Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Embracing Alaskan Lifestyle

When a church is to receive a new pastor the first task is for their SPRC to complete a church profile.  In this profile they respond to a question by listing the top five qualities they need in a pastor to help them meet their mission.  In many cases I see something like "embrace Alaskan lifestyle."  What do they mean?

They want to know that pastors will come to see and appreciate Alaska the way they see it.  In my expectations for Alaska clergy I write, "In big and small ways show them that you are one of them, that you embrace this Alaskan life in its grandeur and in its sometimes difficult realities."

These photos illustrates this very well.  Pastor Dan Lush of Willow UMC created this cardboard and duct tape kayak for an event at Birchwood Camp last Saturday.  To me it shows a pastor who embraces the quirkiness of Alaska in a creative and fun way.  

One of the things I tell new pastors is that Alaska is a place where the people want us to be ourselves.  They don't abide by phoniness or pretentiousness.  It's about being real and genuine.  

I believe God desires this for all people.  Those of us who know the joy of living and ministering in Alaska know this all to well.  

By the way none of these crafts sank as many had predicted!  Way to go, Dan!

Grace and peace,

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