Things I’ve Learned (after one year)

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my installation at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Rocklin, California. We have now lived in sunny CA for a little over a year. To that end, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

Things I’ve Learned About California After One Year

  • It’s a dry heat. I like it a lot better than the humidity of the Midwest, but it is still heat. An oven may be dry, but it’s HOT.
  • I don’t like Home Owners Associations. If I want two basketball hoops in my backyard, I should be able to do it!
  • Time is precious. We spend WAY WAY WAY more time driving here than we did in Wisconsin. That makes every minute seem to count more somehow.
  • Family matters. I miss my family very much, and wish we were closer. I know Kathryn feels the same.
  • Buy a house is a lot of work. So is buying a car, or furniture, or refridgerators, or dish washers, or just about anything else we own.
  • The people of California are wonderful, and the people of Holy Cross are even more wonderful. We have developed many new friendships I never thought I’d have, and have received love and mercy from more people than I can count.

Things I’ve Learned About California Lutheranism After One Year

  • There are a lot less Lutherans out here, so you rejoice more when you find one.
  • On the one hand, everything seems more intense: the conservatives are more conservative, the liberals are more liberal, the church growthers are more church growthy.
  • Yet on the other hand, the care and honor for fellow pastors and congregations is also more intense. I think that’s a a function of there just being less Lutherans overall.
  • I like my circuit. I’m not sure about all of their theology and practice, but they are men who want to be good pastors and faithful shepherds to the flock under their care.
  • There are as many sinners in California as there are in Wisconsin.
  • They don’t know all the same hymns that we knew in Wisconsin.
  • They do know lots of things about caring for your neighbor that I did not.

Things I’ve Learned About Wisconsin After One Year

  • I miss our school. A lot. I miss the children. I miss the faculty. I miss praying together and playing together. I miss everything about Christ Lutheran Academy. I grieve for our children every day, that they no longer have that gift and opportunity. Today offers new gifts and opportunities, and God is merciful. But I still miss CLA.
  • Messiah has lots of amazing people. It is a great parish and I pray for them every day, that God would provide them with a faithful undershepherd. It will come.
  • Nobody does opera like the crazy people of Kenosha. Gathering together with a bunch of people to put on a performance is an amazing experience, and I didn’t realize how much it had shaped us as a family until this year. This summer, actually. The summer was relaxing and wonderful, but I miss the insanity of SEWPA and all of the amazing things that happened through those people.
  • I don’t miss snow. My kids miss snow. I don’t miss snow.
  • There is great blessing in having so many Lutheran congregations so near to each other. The opportunities for working together are much greater than I realized when I served there. Get together, people! It’s worth it.
  • There are still sinners in Kenosha, and there are still saints in Kenosha. What an awesome town with so many amazing people.

Anyway, there are a few thoughts along the way, as the Peperkorns reach another milestone.

Later, dudes!

One thought on “Things I’ve Learned (after one year)

  1. This past year has been a time of readjustment for those from Kenosha and for those here in CA. I have sensed and felt an air of grief in the air. Grief comes along with change, invited or not. Sometimes we don’t recognize it; it appears at the most unusual times. We think we have dealt with a change, but not realize that we may be stuck on a specific task; can’t get past it, can’t get over it, and can’t move on. What are we to do? A good start is as Pastor Peperkorn has done. Write it, talk about it; see and hear what we are thinking and feeling. To those who feel it is no big deal, “like get over it! Dude”; please step back and allow us our feelings and be patient. Lean not toward your own understanding, but to Him who knows all.

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