about two weeks, and for this I thank you.

To the Staff of the Atlantic District, you did a great job with the logistics. Keeping 160 pastors together on travels through four boroughs, while also allowing some to walk or take the subway instead of the buses is a task far beyond my capabilities. You did it with aplomb, and no one got lost. In addition there was the “free night”, and you  arranged a baseball game, time in Times Square, or the Asian neighborhood tour of Brooklyn. Everyone who went to one of those events had a terrific time. (Although, as I understand it, some of our pastors were upset that you could not arrange for the Yankees to have lost that game.)

I can not imagine the thought and planning that went into all those logistics. A job well done does not even begin to describe the work you did before and during the conference.

To the pastors and presidium of the District: I only hope we can be as gracious when we receive you. You treated us as brothers, and I hope you feel that we did the same.

And to Elaine the Bus Driver (who will probably never read this, but deserves a shout out anyway) What a job you did!. The Turn you made near battery park to get us to the ground zero museum in all that traffic was a work of art. It was a beautifully executed maneuver, and I am glad I got to see it. Thank you for showing us your beautiful city.

In the next post, I’ll start taking you through the week.

PS: Thanks also to Thrivent, who put up the money above-and-beyond our normal conference expenses for this. Which, thanks to a late-season snowstorm in Wyoming, ended up even higher than anticipated. We appreciate the support.

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