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“Get up and go on your way;your faith has saved you.”

Luke 17:19



Now it’s my turn. Like the Samaritan leper, I know that healing involves not only my body, but also my spirit, my relationships and my community. On March 9 I will have hip replacement surgery at Essentia St. Mary’s. I’m thankful that the surgery will bring relief from the painful symptoms of arthritis and bone spurs. I also grieve that it will likely bring the loss of running. It is humbling to realize that in the year I hoped to qualify for Boston, I have run my last marathon. But I am already experiencing healing in the full biblical sense of being “saved.” I am deeply moved by the love, empathy and support of Good Shepherd, as well as my life-long friends in this community. In an unexpected and surprising journey, I am experiencing the touch and presence of God.


Medical Leave              

The surgery will require a medical leave of 4-6 weeks to ensure the physical healing that will lead to a full recovery. Pastor Tim and I have already adjusted our schedules to create the space for the healing to happen. Thanks to my amazing colleague, who will now be giving solo pastoral leadership to our ministry until my anticipated return on April 20. I’m thankful for the support that Pastor Tim will receive from this community during Lent and Holy Week.  If my recovery goes well there is a possibility that I may return earlier, but at this point we are planning on using the full six weeks.



So what will I do during this time of healing? As I contemplated the possibilities I realized that I already know the answer. My heart is still singing from my sabbatical renewal in 2009 that was carried by Romans, Running and Opera! That formula is now updated to Bible, Body and Music. Here is the curriculum God has placed before me for a Sabbath of Healing in 2017:
Morning and Evening Prayer                                                                                                                                                                         Lectio Divina of John, Matthew and Romans                                                                                                                                                  Read Martin Luther biographies by James Kittelson and Martin Marty
Rest!                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recovery exercises                                                                                                                                                                                  Plan fat tire biking, cross country skiing and rowing                                                                                                                                  Read The Divine Danceby Richard Rohr
            Experience Parsifal, Wagner’s final opera on themes of healing, death and Good Friday
    Experience Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew Passionby J. S. Bach
Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising reading list                                                                                                                   Liberation Theology: Gustavo Gutierrez


                As I ask for your prayers during this time of healing, I am deeply aware of the love, support and spiritual power of this community of Christ. I am thankful that God is with “us!” What a privilege it is to journey together, sharing the paschal mystery of daily dying and rising with Christ!


With joy and thanksgiving,

Pastor Dave