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Showing posts from February, 2013

Ashes, Sidewalks, and Mortality - My Experience with Taking Ash Wednesday to the Streets

This year for Ash Wednesday, I participated in taking the ritual of the imposition of ashes to the parking lot and sidewalks of our local community.  Together with a clergy colleague, we set up shop at the corner of our church yard where parents on their way to work were dropping off their children for school (they use our parking lot daily as it is directly next to the elementary school).  With coffee in hand, and a bowl of ashes with anointing oil in another, we set out to offer an opportunity for busy folks to pause and remember their mortality before God.  Mostly we received many waves and smiles back as we smiled and waved at folks driving by, also alerting them to the sign that read "Ashes to Go" and "Receive Ashes Here".  Over the two hour period, we had three people actually stop in to receive ashes.  A man walking by was invited to receive but he declined and offered his greeting for a good day.

Stoles in hand, ashes and oil secured in the back seat of my…

I Am A Sheepdog

I have decided to rename this blog The Sheepdog Blog.  A few years ago, I was in conversation with my District Superintendent regarding what it means to be a pastor.  He suggested that, as we follow the True Shepherd (Jesus), we are called as clergy to be the sheepdog - keeping watch over the flock, helping to keep them on the path, and sometimes barking, but never biting.  He reminded me that sheepdogs get kicked, bit, and even maimed at times as the sheep try to go their own way off the path the shepherd has set before them.  The sheepdog will always put the sheep first, protecting them at all costs, and making sure they know where the safe places are.  In my time as a pastor (going on 8 years now!), I have come to realize this reality and have taken the call to be a sheepdog as a way of life.

See you in the fields!
~Aaron