It's been awhile, but things have been busy and I either have terrible allergies or a terrible cold and I can't decide which it is! I began work on Sunday the 25th and worked again today. But, it's not a good way to start when you feel like your head is full of cotton and barbed wire. It was pleasant to assist on Sunday, and to meet many of the congregation. The senior pastor is friendly and very talented - he has a wonderful singing voice. It's one thing I don't have as a minister and always feel sad I'm not more musically inclined. I have a large office that's pretty empty. Since I'll be there only six months I don't want to fill it, but I also don't want to leave it empty! Over the next week I'll be deciding what to take in. I have more than enough books to fill two offices - most of them are in boxes in the garage. So, it might be a good thing to take the pertinent books with me. As I have been making these changes in work I have been thinking about taking a permanent call again. I love interim ministry, but already I can see that the changes happen at a more rapid pace than I'd like. Also, my ability to change and adapt seems to slow down as I get older. I have about ten more years to work and I think maybe a permanent call would serve my needs and the needs of a congregation well. I talked with the assistant to the bishop of SW Mn last week about keeping me in mind for permanent positions as they become available in this area - within a reasonable distance. Part of this decision for me is the connections I make within congregations, and the difficulty in leaving and saying good-bye. I really liked the folks at Gloria Dei and felt I was beginning to belong there. I liked the folks at Holy Cross. I like the folks at ULCE where we've been attending in St. Cloud, and now I am meeting another new group of folks. Don goes happily with me as I make these changes, but I'm thinking that a settled call might be the best way to get to know folks and build community over a longer period of time. It would give us a community to belong to for the next years, and then when I retire there would be just one more change to make back to a community where I haven't served as pastor.