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  • Being in the Council of Representatives in my House of God
    1/17/2020 It is my honor and pleasure to serve on my synod’s, Council of representatives. In layman’s terms this means that our Bishop, William Gafkjen serves as our mayor, and the Council is the policy and fiscal body. The Council is made up of two thirds laypeople and one third ordained pastors and deacons. The Council is elected by area and there are term limits. I am in my second and final term. There is a saying, “You don’t want to see how the sausage is made,” but I have found our governance activity to be a sacred act of participation, in the life of the church.
  • In the time after Epiphany
    1/11/2020 Here we are in the time after Epiphany, when Christ is revealed to us as a baby; fragile, and wet, wrapped in clothes, ripe with hope and expectation of a new future, Emmanuel, God with us. So many questions, what does this mean? How will we change? Is there truly hope that this war torn world of power hungry governments will change their vision toward peace and love? I hate being cynical, but no, probably not.
  • Resolutions, We all do them
    1/4/2020 Maybe you are sick of everybody talking about them. Tired of seeing the plethora of social media posts, regaling readers about resolutions and new beginnings. Some of us are happy that we are starting a new decade, others had a pretty good 2019 and are worried 2020 cannot get any better. Whether or not you are a regular at making a list of resolutions, we all generally make them. It might not be at the first of the year, maybe it is on our birthday, or any given Monday. Most of us want to do better, be better humans, and take better care of our minds, bodies and souls. Resolutions are not just for New Year’s Day.
  • The question on everyone’s lips
    12/21/2019 The question on everyone’s lips, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I hear it every day, multiple times. Nope, I am not ready. I am never ready. The difference between my younger self and my wiser self, is to be ok with this fact of life, this season of Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, family gatherings and parties.
  • Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Christmas Story
    12/13/2019 It is true that the Roots of Life Community, is unlike any other faith community. We are full of people who are in a deconstruction and reconstruction phase of their faith life. As a rule, our people are comfortable questioning the traditions and the teachings they learned as children in Sunday School. Many who find us are either coming to us as the last resort before they leave the church altogether, or they are coming back to church (after “churchcation”) looking for a new way to be Christian, or just “church people.”
  • Wait for the Lord
    12/7/2019 Prepare ye the way of the Lord! Make way! Four weeks before Christmas Eve the church puts her nose down and urges her people to be intentional in planning, and preparations. She rails, “It is not Christmas time yet!” Christmas season happens after baby Jesus is born! Instead, we wait for the Lord, and we remember stories of, John the Baptizer, Elizabeth and Mary, Zechariah and the shepherds. We intentionally light one candle a week on the Advent wreath, until we finally light all five on Christmas Eve. Advent is about waiting and leaning into the themes of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love.
  • 11/26/2019 It may become a surprise to you, that I began my seminary education at Anderson School of Theology in Anderson, Indiana, a Church of God institution. Admittedly, I did not know what I was getting myself into; then again no one knows how seminary education will change, challenge and stir them, until they are knee deep in exegetical analysis of all things God related. I had been immersed in a Lutheran church for near fifteen years, before I accepted my calling into professional pastoral life. The saying, ‘God does not call the equipped, God equips the called’, is certainly my testament in real time.
    It did not take me long to realize that I had landed in a school that did not mesh well with my Lutheran upbringing. Church of God is of the holiness tradition, and I have an invisible capital letter “L” inscribed on my forehead. If you want more info on the differences ask your pastor, or Google, or message me. What Anderson School of Theology (SOT) taught me was how to read and how to live into scripture. For this I will be ever grateful. 
    My most favorite day of learning, in my first semester in SOT, was Tuesday, or “Tears-day,” specifically in, Rev. Dr. Kimberly Majeski’s class, an overview of the New Testament. I called it, “Tears-day” because it was here where the Gospel brought me to tears most days.
  • 11/16/2019 Shared life in faith is one reason being a church person is a good thing. Where else can you go to have important conversations, wrestle with questions of theology, question and wonder about who God is, whether or not there is a heaven or hell, and have the same people bring you soup when you are sick? 
    Often times when I meet someone new, I get around to asking them, not if they are Christian, or a person of faith, or whether or not they attend church; I ask, “Are you a church person?” Most people I meet would throw themselves into the category of Christian, spiritual but not religious. This group has become so popular there is even an acronym for them, SNR. It has, in some ways become a badge of honor to be known as an SNR. Others will say, “I belong to ________ but I don’t believe everything they teach.” Or another popular statement, “We go there because our kids like it.” Another qualifier, “We go…but we slip in after all that music…the preaching is good.” Someone actually said to me, “I send money once a year so that I can have my funeral there when I die.” Kinda like life insurance?
  • 11/2/2019 One of the things that I love about the Lutheran tradition, one that we share with our Catholic sisters and brothers, is festival days of the church. Last Sunday, we commemorated and celebrated Reformation Day. This was the five hundred and second anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther nailing his 95 thesis (questions and items that needed to be challenged/changed in the Catholic faith) to the door of Wittenburg Castle Church. There are lots of reasons why I love this day of Reformation celebration. First, there is the historical significance, the call to change, to question, to think differently about the why we do things we do in the church. Another reason, is I get to wear my beautiful red silk chasuble, think tablecloth; everyone dresses in red, a symbol of the Holy Spirit with us today just as she was in the beginning.
  • 10/5/2019 Editor’s Note: Teri Ditslear’s colleague Pastor Patrick Propst, Faith Community Church wrote a poignant letter to the Noblesville Diversity Coalition this week, after hearing the sentencing for the death of Anthony Hill. Teri asked him if he would consider being a guest columnist for Joy in the Journey.
    I've been following the Botham Jean case and the verdict that was decided October 2 for the female, police office who mistakenly walked into Botham’s apartment thinking it was her own, mistook him for a robber while sitting on his couch eating ice cream, and shot him to death. 
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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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