Lotsa stuff going on!

Since our last get-together, there has been plenty to talk about. Wolf Creek United Methodist Church had planned an earlier-than-recommended re-opening, but ultimately I was uncomfortable with that schedule and decided to postpone re-opening until (probably) June 14th. That’s still a week earlier than the Wisconsin Conference recommends. We did have a plan that we will follow with good safety provisions. Six of the people who have been with us on Zoom are unlikely to return in person early and I suspect we all will be wearing masks for some time to come. As of today, Polk County has jumped to 22 recorded virus cases with still a single death. Any Memorial Day spike should show itself soon.

Some of you know that when we bought our place here on Bone Lake we bought–unknowingly–into a lawsuit over property rights down at the shared beach. That case has cost each of us plenty in legal fees and now has gone to an appeal. There has been plenty of stress over this for me and not just financial: we have had to draw an end to our participation in legal matters, while some neighbors have decided to continue. Up until now, we have supported the effort, both in person and financially, and I hope those who continue the fight will recognize that.

On top of these items, I see a family member apparently committed to follow her mother’s example of self-suicide by lifestyle choices. It makes me angry. Intellectually, I know that, as Marina’s office poster said, “People don’t change because they see the light; they change when they feel the heat.” This is a prayer focus for me.

My 4 1/2 months pastoring Parkview United Methodist Church in Turtle Lake has been frustrating because it really can’t be done with justice at 1/4 time but also the lockdown has limited me to phone calls and our Zoom get-togethers. As my pastor colleagues will attest, pastoring under lockdown conditions has resulted in more work, rather than less, and I’ve found that to be true working with two congregations, even 1/4 time each. (Quarter time is what you’re paid for.) I have come to know some fine people at Parkview, people of strong faith who are willing to share it and show it through their works. I would have loved to have pastored Parkview in the years prior to my retirement. Their new pastor, Adam Woods, looks like a very good appointment; I pray that things go very, very well for him and his family and the Parkview congregation.

As you will note elsewhere, WPCA-FM will begin re-runs of my story readings in July. We have recorded 25 stories thus far and I am grateful to the station (Bob and LuAnn Zank, especially) for giving me an opportunity few writers ever get. The fact that the station streams online means that anyone anywhere with the internet can listen. What fun!