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 Iâ€™ve learned along the way:
Things Iâ€™ve Learned About California After One Year
- Itâ€™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 itâ€™s HOT.
- I donâ€™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 Iâ€™d have, and have received love and mercy from more people than I can count.
Things Iâ€™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 thatâ€™s a a function of there just being less Lutherans overall.
- I like my circuit. Iâ€™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 donâ€™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 Iâ€™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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™t miss snow. My kids miss snow. I donâ€™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! Itâ€™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.
One thought on “Things I’ve Learned (after one year)”
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.