El Salvador Trip 1st entry (the before entry)

I leave for El Salvador on Thursday. While excited about this new adventure, I am now caught up in all my preparations for the journey. I have my checklist of items to bring: warm weather clothes and sunscreen (Eat your hearts out you cold West Des Moiners.); Passport and ID (Why do the pictures make you look so old?); and various toiletries and medications (Including Imodium I pray I will not have to use!). Continue reading

Dancing with Jesus – A Note from Alex

“Dance then wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance said He,

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,

And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He. “

         ~Refrain from “Lord of the Dance”

I have been dancing with you only a month now. My first weeks have been a whirlwind of meeting new people, going to meetings, visiting community organizations, and enjoying Des Moines (Teresa and I have already been to the Downtown Farmers Market and discovered Jethro’s Barbecue). It has been exciting and enlightening and more than a little dizzying.

I am learning how Heartlanders like to dance!

Photo Credit: roseannadana via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: roseannadana via Compfight cc

If you haven’t realized by now, I do love to dance — all kinds of dances from the Two-Step to the Waltz to good old Rock and Roll gyrations. I will even admit to my disco days!

Much of what a Pastor does in the first year of their ministry with a church is to try and discern the dance steps of the congregation. I listen for the music you dance to and the various ways you dance with Jesus, the Lord of the Dance. I have only begun to catch on to how Heartland dances, but I have discerned some of your dance moves.

I have found that you like to dance intelligently.

The life of the mind is an important way you experience and express Jesus in our life together. I have found you like to dance joyfully. There is a deep contemplative spirituality running through Heartland expressing the gift of Jesus in our midst. And I have found you are willing to try new dance steps. That you are part of that progressive theological tradition that claims we are “Reformed, and Always Being Reformed.” I can already tell it is going to be fun to dance with all of you in the coming years.

One of the things I believe deeply is that Jesus is always inviting us to dance in the Spirit wherever we may be in life.

At times this is a joyous dance; at other times is may be a slow, mournful dance; but it is a dance always rooted in Jesus, the incarnation of God’s love among us and in the world. It is a dance that heals brokenness; a dance that brings justice into the world, and a dance that embodies peace amidst divisiveness.

I am excited to be dancing with you and with Jesus, the Lord of the Dance.

Grace and Peace,

Alex