It’s been 47 days since my wife, Pastor Caroline and our daughter, Ellie, took up residence in the house at 52110 Conestoga Court in Granger, Indiana, in order for Pastor Caroline to begin her new role as the Senior Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, and for Ellie to begin fifth grade at her new school, Horizon Elementary School.

I’ve been maintaining my residence here in Waukegan at our house at 115 East Sheridan Court to continue serving as your pastor in advance of interim pastor, Rev. Janet Volk, joining the St. Paul’s family. I’ve also been anticipating the call to join Pastor Caroline as an
Associate Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church.

To me it has been 47 long days. What’s made these days feel so long, apart from being separated from my family, is walking into a house almost completely void of furniture and the “comforts of home.”  Things like:

  • sleeping in an unfamiliar upstairs bedroom on a bed I’m not used to…
  • having to listen to the Cubs clinch the division on my iPhone since all our TVs, including the new 55” Samsung UHD Smart TV with Sound Bar and Subwoofer, are all in Granger…
  • reaching into a kitchen cabinet to grab a plate for my Little Caesar’s pizza supper, only to find the cabinet completely bare because the two plates, two cereal bowls, two soup bowls, two knives, two forks and one spoon are all in the dishwasher, which I’ve forgotten to turn on…

The truth is I have everything I need at 115 E Sheridan Court to make it through each and every day. I have the essentials: a roof over my head, clothes in the closet, and food in the refrigerator. The rest (a familiar bed, a 55” flat screen with cable, a cabinet full of dishes) all are nonessentials. I’ll do just fine without them.

One of the great gifts of the Reformation is the notion of adiaphora, or nonessential. The essentials of the faith are non-negotiable. How we live out the essentials of the faith is adiaphora.

As we continue to be a people of faith who are Living Lutheran, we are free to hang on to the essentials and treat everything else as adiaphora…nonessential. This is one of the gifts of our Lutheran tradition.


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