Jack’s Winning Words 8/21/15
“If you only get involved with young people you don’t learn anything about the world.” (Edmund White) We read stories of how older people have influenced the young, but it’s also true that the young can influence the old. Our church displays pictures of Confirmation classes that I taught. Occasionally I stop and look at them and remember…and give thanks. Who are the young people who have made an impression on you and affected your life? ;-) Jack
FROM RI IN BOSTON: Just as you have looked back in remembrance of the Confirmation classes you taught, I have frequently reflected on the seven years I taught university level courses in Design. A few persons stand out for their intelligent questions during the lectures. After 40 years of professional practice, my thinking in some respects was a bit out of date. I had to do some practical research myself for more up-to-date information, to respond properly to the questioning that came up. By so doing I found a lot to challenge my work as well.====JACK: In seminary I had a Symbolics professor who used note cards for his lectures. I could see that they were yellowed with age. Even though he knew the subject, I thought that he was just rehashing old stuff and wasn't presenting anything new.
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: funny, I have done the same thing. how are all those "kids" doing today? and how are they impacting society? and how are they continuing to nurture their faith? ====JACK: Recently I went with a former student to view the wall and talked about some of those she knew and what they are now doing. We also noted some who had died. It is a significant task that we have...to prepare our students (theologically) for life and, ultimately, for death.====ST PAUL: I also discovered that even when those kids were very squirrely and full of too much testosterone (the guys), they were still listening and absorbing. not always the case but more often than I first thought. and then too, the Holy Spirit also shows up to lend an important hand in the whole process...====JACK: How many in your largest class? My smallest was two.====ST PAUL: first year at sotv, I had one. then two. then 4. then 8. then 12 (if I recall correctly). biggest class was 198. we had six different confirmation services on two separate Saturdays. it was a lot of work but well worth it. one of our biggest problems was coordinating with all the high school conflicts in scheduling with band, drama, sports, dance line, debate team, etc. and the coaches all had one policy: you miss once for anything other than sickness, and you are out of the program for good! no grace and no exceptions even for confirmation. and we wonder why our society is becoming ever more secular???====JACK: If I had it to do over, I'd try to minister with more GRACE.
FROM TARMART REV: I remember stopping and looking at those same pictures many years ago myself-- only the pastor do I remember, but stop and give thanks as well!!====JACK: Do the AG churches any similar remembrances? Last week, I had an unexpected phone contact with one of the "picture people." As an adopted child, she shared that she and her husband had just adopted a little Korean boy.====REV: Being a part of the same congregation for the many years as you and I have, Jack (almost 25 now here in Willmar for me) is a rarity I believe for most pastors. It is a sure delight to still be in relationship with the kids that have grown up right before my eyes and having their own families now, along with honoring those who now face the waning years of their lives, walking along beside them until God takes their final breath away. There is presently and will be in the near future a great homecoming awaiting our own entrance into our eternal reward with so many precious friends God has put into our lives through ministry here on earth.====JACK: There are no photos of Jesus with his Confirmation Class (the disciples), but there are these words in Luke 10:20: "Rejoice, because your names are registered in heaven."
FROM BLAZING OAKS: LIKE MOST TEACHERS, I REMEMBER, AND EVEN STAY IN TOUCH WITH MANY FORMER JR. HIGHS. JUST RECENTLY WENT TO A COLLEGE CONCERT WHERE A SENIOR SANG IN THE CHOIR (EXCELLENT!), WHO WAS THE DAUGHTER OF ONE ON MY OUTSTANDING BARITONE SINGERS!! HE'D CALLED ME TO INVITE ME TO GO. GETTING OLD, OLD, OLD....! AND THEN THERE ARE ALL THE 'OLD' BYF'ERS THAT YOU TRY TO FOLLOW AND KEEP IN TOUCH WITH. WHAT A BLESSING! I'M SURE YOU MADE A LASTING IMPRESSION ON MANY OF YOUR YOUTHFUL CONFIRMANDS!!!====JACK: I was just commenting yesterday how the invention of the computer has allowed me to be in touch with people that, in the old days, would not have happened.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: i love all kids. have many young friends from 0 - 40.====JACK: People of all ages can be kid-ders, if they forget to look at the calendar.